One Year Later
Thanks to my dear friend and fellow writer Richard F for the encouragement to write about where I am one year later, as it’s been that long since I’ve written. Without those who care to remind me of what’s really important, I’d be even more lost than I currently feel.
Taking a full time job (45 hours/week average), commuting time, homework with my 7th grader (who will make it to 8th grade despite my absences and interventions), food shopping, cooking and cleaning, paying bills, getting to meetings and therapy, break-ups and make-ups, doctor appointments and health concerns, traveling, cars and trucks and ATVs…it’s a full life! And I really am grateful for these “luxury” problems. But..as a single parent, without someone to talk to and share these daily concerns, I feel truly alone. And overwhelmed. Sad and grateful, lonely despite too much input, happy to be learning more about myself and often upset about what I learn. I’m also finding that my new self description of being single instead of being a widow brings a set of issues I haven’t considered for decades. And that I really sucked at them 25+ years ago too. This part of the journey isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be. Because all of this stuff going on means I’M GROWING. Although it’s quite uncomfortable at times, and gloriously fulfilling at others, at the root of it all is that change, while the only fact of life that’s consistent (as those damn happy self-help gurus profess) is still pretty difficult to live with.
So I’m here to report and to check on my own progress. Because it is progress even if it doesn’t feel like it. My more than full time job has taught me that I am still teachable, and that the structure of a job and being around people is something I love, maybe even require. Plus it’s had some really great benefits: travel to Brazil, working closely with someone I admire and respect and financial rewards. Commuting, awareness that I expect way more of myself than anyone else does (yes, I know I’ve heard this from lots of you but now I get it myself), lack of mental energy for my family and financial rewards are the downside of this job as well. Because how can you give up those financial rewards to spend more time with your family, travel, garden, read, have spa days and just be more free? Just be?
These are the questions that I’m encountering, some of them not for the first or even the 12th time. So my search for love, happiness and fulfillment continue. The knowledge that I’m not alone keeps me going. And having written this little essay brings the realization that the practice of writing helps me stay in touch with what’s inside, and what really matters to me. It isn’t perfectly written, and I will not proofread it again, because life is imperfect, just like me.
In conclusion: My 83 year old Aunt Mary from Pennsylvania just called to give me some information which I think just might be the answer to most, if not all of my life’s issues. Duct Tape. Gonna give it a try.