What day is it? What time is it?
Answers revealed within.
My late husband Joe and I each had siblings ten years older than ourselves who lived a distance from our Asheville residence. His sister lived in upstate New York and my brother in Cleveland. Sometime around 2015, when life was teaching us that no one lives forever, we made several decisions. One was to take that extended road trip we’d been talking about for almost ten years. A second was to visit our elder family members each year until… well, until we couldn’t.
Joe’s sister was already displaying dementia symptoms, and each year the condition became more evident. Jeanne couldn’t really get the concept that we were traveling full time and didn’t have a permanent home. But she knew we were going somewhere other than home when we left her.
The daily conversation would go something like this:
Jeanne: What day is it?
Joe: (Whatever day it was.)
Jeanne: Are you leaving today?
Joe: (He’d tell her when we were leaving.)
Jeanne: Where are you going after this?
Jeanne, nodding: Do you know someone there?
Joe: Yes, Shelley’s brother lives there.
That seemed to satisfy her… for five to ten minutes. Then she’d ask the same questions again.
I called it her “loop.” There was general conversation in-between and Joe would tease her, as brothers do to sisters, and she’d laugh as they remembered events of the past together.
Then she’d get quiet and we’d lose her to her thoughts. After a while she’d look at us again, as if seeing us for the first time in the day.
“What day is it?” she’d ask.
Since that particular question is one that comes up frequently for people not on schedules that adhere to calendar order, Joe and I began to notice how often we’d ask it of each other. It was usually followed by a short laugh and a general cautionary acknowledgement of advancing age before we shrugged it off.
With our career backgrounds in the deadline-driven industries of advertising and publishing, we were thrilled to be relieved of the pressures of having to be somewhere or do something at a particular time on a specific day. We relished the feeling of freedom that could only be compared to how, as children, we felt on the last day of a school year, when we knew that now we could play with our friends and do fun things all summer long.
We may have been able to reduce the repressive structures of day and time, but nothing really can lessen the effects of seasonal change. Even in geographical areas with little seasonal change in climate, there is a shift in light that stimulates the awareness of transition, a sense that something new is on the way. The daylight hours grow shorter (or longer) and where and when the light hits a certain spot in your home will shift due to Earth’s movement around the sun.
Just as summer is associated with school-year end, vacations, and leisure activity, fall signals “new year” starts of school, leaves changing color, and preparation for the winter hibernation months.
It’s hard to describe the feeling that comes with the first cool breeze paired with the sound of dry leaves being scattered on the ground. Or how the light entering your bedroom window now awakens you at seven o’clock, rather than at six in the morning. But it’s a sensation that everyone innately feels, whether you are conscious of it or not. Your body knows that shift is taking place. It’s a built-in signal we come to recognize with age.
Joe and I took our family visits in the late summer and fall, capitalizing on the best weather seasons in those northern U.S. locations. That’s one pleasant association I have with this time of year, tinged now with sadness that there’s no longer a family reason to make that trip.
The other great damper on my instinctual love of fall and new beginnings is the memory of Fall 2020 when I watched the love of my life transition from form to spirit in three short months. The following year, Fall 2021, was particularly brutal and my angst of the approaching season began in August.
The second year was difficult for me, but in a more distanced way—similar to the movement of Earth away from the sun. I felt deep sadness, but something urged me to shift my viewpoint, to recognize that the inevitable cycles of life are there for a reason.
Now as I approach year three since Joe’s transition, I’m once again triggered, but in a different way. It began unconsciously for me last month when I felt a deep need to pull back from outside influences entirely. I needed time to go within for all my answers—time to integrate, embody, or reject the lessons I’d been absorbing.
It’s interesting how achingly beautiful your inner voice can be. I’m referring to the voice of your soul, your true voice—not the admonitions of the egoic, critical mind.
How can you tell the difference? It’s easy, really. Your soul will never criticize; it knows only the loving messages of your heart. That’s the voice you can trust.
When you’re quiet, when you shut down distractions, your soul speaks up. Suddenly you can see, hear, and understand everything. No, it doesn’t happen overnight, or even in the one month’s time I gave myself. But your path and life’s intended journey emerge, beckoning you to take one small step at a time.
It’s not a search. It’s an uncovering of what you always knew to be true, but forgot or were dissuaded from by convention.
I walked the dividing line on my soul’s path for a long time, reluctant or afraid to step too far astray from mainstream acceptance. Many things since 2016 (a year of collective and personal upheaval) taught me that placating people whose limited viewpoints I neither agreed with nor valued was a useless waste of everyone’s time. Expressing what is true and authentic for me was the impetus for starting this publication.
In the beginning, I was working up the courage to delicately present my unconventional (by mainstream cultural standards) beliefs. And I took on the project with the systematic approach I learned and practiced in my 40+ years in publishing. I selected days to release my writing and targeted subject areas. I wasn’t always successful in maintaining my schedules, but I had them in place.
My month of inner work helped me see the faulty logic of the system I created. I had been feeling guilt, shame, and “less than” recently as each week created a new struggle for me to make my deadline and be entertaining or at least informative in my posts. It almost stopped being fun and started to feel like work.
I could have ended publishing Shelley Writes at any time, but every time the thought popped up, I knew that wasn’t the answer. So what was?
Having a system that restricted me, even a system of my own design, was suffocating my creativity. I realized that system was not really of my own design at all. It was borne out of my time in an industry that reflects the very tenets of a didactic structure I rejected long ago. And yet it was so ingrained in my operating system that the dictatorial “voices” were emanating from me, echoing the rules of the game that I’d been taught.
I’m done with that. Beginning this week, I am aiming at one transmission per week. I’m not designating a release day or specific topic. The new publication is titled Today. Welcome to the first issue!
Why Today? Well, because it’s always today, just like it’s always now. Those are the answers to the burning questions posed in the title of this first issue.
I’m going to trust that the topic and day to write and release future issues will be governed by my intuitive sense of timing. I am listening to my inner calendar, clock, and Muse (editorial director). So whatever day Today is delivered and whatever message it brings will be the one that’s needed. Who decides that? Our collective guides inform my Muse.
What I’ve been “told” so far is that the messages will continue to be in similar formats: Tarot/Oracle readings as well as the personal essay style of TGIF.
Today will remain a free option for subscribers or for reading on the website. Paid subscriptions are highly valued and appreciated as they truly support the mission of the publication.
A perk for paid subscribers
I am writing a book, a memoir. Yes, early subscribers will remember I released the Preface a while back. I wrote several chapters, but hit a temporary dwindling of direction and put the work aside until I had more clarity. In June of this year, I had an experience on Fort Lauderdale beach at sunrise that reconnected me to the reason for the book and delivered the last chapter as well as a date for the Epilogue, which will be delivered June 2024. Now all I have to write is the middle. Everything should come together for a late Fall 2024 publication.
The book, tentatively titled No Ordinary Joe: Conversations with My Husband Before & After Death, will reveal the timely life messages Joe has shared with me during his transition and beyond.
I will periodically release excerpts from the book to paid subscribers. These advanced previews will not be made public in this publication or anywhere else other than the private mailings to paid subscribers. This is my humble way of thanking supporters for their faith and continued backing of my work.
In the event you have an interest in receiving these excerpts pre-release of the book and cannot invest in a paid subscription, please contact me and I will extend a complementary paid subscription to you.
I will re-release an updated Preface to paid subscribers in a few weeks, followed by periodic excerpts as I write and edit (perhaps with your feedback) until the release of the book next year. I am grateful for your support.
Spiritual Fusions Psychic & Holistic Fair: Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC. November 4–5
Intuitive Energy Readings: I use divination tools, my intuition, and energy (chakra) clearing in readings. Sessions are held via Zoom on Tuesdays and Fridays. Learn more about the process or book a session here.
Until next time… my best, Shelley