2017 was a year full of transition, learning and disequilibrium for me. Maybe all years are like that, but I set about to shift my world and the world of those around me, with intention. I knew Mom and Dad were moving in, and wanted to have my “house in order” for their arrival. It meant logistics and navigation with my siblings, but it also meant my relationships with those people I was already living with: my Man, Mark, (referred to henceforth and forever forward as Mymanmark. Being 53 and saying boyfriend belittles his role in my life, but hell, if Oprah refers to Stedman as honeygram on Twitter, who knows?), and my daughter Emily, henceforth and forever forward to be referred to as Emilita. More later.
So, you get ready. You prepare. And you do it. But you cannot prepare for everything, and it will challenge you in ways that both call you on your shit and stand you in your “stand for” full power.
I don’t know why caregiving in our culture is like a footnote or afterthought to our lives. It’s only heard talked about as that thing people are doing in between or outside of that thing we’re really doing, like the job, marriage, community, etc.
What I knew as a parent of young children was that it is the thing that our lives revolve around, but we spend so much time acting like it isn’t. I managed to fit things in around it for fulfillment, joy, financial wellbeing, but I often felt less than or playing catch up in those days.
Now that I’m a grown-ass woman, henceforth and forever forward to be referred to as Miss Jeff, at least my my parents, a nickname long forgotten, but that sounds so similar to Mischief that it pleases me and and I’m gonna let it stand. Now that I’m grown, 2017 gave me all the feels necessary to undertake this undertaking with intention, and also to poke holes in my oft-lament, “How hard can it be?”
The answer, BTW, is not hard and the hardest. These people need help they don’t want and want help I wasn’t prepared for, and I love the idea of them, and the real of them is messy.
Dang, the Goddess, tho, in 2017! What I thought was a relationship course (Terri Cole) was a daughtering course. What I thought was a direct sales network (Freedom Family) was an extreme sisterhood tribe, and what I thought was a class to get my post-menopausal sexy back (Mastery) was a Earthling toolbox for the next ten years!
At the solstice and New Moon of the year, I felt a physical tectonic shift in my world. #oprahsbeenstretching
As I stretch with John and Mary and Peter (and Mymanmark), I’ve been excavating, composting, and replanting what my life is and can be in all ways. As yoga was devised as a physical practice to allow the human body to be at prayer for long periods, I am seeing my life right now* as a way to be be in prayer for long periods. Like throwing an egg on it. What would it take to make this trip to the pharmacy more like a prayer? This leftover Chinese food more pleasurable? And to leave people alone if they don’t want to come with me on this.
*Right now being immediately after exercise class with my feet up, rested and fed in this Wednesday morning right here after the cold snap broke.
Emilita can keep her childhood nickname, just like I can. She decided to go on her own adventure to Providence while she is in love and feeling her way. I release what it looks like to others. I know and believe in her.
The very day I did the exercise of looking back on the year, I pulled a card from my Steampunk Tarot deck. Mischief she is in the description. Jumped into the shower, went to my Rotary Club meeting, and learned that I will be the Centennial President due to unforeseen circumstances. Do you see a resemblance in the photo?