April 14, 2016
For many, many years, my mother called me at the minute of my birth (very early in the morning) almost every year on April 14th.
"Certain kinds of intimacy emerge on a phone call that might never occur if you were sitting right next to the other person." ~ Errol Morris
And every April 14th for over a decade, I still feel a tingle of anticipation for that call. This, more than anything, is how I know that time is relative (sorry, Albert Einstein, I really gave it my best shot in physics classes, but I’m more about people). I don’t think I still expect that call as much as I long for it, but it seems like a blink since I last got one. I really hope I appreciated them when they did come.
So this morning, I have out the Bible she gave me right before she died. She put several small, inspirational cards in it. Each one with her handwritten message, “Always remember, I love you. Mom.” I don’t need the cards for that, but I love them even though they have never once failed to make me cry so I’ve actually avoided them a few times. I also have a note she wrote to me when I was in my late teens. It says, in part, “And always remember that you can always come home.”
Not so much, Mom. Not so much.
I'll enjoy the day. It's my choice.
And besides thinking about my mom (I have a thousand jumbled thoughts there, but can’t sort them out well today), I don’t have too much else on this, the beginning of my 55th year.
All that comes to mind, right this minute? Clichés and memes. The clichés are in the genre of “how did I get this old when I still feel like I’m 25?” contrasted sharply by the “I’m old enough to not give a shit” memes that are cards in a slow deal in my imagination.
I do own and proudly display this large metal wall "art".
I do give a shit. But also, I don’t. And if your a woman my age who devoted most of her life to family, you know exactly what I mean.
But if you can't forget your age, for goodness sakes, live your life anyway!
When I can force my thinking past all that, I am tightly wound with raw emotion: about the stark changes in this past year; in gratitude for Blessings in my life; for the sadness of loss on my path; for the joys that I experience every day.
It's ridiculous to say we don't care what other people think, but I say it all the time. What I really mean is this: while I do care what others think, I do not care if they make judgements about me without knowing me. I don't care what they hear about me from others. I don't care what they say about me. I DO care that I not hurt them, retailiate, or seek revenge. I care that I am steadfast in doing my best and I hope that the people I care about and want in my life take the time to know and remember that.
Retirement wasn’t easy, but it’s wonderful. I love my sweet Lily so much I can’t catch my breath when I think of it. I miss my parents. I miss Rudy. And Susie. I love my sons and husband and family and friends so much that sometimes I feel like I’m losing myself. And I’m ok with that. I also love “the collective” of us. I love making things. See? My thoughts just jump around. I don’t think I have anything new to add to “What I’ve Learned, Not Much, but…”, written two years ago.
So, I’ll say this: My new year begins today. And here are my resolutions: I will take care of myself the best I can.
I will show love every chance I get: to my husband, my sons, my grand-daughter, my sisters, my family, in-laws, my friends, my neighbors. And also to: strangers, shop-keepers, clerks, fellow drivers, and yes, even rude people.
We are saved by love (and probably more so by giving than receiving).
I will stay vigilant about not taking offense to or taking personally the actions of other people.
I will not be about expectations, but rather engage positively in what is.
I will not make snap judgments.
I will look for the good.
I will try not to wallow in, give in to, or spiral downward with the dark thoughts; but, I’m not going to fight them so hard either.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”
And I will make art.
Sometimes, not so quietly.
"Be yourself, not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be." Spoken by the character of Thoreau in the 1970 play, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Robert Edwin Lee and Jerome Lawrence.
Today, that’s what I’ve got.
And not in the “my idea of what I think somebody else’s idea of me should be” either.
You're heart is gonna break. Into a million pieces some times. Go all in anyway. No matter what.
... ... ...That’s how the light gets in...
Make something ~ anything ~ tangible or intangible ~ every day.
Create.Because, what’s the opposite of that?
Don't spend too much time pondering the improbabilities ~ some things just are.
It doesn’t always matter “why?”
Gratitude changes everything
This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24
Sometimes, you gotta stay up all night to clear your head and settle your soul.
Don't let naysayers and obstacles stop you.
Mistake are part of learning. And learning is good.
Put it out there, whatever it is. If people don't understand, well maybe that's on them. And maybe it doesn't matter.
Your authentic self is your best self.
If you are reading this, it is because I care about you ~ not just because we happen to be friends in the social media realm ~ we are friends because you ~ your life on planet earth in the same space and time as I am here, matters to me. And just being, on your part, has made an impact on me for the good.
I wish for you what I wish for myself: the fortitude and grit to roll with the hard times and the softest of hearts (no matter how many broken little pieces it's in) to experience joy.PS: I further resolve that: I am going to visit my Aunt Thelma and my cousin-friend (and often kindred spirit) Travis Williams and his mom, another cousin-friend, Linda. And other friends and relatives, too - but, these dear ones have been in my thoughts and plans for too long not to do something about it! (Aunt Barbara, Betty, Brenda, and KK, you are all on this resolution plan list, too!) PPS: And, I’m going to have lunch or coffee or dinner or see a movie with my friends more often - friends like Jane and Vicki and Sharon and Canitha and many more. I have the will so there will be ways. (And I might take some classes, but I don’t want to overload myself!)
Wife, mom, GranKat, sister, aunt, friend, cousin, niece, dog-lover, artist, writer, cook, mentor, advocate, spiritually minded, media specialist, photographer,... speaker, graphic designer, amateur musician, budding film maker, hobby-dabbler, geek, traveler, movie-watcher, theater-goer, memory-maker, seeker, skirt-wearer.