I’m sitting here in the relative quiet this morning. I can hear the train on the tracks one block over, the dishwasher is humming along. I’ve tended to the livestock (Twitch and Buddy) and I can hear a dog barking down the street. The other thing I hear is my fingers hitting the keyboard on my Chromebook. It will stay this way for most of the day because I’ve taken the phone off the hook. Drollery and Bran know to call my cell if they need me. And at 2:00 I’ll hang the phone back up and wait for Fim’s welcome Thursday call.
In the meantime, I NEEDED the quiet today. We went to a class on Medicare options last night and I didn’t understand a word they said. I came home more confused than ever and terrified. I find myself in a whole different place in my life all of a sudden. And that’s how I felt as well when I looked back through the Sandbox prompts for section three. The prompts had been fun before, but this time they felt weightier.
A common thread ran through several of them. Maybe I could call it “The Last Third of My Life” theme. in “Hungry to get to know you — again! (#33)” I wrote about the need for Drollery and me to experience the whole empty-nest thing. We’ve never really gotten to grapple with that or to have that time to get to know one another post-child rearing. And it feels to BOTH of us like our chance is slipping away. That’s probably because my brother-in-law’s cancer has made us so aware of how fleeting health and life can be.
In “You may not enter!!! (#35)” I wrote about what I’d like to see happen for our son who lives with us. If he could have his own place Drollery and I would be able to have our time together. But the problem is, we can’t do anything about that. Brandon is the one who has the key to his growing and moving on. And it’s discouraging for us.
“The Old Man On The Bench (#37)” found me pondering on the idea of how to grieve the things I can’t change because this is what Drollery and I are facing right now. And sadly we don’t seem to have the energy to handle the situation with having an adult child at home in any other creative kind of way. Instead of working together to sort it out, we too often find ourselves on opposite sides of the room.
Which led, I think at least partly, to “Loneliness at my core… (#36).” In other words I can look back at THIS set of prompts and finally see the actual progression in where Roberta Allen was leading me, that these challenges were something more than just writing prompts.
But I think the challenge that was the most meaningful for me was the very first one “Can You See Me? (#28).” It was meaningful for me because it shows what happens when I go “digging around in the the cave of my heart and soul” and encounter themes in my life such as the one above. It was about how it affects my reactions to them. Sometimes my reactions aren’t healthy. Sometimes they’re downright ugly. My response to that prompt, “That’s how the light gets in…“ defines how I understand and move forward with the process of dealing with my on-going issues and losses, taking those pieces of myself that I struggle with and making them a healthy part of me again. The goal is to learn to love all of me and, hopefully in time, to become more WHOLE.
I read back through “That’s how the light gets in…” this morning and I came away thinking everything is gonna be ok. I just have to learn to trust in my own process. None of my answers surprised me, however. And I didn’t feel like any of the exercises were incomplete for me. But these five were definitely the ones that carried the most energy for me. As far as insights into myself are concerned, I guess summing up my “spelunking routine” was the first time I’ve ever thought about it in such concrete terms. I found that insight very helpful and comforting.
Loosening Up Exercises
What feelings describe you?
What habits describe you?
1. addicted to blogging
2. always have breakfast with Drollery
3. am obsessive about shutting lights off when no one is in the room
4. close the blinds at night so people can’t see in
5. always kiss Drollery goodbye when he leaves and tell him I love him
6. always wave from the window when he or Bran drive away
7. must always have books lying around because they’re like an emergency escape route for me
What beliefs describe you?
1. I believe all people are created equal
2. I believe everyone is endowed with a likeness to the Creator (whatever their belief of that is) — and that likeness is the power to CREATE (what and how they choose to do that is entirely up to them, and could be good or bad)
3. I believe love is the most important virtue
4. I believe meaningful communication is essential in this confusing world
5. I believe, therefore, that words of affirmation are necessary to good health
6. I believe that touch makes people feel connected and connection to others is what keeps people from despair
7. I believe we are all here to make someone’s day better, that is our purpose in this life
What else describes you?
1. I believe in celebrating EVERY victory or milestone, no matter how small
2. still searching for that perfect creative outlet
3. love getting to know people
4. love feeling useful
5. despise housework of any kind
6. spiritual (not religious) at my core
7. have an insatiable desire to travel and see the world