Mushrooms, Deadlines, and Other Facts of Life

Hi there, it’s been a while. I feel like my blog posts get fewer and further between. I don’t like that! I enjoy blogging, sharing my little part of the world. I also enjoy reading blogs. Luckily, I have been mostly keeping up with that. I don’t like to speed through the blogs I follow, just “liking” to be “liking,” or “liking” in the hopes that someone will then “like” mine. So, sometimes it takes me a while to get around to reading a post, but that’s only because I want to give it my full attention. 
But that’s not what I’m writing about today. Today I wanted to share what I’ve been doing and also share why today is a special day for me. 

I finished a writing deadline that consisted of four articles on four different subjects for two different magazines. Yeah, I stretched way out of my comfort zone again, just like last time. I love writing articles on a variety of subjects. I love the research involved. I love the things that I learn and the people that I meet. I even (should I dare say this?) love a deadline. Even though they’re stressful. Very stressful. A deadline gives me direction, discipline, and motivation. A deadline gives me something to work toward. When I have a writing deadline, I am up at 6:00 am, and I write/research until 6:00 pm. And usually much later. And I love it! With no deadline, I feel kinda lost. I still get up early, but I flounder. Why is that? 

I always break for lunch. I treat my writing life like a job, because well, it is a job! I write. I revise. I write some more. I get paid for my efforts.

I also take a walking break, but I consider that still working. When I walk my mind is sharpened, my body is exercised, and my spirit is renewed. On these walks I notice trees, wildlife, flowers, streams, rocks, clouds, and other forms of nature. The past couple of weeks (and finally rains!) have brought forth mushrooms. Lots and lots of mushrooms, and a wide variety of these magical, mysterious treasures. I think mushrooms are every bit as beautiful as flowers, but I know many won’t share my views on that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So writing and walking and reading and observing nature. That’s what has kept me busy lately.
I mentioned today is a special day for me. It’s not special in a big celebratory kind of way. It’s a special day of remembrance, which I do celebrate. Quietly. My sister Reco would have been 54 years old today. She was the sister right above me. I have two other older sisters. (Yes, I’m the baby.) When Reco died in 2007, it nearly destroyed me. It certainly devastated me. I know there’s a lot of talk about grief, suffering, and death on this site. I consider it a major part of life. You know what Morrison said: No one here gets out alive. We might as well talk about it and get real comfortable with it.

This day for me is no longer sad, though. I remember all of the happy times. The funny times. The tender times. That time she saved my life; that’s the day she become my hero. I’ll tell that story, too. Someday. 

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For today, I just want to remember all of the good times we shared as young girls and as adults. She probably taught me as much as anyone about how to live for the day, in the moment. You can read a bit more about Reco (her real name was Cyretha) here.

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I’m going out for a walk. Enjoy your day. If you’re breathing, it’s a special one. 

Mushrooms, Deadlines, Life, and Death…Oh, what a crazybeautiful life we live.

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17 thoughts on “Mushrooms, Deadlines, and Other Facts of Life

  1. Beautiful photos of mushrooms and important words about death. If more people would talk about it (and what comes after) there would be less fear of death. American seem to believe that not everyone faces that last day on earth. Thanks for this post.

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  2. Great post Cheryl! The western world is alone in seeing death as a failure – the rest of the world has a way healthier viewpoint. I’m of the opinion, formed from a life living intimately with loss, that those who fear, feel sorry for the departed one and shy away from the experience miss out on so much. It is also only western material scientists who refuse to admit to any validity in, for example NDE’s and who cling to their outdated concept that consciousness is made by the brain despite indisputable proof to the contrary. But I have digressed far off piste!

    Those mushrooms are a little wonder of nature aren’t they – you have such a wonderful variety growing where you are.. I wouldn’t pick a bunch to display in a vase, but I do like to stop and admire them 🙂 I was struck by your sister’s name Reco, wondering what it was short for, and then you gave her real name which is even more unusual and beautiful. It is always so hard when we lose a sibling, especially a much admired and loved one. It somehow goes against the grain doesn’t it. I am glad though that today you remember her with love and joy – and mushrooms.

    There is so much in this post – I am like you with deadlines. I think I have a certain addiction to that rush of terror that I might not make it and therefore I work more intensively in order to meet it. No deadline finds me floundering away, doing other things, getting distracted and generally being fairly unproductive – the minute that deadline is introduced KAPOW I’m on it!! Crazy huh!!

    I’m going off now to read more about your sister. Have a wonderful day. My walks currently are full of the joy of finding the first signs of spring – daffodils have just joined the early cheers and wild cherry blossoms. The elms and chestnuts have fat pods at the end of their branchlets, just bursting with incipient life……… xoxo

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    1. Pauline, I am so happy you are seeing daffodils! Spring is such a promising time. I am preparing and eagerly awaiting Autumn and the leavetaking of mosquitoes. Spring and Autumn are my favorite seasons.
      I’m not sure where Reco’s nickname came from, unless Cyretha was just too big for a little girl? 🙂 It is a beautiful name. She was a beautiful person.

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  3. In a way similar yet different from your last post about your childhood home, your words have moved me further into both my past and present. Your words about your sister bring to mind one of my cousins in Oslo who died suddenly at age 29. I flew to Oslo for his funeral, and I will never forget the horrible feeling of imagining him, without life, inside the coffin. And I think of the childhood friend who, in our mid twenties, was probably the first one to talk to me about his experiences in psychotherapy, and then months later he committed suicide. In retrospect, perhaps I took so long to be able to be open about the reality of death because it was too real to me. I admire your inner strength and openness to life and death, and I absolutely relate to your routine of writing and walking and reading and observing nature (I am not so adept at the last one, although I love walking in forests and being on the water, although I was afraid of it as a child). And yes, what a crazybeautiful life we live.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not at all. You said, “I took so long to be able to be open about the reality of death because it was too real to me.” That made me think more about times when I know the reality of something yet still can’t understand, comprehend, or grasp it, because of my proximity to it. It’s only after some distance that it all begins to make sense. That applies to death, politics, religion, life, just about everything. Your comments are always thoughtful and welcome. Thank you.

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  4. An enjoyable post, despite the sadness. Great fungus pictures – lovely variety of shapes. Congratulations on the writing. I am sorry about your sister – so young – but I’m pleased she stays with you. (My younger brother died 4 years ago in October – his small image is on my screen)

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  5. I’m sorry for the loss of your sister Cheryl, but glad that you can think of the good memories you had together. You have some amazing fungi – I do love them and think of them as flowers of the autumn. It’s good to be able to take a walking break from writing so hard!

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