Often people ask me ‘What’s new?’ My response these days is a resounding, ‘Nothing!’ You see, over a period of one year, I made about every major life change possible. By the grace of God and the love of my family and friends, I landed in a good place. The dust, as they say, has settled. Blissfully, nothing is new.
But that’s not entirely true. The transitions that took place last year were obvious. Thankfully, that turmoil appears to have ended, at least for now. There have been some changes, as a result. They’re less noticeable to the naked eye.
Things don’t last. Memories endure.
I no longer cling to material things. I am still sentimental and cherish the precious memories that are attached things. After getting rid of 40 years worth of saved memorabilia, nothing bad happened. Truth is that I didn’t even remember that I had most of it and I have already forgotten some of it (again). The other night, I sorted thru a couple of bins of stuff that survived the dumpster a year ago. I laughed out loud at myself, recalling how torturous each decision was. Now, I found myself wondering about my rationale at saving it. As the saying goes, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Embrace uncertainty. Trust the wait.
I’ve always been a planner. I like to know what to expect. So, when everything about my future was unknown and somewhat out of my control, it was difficult. There were times when I felt deeply anguished over an offer on my house that fell thru or a job interview that did not yield employment. Hindsight showed me that there were good reasons for those failures. Something better was, in fact, on it’s way to me. Now I know this: When you have nothing is when you have the most of one crucial thing – possibility.
Endings are really beginnings in disguise.
It’s easy (and human nature) to look at the things we’ve lost. The void is a painful reminder that cannot always be filled. When I find myself mourning one of those things, I allow a limited time for grieving. Then, I think about all of the things that have come into my life because of that loss. I have learned to ask for help and to count on my friends, thus enriching those treasured relationships. There are people in my life now whom I would never have met, otherwise. My professional abilities have been stretched and renewed in ways that make me feel useful and valuable. I’ve watched my children grow less dependent upon me and more independent and resourceful. Blessings, every one.
You really can do anything.
My mother always told me so but I figured she was biased. While all of this was going on around me, I put my mind to maintaining a few things that were sacred to me and that I did not want to lose. While I had every excuse to put them on the back burner, I chose to pursue them. I continued to write and had two pieces (a short story and a poem) published. I successfully auditioned for the Old Fiddlers Club of RI. In my heart, I knew that these were things I wanted to take with me into my new life. I thought that I was saving my writing and my music. It turned out that they were saving me. These small, personal accomplishments glowed brightly during an otherwise dark period of my life.
Not to say that I don’t have difficult moments. Life renovations cause emotional whiplash that rears its ugly head when least expected. But it also offers valuable lessons. I see the world a bit differently these days. And that’s a good thing.