The reason I don’t “borrow” books from the library or from friends.. words grab my attention and I begin writing in the margins and underlining paragraphs.. Years ago, Janet Mary Rozdil Moltzan , shared these wise words that actually gave me peace instead of anxiety, and taught me to let go “you’re not in control.. you never have been and you never will be”
That feels RIGHT… I’m only on this ride.. doing the best I can and letting go of the illusion that I’m in control or perfect
I’ve learned during my Covid journey just how imperfect I am and how messy life can be .., and you know what, I’m really glad I’m on this journey.. it’s not the road I would have chosen but this route sure has bought out the best and the worst in many ways.. It’s changed my views and made me stronger in many ways but not strong enough to resist the urge to write in brand new books!
“Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years.”
I was messaging with my friend and colleague, Helen Patterson, about getting together soon and then we shared a little about what was happening in our lives and our businesses.
I told her that I thought one of her friends, Rachelle, was being very brave in her recent posts and podcasts.
Helen told me that Rachelle had struggled but had made amazing progress and had chosen to share her story so other women could get it.
In just over a month, I’ll be celebrating another birthday, and, every now and then, it hits me hard.
“Can I really be that old?!”
“Where did the time go?”
“Do I have another 30,40,50 good years in me?”
“Am I strong enough, pretty enough, good enough?”
“Am I aging gracefully?”
“How can I FEEL like I’m only 34 but be twenty years older?”
“I am just getting started, do I have time to do everything I want to do?”
Those are the things that go through my mind when I’m training or doing a massage or writing out my hopes and plans.
These are the thoughts that tumble around when I’m standing in front of the mirror looking at my body, and catching glimpses of my soul in my eyes.
Helen’s words hit me straight in my heart-simple, direct, profound.
“Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years.”
This past year, every since Covid came roaring like a dragon, scaring us into taking Shelter In Place and having mandates for masks and social distancing, people have chosen to live with such precautions, limitations and fear.
They have stopped seeing family members, stopped celebrating holidays, stopped getting together for birthdays and Sunday dinners.
I get it. I really do. They are afraid they will get Covid.
But, here’s the thing…..I did, too, in the beginning. I stayed home, did Shelter In Place. Took off my clothes in the garage if I went anywhere, santized my house and my hands and my car over and over.
We didn’t celebrate last Easter… no baskets, no gifts, no Easter dresses, no family dinner. It was heartbreaking.
We did it because that’s what we were told to do and expected to do.
Then it hit me- really hit hard.
What I was doing-what we were all doing- was taking away precious time, giving away chances, missing opportunities, losing out.
In an attempt to prolong our lives, we gave up what made life worth living.
I know people that stopped seeing their children and grandchildren because they were afraid of Covid.
Others haven’t left their home because the ones that love them are so afraid that they will lose them.
It’s became a game of chance, of control, of hedging the bets, of making deals with God.
“I’ll stay away from everyone…. But you better add another year to my life now that I’ve given up this year.”
“I am doing all this…. so I better not get sick from Covid or anything else.”
“Here’s the deal, I’m going to follow all these rules, do everything by the book… and then I’ll be safe, right?”
Maybe so…but, I can’t help but think of it this way.
Only God knows the number of our days.
People still die from heart attacks, in car accidents, in senseless tragedies. People lose their battles with cancer, with mental illness, with other congestive, chronic sickness.
All we have is this minute…. and maybe another fifty years.
Like my friend, Helen, said, “Don’t focus on what you only have left because it could be one more minute or 50 more years”
I think that’s what’s happening, though. People have been focusing so hard on to stay here and not to be left or to leave that they have not lived!
I stopped doing that way back in May when I reopened the doors to my massage studio, Rockwall Body and Soul Massage.
I practice universal safety and sanitize procedures, but I touch people. There’s no social distancing in massage and that’s one of the beautiful things about it.
I don’t wear a mask. I have to read lips so people that come to see me express such a sense of relief when I tell them they can remove their masks.
I’ve spent so much precious time with my children, and my girls and my bundles.
I’ve been busy creating memories, making damn sure they feel loved and wanted and needed.
I’ve kissed and cuddled, shook hands and embraced. I’ve wiped tears and stroked faces.
I’ve gone to breakfast, to lunch and to dinner.. I’ve met friends for drinks at the bar, sat outside on patios sipping margaritas and listening to music.
I’ve gone dancing and I danced with anyone that asked.
I go to the gym almost every single day. I meet with my trainer, Phu, and we hold hands constantly. He places his hands on my body, I hold his legs when he stretches me. We have a comfortable intimacy. I know he’ll catch me when I stumble and he knows when to let me do my own thing.
My focus is on living every single minute of my life to the fullest.
I don’t know and neither does anyone else if I only have this minute or if I’ll have fifty more years.
I do know this much for sure.
I will not bide my time, waiting for something to be done with, or to run it’s course.
That’s not what my focus is going to be about.
I’ll do everything in my power to stay healthy and to keep my family, my friends and my clients healthy, too.
Those are the things that I can control, but life… whether it’s one more minute or fifty more years, like I hope for, is going to be spent living every single second of it!
I don’t want to have any regrets… no second guessing.. no missed kisses… no holding back.
I am planning on meeting my friend, Helen, soon. I am planning on drinking that bottle of wine that James gave me with him. I’m celebrating Easter this year with my family and for my birthday, in just over a month, I’m going to savor every single bite of that chocolate sheet cake and love on everybody that comes near me.
Just like my wise and wonderful friend, Helen, told me to do.
👣♥️ Jeanna’ Mead
8 14 a.m. April 3 2021
I have to add to this… On August 3,2021. I got Covid after going into quarantine on July 26 ..
Covid hit me hard with migraines, fatigue, and coughing .. But the worst part was when it hit my left leg and I couldn’t walk.. from a woman that danced, worked out, and massaged with legs and feet.. Suddenly I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom or stand up without shooting pains from my knee …
I went to the doctor on August 13 and recieved my first steroid shot, and 3 prescriptions for antibiotics, inflammation, and pain.
I couldn’t do much of anything but be still.. which was exactly what I needed to be.. I recieved instead of gave
My daughter had me stay with her., I slept in her bed feeling her hand soothing me when I coughed, feeling her love when she bought me food and water over and over.
I felt the strength of my sons.. the boys I used to carry now carried me. The boys I used to feed, now cooked me meals, bought me coffee, made me brownies and grilled cheese sandwiches.
My husband came home from driving to spend a week with me. He made me laugh through the tears, he picked me up and carried me up the stairs to our daughter’s house, to the pool party, and from our living room to the bed.
Instead of being ashamed of me, he made me feel beautiful and desirable and special.. As if the walker was just a new toy instead of a cumbersome means of getting around. Greg placed me on the seat and ran with me, and we both laughed so hard, even when it tipped over and I tumbled out!
Greg had to take off driving again and he wrapped me in his arms, prayed for me, kissed me and made me promise to heal so I can dance with him when he came home.
My friends stopped by with food and vitamins, my brother and sister-in-law bought dinner and food for a week. One friend came to my daughter’s when I was I was so weak and sick and started giving me magnetic massages which she keeps giving am over and over.
I felt love coming from so many directions. Texts and messages boosted my spirits and reminded me of what really mattered-all the people I love and that love me back in different ways.
In the silence, I started reading again.. finding my faith and my relationship with God… I had put Him on the back burner.. using bad experiences with churches and religion as my crutch.
He who knows me best, let me come to Him on my terms, slowly and tenderly, much like the steps I was taking.
He used the words of friends to reach inside the walls I had built, and He used the songs of my childhood to bring me to my knees and up where I wanted to be.
He made sure I had the books I needed, the scriptures that fit perfectly with the situation I was in and He let me stumble and fall and get frustrated and riled up.. while He waited.
God was still… because He knew that I needed this time to reflect and ponder and then to pull close when my soul was ready.
Here I am .. on this Covid journey … It’s October 1 now… I stopped seeing clients on July 26… But God has provided my place with great therapists and great clients that have been gracious and understanding.
I’ve started to walk again-holding onto Phu”s hands during training, holding the walls sometimes, and holding on to my son.
I told my doctor that I wouldn’t wish anyone this Covid but I’m glad I’m on this journey… She looked surprised and I said, “If I hadn’t been on this journey, I wouldn’t have been still, I wouldn’t have listened and I wouldn’t have recieved. I needed to do all of that.”
There’s a reason for everything, a season for everything, a time to plant and a time to bloom, a time to weep and a time to dance.
It was my time to be still and soon I’ll be dancing again.
Yesterday another doctor told me that the steroids that helped me battle Covid caused cataracts in my eyes. I cried for about a minute when my son, Hunter, picked me up and then, I pulled on my boots and said, “get me some chocolate and l will be just fine!.”.
You see, God is already there… working on the details.. His eyes are on me and I don’t have to worry… I can see that He’s got plans up His sleeve for me and it’s gonna be amazing!
He’s given me the courage and the strength along this journey and I’m not afraid… I’m living the life He’s given me right now!
In her massage office in Alabama, my friend has a sign posted:
“When you touch a body, you touch the whole person-intellect, spirit & emotions.”
She is a healer, a facilitator, a conduit for connecting a person’s energy to the source of healing in the universe.
She does not cure people, she would never claim that. Just like I don’t.
During the Covid crisis and Shelter In Place, we both had to close our practices. We couldn’t touch clients. We couldn’t touch anyone.
It felt like our hands were tied and with that, so was everything else- _emotions, intelligence, spirit. It was hard. It was very hard.
Some people think what we do is just a job, a career, that we have chosen.
That’s true for many massage therapists. It’s different for us, though.
Jennifer and I both feel as if massage therapy is our calling, it is what we were created to do. It goes beyond a job description. It is who we are.
Years ago,a very good friend of mine said to me,” There is no separation between you and your business. You are Rockwall Body and Soul Massage and it is you. You are complete when you massage, when you give a massage, you seem to receive back as much as you give.”
He is exactly right. It’s the whole truth. It’s also why I’m so particular about who gives me a massage. I will only receive bodywork from those that I trust with my soul. It’s the same way as making love, or having sex… Only those that fall in love with the naked soul should be able to touch the body. That’s how I feel anyways
That’s why Jennifer’s message bought tears to my eyes. She understands so well what touch means to me.
We have been friends a long time and shared many stories-personally and professionally.
Yesterday she messaged me and my heart felt as if she had taken my words and wrote them down for me.
“When touch a person, I lose my self. I shed my skin. I am a tool. Molding muscles and tissues into a piece of art work that is soft and knotless. I connect on a level that is beyond touch. Finding the lack of flow, and creating space where there is none. Unraveling knotted fibers, smoothing out scars and adhesions. Assessing each area for congestion caused by stress whether it’s physical or emotional. This is what I do. It completes me.”
“Intimately , it is similar … When I make love, I connect fully, giving myself over completely, connecting on a level that is beyond physical-Heart, Mind and Soul.
When I fuck, I connect,too, fully, feeding on passion, and offering my own up in exchange. I can guard the heart and keep some emotions at bay, but not all of them. I am able to disassociate enough to protect myself but just barely and with a lot of effort. I have to focus on feelings of physical pleasure more extremely than otherwise necessary.”
We are both survivors of sexual assault. I can and do split myself into three parts still. I can be touched, and not feel. I can feel without being touched. I can go through the motions-heart guarded and intact while my body moves.
If my emotional cup is empty, I can swallow the bitter taste and my body can go through the paces. I can hold back most of my feelings for as long as it takes. I’m used to it
This serves me well when I’m in training and my knee gives out. My willpower takes over and I push through the pain my body feels. I can close my hands and put my spirit elsewhere while my body is present for whatever reason.
It’s a blessing sometimes. Other times, it’s a curse.
There are certain people that give and receive touch from me that fills me on every level. These people are as vital to my well being as oxygen… During Shelter In Place, I craved their touch so deeply because, quite simply, their touch calms my spirit in ways I can’t put into words, try as I might.
*Regardless, in either case, because I am either focused on complete connection, or guarding myself from emotional pain, I am often incapable of holding back, that includes my noises as well as giving and receiving pleasure.
I feel the urge, I act upon it. I do not want to hold back, there is an innate need that has to be fulfilled.
If it is not fulfilled, I am left feeling empty. Needing more. Wanting more.
This is why I am so insatiable now that I’m able to touch again
For so long, I have been empty. I have cried, I have begged,
I have pleaded for someone to help me fill my cup.
How many times did I say that when I went to fill my cup, the machines were broken, out of order signs on each and every source?
My cup was broken anyway, shattered in a million pieces.
It was impossible to fill. My cup is still broken, but I am finding the glue to mend it.
It at least holds that essence of life that is so necessary for completeness.
I am living again, I am thriving. I am starving for more.”
Jennifer had been married for over 17 years to a man that withheld affection and touch so she received the touch she craved through her work. She gave massages and in giving, she received.
During Covid, Jennifer finally signed the divorce papers and began to write a new chapter of her book of life.
“When I touch someone, I share in the healing. When I touch someone, I become a part of something larger than myself.”
She is getting new cups and filling her broken cups and she is finding ways to be complete.