Monday, October 19, 2009

Letting go ...one day at a time...


I woke up this morning knowing I was not going to work today as I swallowed and realized I had a sore throat and my ears were plugged up. Was it a cold, allergies or did I have the dreaded swine flu? Regardless in an office where everyone is running around with disinfectant wipes and sprays ready to be unloaded on any unsuspecting soul who looks like they are stuck in a sneeze I knew I wasn't going to put myself in the situation of hiding out in my office all day until I was sure I wasn't sick and spreading unwanted germs throughout the germ phobic office. So I rolled over and went back to sleep while the rest of the world faced the Monday morning I have to get to work on time routine. I do admit I enjoyed the sleep in and felt no guilt as I awoke to sunshine and birds still singing mid morning.


If I had planned my sick day I couldn't have picked a better day. The temp here in Florida has dropped from 90 degrees to mid 60's. I ran around all day in my pajama's and enjoyed the fresh air minus the humidity and bugs. Threw open the double sliding glass doors that frame the living room and open up onto the screened in back porch. I love my back porch. I can sit on the swing or the white rocking chairs and look out over the backyard with the breeze blowing through the trees and bushes. The birds dive to the grass clippings as if playing suicide with the ground and then pull up and out spreading their wings as they glide on the currents of air that take them back up into the sky from whence they came. As I sit there watching out I am aware that the birds and other wild animal life are oblivious to my presence. The dark screen allows me to view them with almost stalking voyeurism. Blue birds, red birds, even a yellow something or other came to visit today.


My three dogs are sunbathing today. I tried to bring them in out of the yard to spend time with me on the couch watching a movie and they looked at me like I had lost my mind. Lucie (an all white Maltese) is perched upon her two story level dog house stretched out and belly facing up as she soaks up the suns rays. Patches ( a male black and white shitzu/Maltese mix) has flopped down in the middle of the yard for a nice lazy afternoon nap. He is so quiet I looked twice to make sure he was okay he is the yard guard dog usually barking at anything and I mean anything that dares to invade his territory and today not even the diving birds have his attention. He is relaxed and very quiet. Charlie (a very elderly all white Pekingese) too is very still. Charlie worries me when he is this quiet sleeping on his side as I tend to think the worst when he naps outside. I have to call just to make him move and reassure myself he is still breathing and with us. Charlie has a failing heart and has been on his death bed for 3 years now.

Not feeling well has given me a nice excuse to do nothing all day. A luxury that I rarely allow myself. Working full time and going to school usually means my to do list is full. Well actually my to do list has been full and overloaded for most of my life....it's only gotten shorter and in reality is as short as it has ever been.

I spent the day fighting urges to make myself catch up with housework or laundry or doing some research. It is as if the guilt sets in that I am actually doing NOTHING. Resting is a glamorous luxury that I rarely indulge it yet when I do it feels so luxurious. An over achiever workaholic like myself has a challenge to actually enJOY days like today. My mind wants to take me to the dark side with all sorts of criticisms and reasons why this behavior is nothing short of sinful.

I decided today to consciously let go of any of these thoughts as they came up. It seems to me that living alone with my own mind now allows me the privilege of enjoying my life rather than self abusing. It has become my conscious awareness that having survived a less than loving childhood and two marriages that now I can enjoy what is left of my life in loving peace. However, I need to retrain my brain one day at a time to let go of the brainwashing that has come along with all of the abuse.

Taking a day off to allow my body to heal itself is not laziness. I am not selfish or self centered for having no one in my life to think about at this moment. I feel abundantly blessed that when I am sick all I HAVE to do is get up and feed my pets. While it would be great if the pets could wait on me for a change I am just happy to not have anyone else to wait on and be able to be sick and enjoy my new home and surroundings. Having someone here who would have been concerned about me and waiting on me seems like the next step in my life however right now I am content and grateful to have time to just focus on myself. As I have discovered taking care of me is a full time job. Just letting go of guilt and negative thoughts keeps me busy...replacing these with thoughts of love and kindness for myself is much easier when I am alone and surrounded with so much beauty.

I never dreamed there was a life after parenting. I love my children and they were the very best part of my adult life. The best part of any of my life to date well at least until the grandchildren showed up with is like my own children doubled up to the second power of love! Letting go of the life I had with them has been hard. Much harder than I ever dreamed it would be. Raising children to be independent really sucks when they launch off onto their own. I hadn't realized how much of my day, my energy, my thoughts had focused on their well being their happiness their safety until they were ...GONE!

After 20+ years of being someones mom I am surviving the new identity crisis. I have gone to school and worked in a professional position so it isn't like I didn't have a life outside of them. It is more like the life I had outside of them still revolved around them. What school I went to was decided by how close it was to where we lived not the school that I had dreamed of going to since I was in the 4th grade. What jobs I looked for had to do with how much time I would have to be on the road traveling versus sitting behind a desk so I could get to them in a moment's notice should there be an emergency. Now with the exception of who will take care of the pets I have no excuse for not taking more active jobs except that I have become a homebody.

I bought my first house last year and rambling around in a full size family home (3 bdrm, 2 bath) feels more like living in a hotel than a home at times. Not that I am complaining I love having so much privacy. I can move, dance, run around at three in the morning with the lights on when I can't sleep and no one is disturbed (except maybe the dogs). My sleepwalking, snoring or talking in my sleep only wakes me!

Yes, there are a lot of adjustments when the children move out of the house and maybe more so when you have been a single parent. Sometimes I miss their noises other times I don't. Mostly I miss the hugs. Hugs were close by, now I have to travel to get hugs. The upside is that things stay where they are or where I put them. I don't look for the remotes anymore with someone making comments about how I was the one who had it last (implying of course that I lost it). Actually there are days when I feel more sane than I use to. I didn't realize how much of a cover up goes on with teenagers. The money I thought I left on the table that isn't there anymore now stays there, the remotes are where I left them, the glasses and dishes in the sink that need washed actually are mine and my clothes are in the closet and not on some one's floor or in the back of their closet!

Ambiguous...that's a word I can relate to these days. I have ambiguous feelings about being alone...sometimes I love it, sometimes I grieve it...it makes this new life very interesting living, loving and letting go one day at a time. That's enough for today....Kay