Saturday, December 28, 2013

The InBetween

christmas, with all its glitz and glamor and excitement, has passed in a flash.  the paper has been torn and recycled, the tree is nearing its inevitable end and the lights don’t seem to shine with quite the same intensity as each day stacks up on top of the previous one.

 the new year, with its promise and possibility of things to come, is not here yet.  soon, yes… but in the meantime we are blessed with a whole week to navigate the transition. 

 so i am sitting here, in this in-between, and wondering.  about the ways i could have made better use of the precious time that was gifted to me this year.  ways i could have made wiser choices, shown more compassion or taken better advantage of opportunities.  these are fleeting thoughts though, because i am not about regret.  only so far as it can point me to a better future.

and i do feel very much in transition.  some of the pursuits i have been involved in have stopped or will be stopping soon. the events of the last couple of months have taken their toll and i’m not yet back to functioning with full capacity, creativity and confidence.  i still don’t have use of my studio (it’s complicated…)

i’m choosing to view this as an opportunity.  things have been slowly inching back to “normal” around here and, believe me, i have a new appreciation for life that is simply normal and ordinary.  the future is wide open.  i feel poised, on the brink of something, but don’t yet know what it is.  scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

i haven’t even been able to settle on a new “word of the year”.  while other years, an appropriate word pretty much landed on my outstretched wings and i took off with it, this year is different.  lots of uncertainty, lots of questions.

so i move forward…. beyond the in-between and into the unknown.  one foot planted firmly on the ground and the other outstretched..  pursuing the things i love, day by day, and trusting that it will fall into a pattern that makes sense.  grateful for the lessons of the year and ready for the new ones.  2014 – bring it on!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finding Joy

well, it’s no secret by now that i have been facing a series of challenges lately.  it began in october with the demise of the retreats.  that hit me hard… both personally and creatively and left me wondering what direction i should be going in. 

The ugly reality

 next was the finding of termites and mold in my little studio.  it has been partially torn down and the contents and furniture piled haphazardly in the house, making it hugely challenging to stay organized, not to mention produce any real pieces of art. the re-building will be time-consuming and expensive. 

Leaving the hospital after 13 days

The happy reunion

  then on November 20th, life REALLY changed, when i became the full-time caregiver for my husband, who had double knee replacement surgery.  man, was i clueless about what this would entail!  you see, as caregiver, not only do you have to attend to the care, comfort and convenience of the cared-for person, but there is the re-arranging of the house and furniture, equipment set-up, helping with daily tasks and therapy, meals, errands, appointments, icing, medication, communication with all interested parties, AND attending to all the tasks, duties and responsibilities that the cared-for person normally does by himself. 

the sad truth is that i was so blindsided about the ways my own life had been suddenly and negatively impacted that i wasn’t always a very cheerful and effective caregiver.  i wasn’t coming from a place of strength.  i struggled through each day, doing the tasks at hand, feeling depressed and disorganized.  not the best cheerleader for a person needing hope and encouragement. 8=(

New reading

i’m not here to tell you that i now have the secret and everything is hunky-dory.  it’s still a daily challenge.  the progress is very slow and sometimes frustrating.  my life continues to feel limited and chaotic, especially trying to deal with the holidays on top of everything else.  but i have managed to re-institute some of my little personal practices.  i am actively seeking out small moments of joy and it’s helping.

 the days have been so beautiful and it just takes a moment to notice that.  i am now responsible for long, daily dog walks and i’m actively trying to find the joy in that.  friends have been so supportive and that’s a beautiful thing.  and the holidays?  they do have so much joy if you are open to it. 

we all know in theory that adversity is our greatest teacher. in the midst of it, i find it difficult to be the student, but afterwards i am open to reflecting and exploring and i know i have many things yet to learn.