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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Further Along... "How Very Taoistic of You Miss Sherri" or "How I'm Learning to Turn Off the Noise in my Mind"

I am back from vacation and back with a full caseload at work. Our beach vacation was much needed and enjoyed. It was wonderful to have so much undivided time with Patty. Other than going for several long walks that she was not up to, we were totally together without any of our regular responsibilities.

This was the longest period that Patty and I have lived together publically. That may surprise some of you but I have been very sensitive to Patty's needs to adjust to the changes in the seasons of our life together. It's not all about me. Sometimes it feels that way, but it is about us. It was so good for her to finally see me in so many very different public social situations, without the context of "gender issue" and just being me, having a normal time with people treating me as any other woman. She was so much more comfortable with where I am at in my transition than before. I'm very thankful.

We came home the following Monday.  That Wednesday, I played golf with my friend Janet. We played at a course she hadn't played forever and it was my first time at that course. I was hoping to show her how much I have improved, but of course that didn't happen! It seemed like a very easy course compared to where I play, but the fairways weren't forgiving in terms of the width of each hole and there were several challenging water hazards. Well, it wasn't pretty but I did chip a very long shot with her chipper that I sunk, which was way cool! My putting wasn't quite up to my usual level and that is the one real strength I have in golf. However, as ususal we had a nice visit and fun playing. I don't have many friends who have known me since I was 18.

On Thursday, I went back to work and then had my normal weekend time off. That was a nice way to ease back into my work.

On Friday, Patty went on an overnight trip to be with her intentional community. When I came home from work, I did not turn on the TV, radio, nor did I put on music. I had a nice quiet evening, went to bed at a reasonable hour and slept well.

When I got up on Saturday it was about an hour later than I had wanted to sleep. Again, I just didn't turn on anything and again enjoyed the peaceful quietness of the home I have spent 28 years of my life altogether.

I got so much done! I started to do household chores and totally cleaned the bathroom, did all the dishes, did two loads of laundry, folded and put away. I also got the grocery shopping done and made Patty a nice Mediterranian Seafood Fettucine. I couldn't get the scallops I normally use so I substituted lump crap meat and had the shrimp with it too as I usually do. If any of you want this recipie, just let me know. Simple, easy to make, delightful and wonderful on a very hot summer evening as it is served cool. Patty was pleased and the rest of our weekend was relaxing.

I was talking with my therapist Dana and I told her that I was feeling stuck in the last stagees of my transition. But I also told her it only seemed that way to me because I haven't figured out exactly how to inform my employer and it scares me because I've worried about doing it for unselfish reasons. I have gotten so much accomplished in reality, E=M*C squared, and all that time and relativity stuff, you know. I did, however, make a decision that I think will be helpful in all of this and have decided to make an appointment to talk to the governing board of my profession and inform them of my intentions in person. I want them to be aware that I have a professional life in both genders at this time. More of my process of transition has turned out happily than unhappily.

I think that is because something beneficial to my well being occurred earlier this year. My intentional community observes a period of abstaining from something pleasurable for a period of time that is not insignificant. This year was the first time I had decided to observe this period and was successful in completing it. I abstained from having the radio on or listen to anything else while I was driving, which is at least an hour and sometimes much more each day. It was an opportunity to be quiet for an extended period of time. It allowed me to be more mindful, in the moment and also to be more contemplative. Soon after I began this practice of discipline I discovered that I actually felt better, calmer and more centered. I felt in balance.

So I began to do this again last week on several occasions and found that once again I felt more serene than I ususally do on my way to and from work.This is what led me to extend this practice to other times in my day. Over the past week again I have come home and kept the media circus turned off. Patty and I talk more and I am feeling very positive about this.

I have been more able to see options as opposed to fighting to find the one right answer to any given situation.

As it is written in the chinese book The Tao Te Ching (The Book of Changes), the softest substance in the world overcomes the hardest; water wears away stone. Adopting a more mindful and more contemplative life is a good way to become more receptive to  more options to choose from. Fighting for that "one right solution" actually can become a barrier to progress.

Another result of seeking quiet and becoming more contemplative is to put away the book project I have been working on in favor of a new idea I had for a different book with a different audience in mind. It seems to be writing itself right now. I think this new project will help transsexuals in transition experience a higher quality of life during a very stressful life stage.

I am also changing my workshop and I think it will be better because I think it will engage more people to try a more contemplative approach not only to their transition, but also to their life in a holistic manner.

I hope to see many of you at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta near the end of September.

hugs, Sherri


  1. Your blog is very encouraging to me. i live in an area and am in a profession where i will have to move when i transition but it was good to be reminded that none of us have an easy journey. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  2. I need quiet, always have. The TV on the wall above my desk is rarely on. But, lately I have allowed the noise of FB to overpower my life. Perhaps because it is my connection with other people facing the same things I am facing. Anyway, I need a bit more quiet in my life too.