Some highlights from our Christmas celebrations over the last few days:
Oh, what fun!
This makes me realize that our walls could use a new coat of paint. A few pictures on the wall wouldn’t hurt, either.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, family and friends.
Thank you to those of you who join me in this space. Thank you for your support during hard times and tough decisions. Thank you for being there for me, in real life and in this little online space. The best friends to have are those who embrace whomever we are, wherever we are. I grateful for you.
My Gemini horoscope for the year predicted 2012 would be a year of dramatic change for me. It said that I would reflect on all of my relationships, commitments, and beliefs, re-evaluate them, and make necessary shifts.
Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself! The horoscope was pretty accurate. While I am glad for what this year has brought me, I am ready for things to settle down. It has been an intense year filled with change and growth. I am looking forward to a year of contentment and having a bit of respite from all the hard work done this year. I feel like I am going through a rebirth, of healing old wounds, clearing out old gunk, and making room for a new life. There have been a series of significant events and people this year, all of which have lead up to what feels like a grand finale.
This year the greatest lessons I’ve learned are moderation and letting go. I have become more aware of my idealism and have learned to override it with logic more than in the past. I have learned moderation in my feelings and beliefs and practiced more critical analysis than I have in the past. I have become aware of my space and boundaries, where I am, and where I want others to be. I have learned let go, of fears, of control, and of heavy ideals. And lastly, I have learned to trust and accept help from others who are there for me.
I have been grateful for the wild ride of 2012, and I am ready to move to quieter times in the year to come. I am ready to cross the threshold. Welcome to a new year.
I learned about the Connecticut school shooting well after it happened, and I feel badly because I made two posts on here the day it happened; I would rather have been silent. I don’t watch the news unless I am at work, and I am no longer on Facebook. So it takes a while for bad news to come my way.
All weekend I spent tearing up or holding back tears. My heart is broken for the victims and their families. There are no words, just deep, intense sadness and grief. It hits so close to home, and I know it does for so many others, too.
There are so many good-hearted people in this world, far more than we can comprehend. There is so much more good than there is evil, and today I am thinking about that. One person can commit a heinous act, but thousands more will be there to help heal from it. Love always conquers.
Years ago, a wonderful therapist gave me a copy of this poem. It resonated with me, and I have kept that copy all of this time, although I didn’t quite understand it until now.
It is okay to be me. I am perfectly imperfect. I am an intricate part of a magnificent universe and I am as insignificant as I am significant. There is a place for me. Life moves forward, and I can move with it just as I am.
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Tears of relief run down my face. The key I’ve been searching for most of my life is in my hand, and I am about to unshackle the chains that have held me down for decades. How I found it, I am not sure. The best way to explain it is that I have been seeking and asking to be guided, and suddenly I find myself in this new and strange place.
This is the place: where it is okay to be exactly who I am. I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to bend over backwards to make everyone else’s life happy and perfect. I can let go of my ideals and be happy with “good enough”.
As a result, Mia will be going to school. Anna will be going to preschool.
This marks the end of nine wonderful, challenging, and fulfilling years of devoting myself completely to my children’s lives. From now on, I will be reaching out for help in raising my children. I will trust that my children will be cared for and nurtured in the way that they need. They will have other adults and children to enrich their lives. There will be a community for them, there will be opportunities that I cannot provide, there will be new relationships, and mostly, there will be space for me.
I will always be here for them; I am their home base. But I will no longer be their “everything”. And that brings a mixed bag of pain, relief, joy, and sorrow. All good things come to an end. Children grow up. Grown-ups grow up. The joys of my past will carry me; they will keep my heart warm and open for experiences and joys yet to come.