Paying To Play ~ Being Intentional!

This last week I played. Today I pay.

So much what having any chronic illness can be like and Fibromyalgia with other over lapping conditions is no different.

I played most a whole day, went to a Red Hat breakfast meeting by 8am. I was hostess which means nothing more than to facilitate the so-called business meeting of our weekly breakfast. Wild morning really when you consider a room of 20 to 25 women all wanting to visit and catch up, I want to get on with business, my heart just not in it as I was having pretty weird tracking issues. I would look at one person and could not for the life of me think of her name. I would be chatting along, talking about how the high school class of 2013 will not know who Bob Dylan is…… then I forgot my point.


The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and Elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.”

– Sue Ellen Cooper, Queen Mother

Standing up in front of a large group of women or a large group of any bodies was a daunting  and anxious time for me initially. I was not sure in the very beginning I would ever be able to do it, at least do it comfortably. And to think that Law School is something I have still on my bucket list is hysterical.  But as time went on standing up in front of a group of 20 to 40 women in a sea of red hats has been a great accomplishment of mine. It’s no different from talking to a houseful of guests in my home.  I could do this too.

Speaking of Lent which is something I am very passionate about was on my notes, I even had some prompts. Just so I’d stay on track. Nothing heavy or even with any one denomination mentioned. So not my style anyway as my faith comes from many beliefs. Not one dogmatic belief. Not just one tenet, one canon, one law.

But I blew my whole point on this too; and  now pray that I was not being paid no mind. It just was not morning that’s for sure.

Maybe… maybe the cost to play was adding up by then. Maybe my spoon stash was depleting and I was not obviously paying any attention.

Leaving breakfast with the help of my BFF of a  husband who came to pick me up as I am still not driving because of my neck, we then spent the next hour – maybe an 1.5 hours  together running a couple of errands. Lastly dropping me off at a friend’s home where I was teaching a group of ladies how to create 3D paper roses.  The afternoon was a potluck lunch with some of the women from the morning main group and in that day I learned I still have so far to go.

Yet I have come so far….

I have been dealing with some exasperated symptoms that seemed to have no solutions. I’d practically given up the fight in many ways starting to think about rolling over to higher doses of medications. I’ve fought the last 4 yrs, bringing myself voluntarily down from high doses of two dangerous medications to now using medications that although not assured of their safety help me feel better. I’ve also found alternative life style changes and herbs to treat the symptoms that bled through and disturbed my ability to function.  

It was a quite nice day. One that I would not give up for even the current results. Maybe I should say;  I would not give it up even in spite of the results.  Yet finding the happy medium between what I want to do, and what I should do is not always easy.  And throw into that mix that I also have to figure out what it is I can do.

This is not a complaint. Far from it. I am most grateful to be learning the good grace of  what is important in my world. And what is not. I am, and have been blessed to have to find what things in my life should come first, second, and even last.  Or not at all. Why would this be a blessing I have been asked?  Why should you have to choose?

And I ask:  “As long as you are getting to choose, how can you not be grateful?”

This intentional ability to choose is just one of  my blessings of course, but it’s truly a blessing because if not for this need to choose when would I ever take the time to stop and smell the roses, the lavender, the sweet peas of life? 

And the Trillium’s of Spring in this Amazing  Great Pacific NorthWET

Seriously. We may take the time to stop and tuck our noses into a fresh bloom at its first sight.  But honestly, how long does it stay with you, that magical moment?  It’s a choice that I am able to make; and one that feeds me deeply for days on days. To stop and take my time, to be mindful, and to tuck myself in to many blossoms of Springs welcoming Hello ~ it  is a magical kind of thing. A  magical kind of time. ~

 Oh Lovely Spring Anew! 

But how many more blossoms will you tuck into? You’ll feel like you have crossed that small blessing off your list this spring and move on to look to find the new ones on your path. All the while missing the gorgeous fragile Trillium’s along the wooded paths floor.  Tucked down inside below and beside the earthy smell of  rich brown dirt and green moss are the low to the ground flowers.

When we were raising our daughters in the country we had almost 3 acres of this kind of loveliness. Just the kind of spots of  Mother Nature at her very best I adore coming upon. Its important never to pick a Trillium. It will not be able to grow back. That one plant is gone and no other will grow in its place. It’s a solitary generation of a  flower. At one time Trillium’s were placed on the endangered species list. And we had a whole back yard of 3 acres of them.

This native is one of a family of native plants, the Trilliaceae, that are unique to North America and Asia. Oregon’s forest floors are abundant in early spring and my heart would sing each first walk of Spring along our property’s paths.

I could choose to stop and tuck myself down low to the ground and gaze down at the newly blossomed Trillium. And often I did choosing this quiet and serene time to listen deeply and closely to the sounds from the ground. The greatest thing about the graciousness I have found in needing to make choices that feed me deeply is that now I know that one Trillium is not enough.  I been given the wisdom from my past & current health situation to know that when making my choices in how I shall spend my energy, (or my spoon stash if you will)

[see The Spoon Theory @  

It would behoove me to make a choice that will feed me for than a few minutes. A few hours, or even a few days. I want to choose wisely for the things that speak to me deeply I carry back in my mind to bring forth on dark winter days when the forest floors are not as friendly, and the Trillium’s are safely tucked under the forest grounds heavy blanket of composting leaves and debris.  All of Mother Nature soundly asleep.

I have grown into a woman who recognizes the beauty in simplicity, yet also in grand notions & wonders. I know that if I find one Trillium on a Spring morning walk in the woods and if I let myself stay mindful – in the present – I shall find myself tucking down to gaze upon dozens and dozens of  striking Trillium’s. I cannot pick one or even a bouquet to take with me, but I can sit along the path’s edge, drinking in the fragrance of wet bark on evergreen trees, damp critter droppings fertilizing the red volcanic clay soil. This is a choice that once I make I can take with me long after. Not some fleeting time I almost miss, because I am so caught up in thinking of being else where than where I am.

This blessing of choices that my illness gives me is something that I choose to see as a glass half full. I have the choice of staying tucked on the sofa with a pillow and blanket as my best friend.  Or not! And trust me, there are for certain days like this. Or I have the choice most days to Not. Instead to do as I please. And please myself I must say I do.

It’s not too hard in God’s country to be pleased.

The amazing adage “Pay To Play” rings true in my small world. It’s true that when I play; I in fact pay. But you know what?  Give me the choice to pay for playing any day that I can. It’s so worth it even if there is a day or even two spent paying. I think back to that forest floor path in my journey’s mind;  recalling with each calming and cleansing breath the Trillium’s of Spring.

And I’ll know that this is Mother Nature’s message ~

A gentle message~  as gentle as the Spring time drizzle in the woods, telling me its a lovely choice, that choice to play. To play along the Trillium’s path’s…..if this what I have to pay with… this recall of Spring’s Trillium’s a bloom…. than I’ll say with graciousness and great intent……

I’ll be Glad To Pay To Play  ~ Any Ole Day~

©tjhelser 2012

6 thoughts on “Paying To Play ~ Being Intentional!

  1. Ah…a Red Hat Lady, I should have known! 🙂 A friend of mine, who lives outside Chicago belongs. I should look it up on the net and see if there are any out here in my neck of the woods.
    Your article is lovely, if I had some extra spoons to give you, I would, and gladly! 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed your day though, very glad. You are right about stopping to smell the roses. 🙂

    • Oh my Kygirl in FLa~ Can you just come now? I miss you and my home is lonesome for my twin.
      My outlaw is bored and needs your outlaw R to come join him for some old fashioned, but clean fun.

      The herbage is stashed for that time, champagne tucked away. That will be some celebration, yes?

  2. Do you find it healing to blog? I just came across Red Hat Society and I don’t know anything about it, so I will be reading more about it. I hear you when you speak of chronic illness. I have many issues to heal from including chronic pain. Things were so bad a couple of years ago with no diagnosis of debilitating symptoms and no treatments to help, I was feeling hopeless. Thanks to a wonderful pain psychologist, I got into alternative treatments and mind/body exercises which are helping me the most. I have a ways to go, but there has been some progress. I maintain two blogs to help with my healing. I’ll be perusing your site more. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Pingback: The Red Hat Society « Cee's Life Photography Blog

You are most welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and/or complaints here. Know though complaints are only handled on the 2nd Tuesday of the week.~ The Management

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