Becoming ~ Redux

It is a year on down the line and some things are clearer and some things not so much…..

I have had many small adventures, theatre, symphony and other cherished music.  Live performance is critical to my happiness.  I have spent much time with loved female friends and have talked to the dog and the cat at great length.  I have watched my son becoming, in a very real sense, the man he will always be while being intensely grateful he is my child.  His help and support this past year has made my life manageable as I swing madly from fierce to afraid and learn how to do things I have never had to do.

I have learned to clean the pool, I have learned to dispose of dead animal cat gifts, I have learned I cannot change the light bulbs in the kitchen or the air conditioning filter.  But I have found people to help me with what I cannot do and I accept that there is much I have to do.  All this has shifted my perspective about what my life will look like in the future, what I want to deal with and what I don’t or won’t.  BAM, everything changes.

I have understood love and I have not dated.  I have taught children about God and in the process found my faith stronger. I have begun a crooked walk towards possible retirement and the financial realities that I will face.  I have made music with people I love and in that creativity have found immense joy.

How odd to think that one morning I will wake up for the first time in about fifty years with no need to rise and go to someone else’s employ.  Probably the most exciting and the scariest thing I have ever contemplated.  If I can stay in the idea that this is a great opportunity and that wondrous things still await me at this late time in my life, it will be amazing.  And so I work on creating options, possible paths for myself, knowing that at any moment, BAM, a totally different path may appear.  Stay in the moment but plan….faith is the antidote to fear.

On Becoming September 2016

It is an odd thing, this life.  Just when you think things are settled and you feel as if you have a sense of knowing where it is all going, BAM it changes.  And even stranger, just when you feel as if you know who you are, BAM, you are shedding your behaviors, people and places like a snake shedding its skin.

I think being part of a couple gives you this odd sense of safety, of invisibility and of belonging.  No matter how difficult your relationship may be, you are not “single” in a world of doubles.  So what to do? Shed my “double” skin and set about discovering where I am in the world, in my life.

I was listening to public radio and heard a story about an amazing exhibit of Matisse and his various contemporaries, essentially his career, being brought to the art museum in Oklahoma City from Paris.  Without stopping to think about how odd that might sound, I made a reservation to go to Oklahoma City for the weekend.  I am, after all, single.  My son is a grown, sort of, man.  I can do whatever I want and could afford to do it.

And before I could get too scared, I went.  And I went all over, did many things, ate, listened to music, visited art, gardens and memorials, talked to strangers and had a great time.  People are curious about you when you go places by yourself, especially as a woman of a certain age, and that makes it easy to talk.

I have a most dear friend who, when I say I am afraid to do something, or can’t do something, says “remember who you are, you can do anything”.  What a wonderful thing to be reminded with love and admiration.   So it isn’t really about “becoming” it’s about “getting back” to the self you lost, suppressed, ignored, forgot about.  It is about doing the things you love, the things that bring you joy; it’s about rediscovering those things and the pleasure they bring.  Or as my brothers would say, it’s about getting your groove back.