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  • Earlene Gleisner

Adjusting to What Is

Living in a one-hundred-unit retirement apartment complex since April 2020 is not exactly where I hoped I would settle. I had hoped to be in the country more with a clear view of the moon and stars as well as wildlife and the natural world. Yet, I must concede this place has satisfied one of my primary requests to the Universe, that of feeling safe. The other request was that I would be free to express myself through opportunities to work at my passions, Reiki and writing.

Those have happened, even after stumbling through several roadblocks.

The biggest challenge is the fact that I am living with too many people who have many diverse backgrounds and thus a wide range of opinions. I have had to keep reminding myself of the guided instructions I received in 2012 which told me I needed to sell the house and 40 acres my late husband and I had homesteaded. The words I was given through a psychic medium were (1) “You need to be more of who you are.” And (2) “You need to return to the fray of civilization.” All I could do was cry at these pronouncements.

I did not realize that the return to the ‘fray’ would replicate life with my first husband in the military housing units of 35 families per building in Frankfurt a Mein or the duplex living on Ft Leavenworth Penitentiary Base in Kansas. Drama and restrictions abounded at those two Army stations.

So how am I adjusting? Sometimes with sheer grit overlaid with a mental moment-to-moment gratitude list that includes the roof over my head, the airiness and light of my rooms, and having some modern conveniences. I am learning to make the inside of this space my sanctuary with implementing Feng Shui principles, spritzing the air with positive flower essences, and creating different corners for the purpose of following my interests. There is a comfy reading corner, a sewing corner, a morning writing space, an area devoted to my novel project. This defining what I love and making special centers helps my mind make a transition from the everyday and supports focus on each one.

I am also learning more about boundary setting and how to say ‘no’ instead of volunteering too much.

Most of all I am following my mother’s last coherent words in response to my question of how she was holding up after eight years in a skilled nursing facility. She shrugged in her wheelchair, “I am just having to adjust to what is and deciding each day to be happy.”

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