First, my own decision to become thinner and healthier. It's something I need and want to do and will result in a very positive outcome, but it seems like such a lot of work, a big goal that is daunting at times. I'm also aching to make some home renovations, the castle needs a major overhaul in some areas and I want to leap in headfirst and tear it all apart yet I know that for my own mental, physical and financial wellbeing I have to go slowly, one step at a time.
Next, as I've already written, Lily graduated from high school and is going to college. She had a particularly rough senior year, fraught with emotional upheaval, we both couldn't wait for it to end. There were weeks at a time when she would text me from class saying she couldn't stay there another minute, she was going to leave, quit school and get her GED, it was that bad. At those moments I would text her back and remind her of the movie Finding Nemo, told her over & over again to Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming. She was strong and smart, she could get through this! And she did, and I'm so proud of her! (I wasn't thrilled about the tattoo she got to commemorate the event, but I am honored that she named the turtle after me, and that the sentiment will live on for future trials & tribulations) She's attending a local school right now, about 40 minutes away, and will be staying home this first semester so no big changes, yet. Next semester she plans to stay on campus so that she can achieve the whole "college experience." I am proud, of course, and I want her to be & do all that she possibly can...but I'm scared. And I'll miss her. This letting go thing is so hard for a mom. sigh.
Third, as of yesterday Kali has moved from our city where, other than a brief time in college upstate, she has lived for her entire life. For the past year she's been 10 minutes away from me; we could visit at a moment's notice, she could come for dinner or a "doggy bag" anytime she wanted. Now, this is so silly because she'll only be half an hour north of me now, but...I'll miss her. I don't go to her neighborhood very often, it will require more thought. She feels further away, maybe because she, too, is moving on with her own adult life. She's started a new job, settling into married life, planning her future. All good, exciting stuff yet..again, changes.
Lastly, Bambi started her senior year of high school last week, on my birthday. I stood there hugging her goodbye, crying like a fool, realizing that this will be the last first-day-of-school I'll ever have! This is it. No more holding her hand and walking her to the classroom, those days are long gone. Now she hops in her car and drives herself to school. In a few short months she, too, will follow the path of her sisters and heading off to college and her adult life.
I guess I feel like I'm sitting here in the background watching them fly away from the nest little by little, testing their wings..falling sometimes, picking themselves up and trying again. It's heartwrenching for this mama bird. All I want to do is scooop them up and carry them back to their childhood rooms, tuck them in with milk & cookies and a story before they drift off to sleep..safe & sound here where I can protect them.
The real world is a scary place, at least for me as I watch my babies head out there and become part of it...one exciting yet terrifying step at a time...
Daily Om: Gains In Losses
Making Space For Change
We want certain things to change in our lives, but we fear changes that we don't want. Sometimes we fear changes that we do want, because the familiar is more comfortable than the visionary, and because life is a three-dimensional, interconnected puzzle; if you change one thing, everything else shifts, too, often in unpredictable ways. We may stay in a relationship or a work situation that is not exactly right for us out of fear of losing what we like about it. And yet, if we do hold on, we will never create space for what we truly want to enter. There is an inescapable connection between getting what we want and losing what we have, and this fact can keep us in a holding pattern.
It helps to remember that, regardless of our conscious intent, life is by its nature a series of gains and losses. Change is the rule. For example, as we grow older, we lose our youth, but we gain experience and wisdom. When we enter into a relationship, we lose a certain degree of freedom, but we gain intimacy and connection. If we focus too much on what we are losing, and fail to celebrate the growth and opportunity that change brings, we run the risk of missing out on our lives as they are happening. Balance entails a bittersweet combination of honoring and releasing the old and welcoming the new with open hands.
Once we acknowledge that getting what we want means letting go of certain things we're attached to, we can move forward more consciously. Allow yourself the time and space to honor your life as it is before you initiate changes. When you decide to let someone or something go, or vice versa, consciously recognize the passing. Facing the losses in our lives head-on, allowing ourselves to feel the difficult emotions loss inspires, ultimately empowers us and frees us to fully embrace the new.
The more we practice accepting loss, letting go, and releasing, the better we will get. And the more we align ourselves with the natural energies of change, the more we can consciously harness that energy to work magic in our lives.