So . . . 2018 was not an easy year. Many incremental waves kept rolling out to sea, one after another. A husband’s work schedule change, so that we stopped having shared days off (or shared dinners), a knee injury in April (from overly-enthusiastic roller discoing) that made walking subtly—and not so subtly—painful until Thanksgiving, so hiking and exploring gradually stopped. A lost friend, and then a friend’s grief, another friend’s grief, and another and another and another (deaths in their families, breakups, so much suffering to love and tend and care for), and then a teenage step-daughter’s sudden move far away. Wave after wave, away.
And then there was also the deep inner work of my Chiron Return (a whole blog post forthcoming, wow!), along with centuries of ancestor work (again, wow!).
All of that—the internal work, the deep work, the friend-tending, the painful knee, my own loss of time with my beloved (which encouraged me to hover close to home whenever he was here)—along with my work-at-home virtual job (which BTW I love!) also led to a 2018 year where I would joke that, “I never leave the house!” but it was true. Yeah, I barely left the house in 2018. It was not an easy year.
Surfacing at Winter Solstice
Around winter solstice, I realized that slowly over many months, much of my joy had ebbed out to sea. Fortunately, with this realization, also came a surge of energy—and passion returning! I saw that my knee had healed, but I was still not out walking, and that other things had evolved and transformed, but there I was still cocooned in my Netflix-enhanced chrysalis, floating along in a Piscean world that—while helpful for holding me (and loved ones) through many months of transition (and sorrows)—no longer fit.
Aries was back in the house! 🔥
And then . . .
3 Little changes that have changed everything!
1 – Letting go of chasing friends on text.
First, I took a deep look in the friendship mirror and realized that I’d been pouring a ton of energy into—of all things!—scheduling. So many minutes (becoming hours) had been spent texting back and forth with friends and loved ones, over and over attempting to schedule get-togethers that never came to be. So much energy! I decided to retire from this task of “coordinating,” that I would stop chasing after hard-to-reach friends, and that I would instead focus my energies on my own creative projects and adventures. . . and (most importantly!) although I would be totally open to invitations from others, I would take a big vacation from being the event-initiator (a big change). Wow!
And guess what happened? I started paying attention to who reaches out to me. Many awesome people. People I had not been socializing with (because, frankly, I’d been too busy cocooned at home text-coordinating with the hard-to-reach people, haha!). I have socialized more in the first 8 weeks of 2019 than I did in the entire year of 2018! And it has been really nourishing! Fascinating. 🙂
2 – Letting go of waiting around for my husband’s company to change his schedule back!
This one really shocked me at first. I had no idea I was even doing this! I was so distressed that my husband was put on an all-weekend/nearly-every-night schedule (while I work M-F days) that I wasn’t even looking at it. . . for months, instead I was holding my breath and holding out hope that soon, oh please soon, he’ll have enough sonority to get our weekends together back.
I let it go. (That one needed some grieving first!) But then I really did let go.
And then—this one is good!—as soon as I let go, all kinds of new possibilities began to bubble up. I realized I could move my own (flexible) work hours around and work Sunday afternoons and a bit in the evenings, and then have 2 weekday afternoons off on his days off, so we could have dates and adventures again.
I also found—surprise!—that working 6 short days per week is more easy-going and enjoyable than working 5 long ones. Who knew. 🙂
3 – Letting go of waiting for ANYTHING to come along/transform/open-up before diving with both flippers, heart-first into creativity AND adventure!! 🎉
This one is the best! January 1, I began this daily blog (oh joy! 💕), AND I put all kinds of “solo adventure” weekend dates on the calendar, and I’ve been leaving the house (haha!) I mean, I’ve actually been leaving the house!
Now I’m back to my old, natural ways of exploring and hiking and creating poetic writing dates that had been on hold . . . for a very long time. Only, it’s different now, and this is how: instead of waiting for something to change, or to figure things out, or to “find my path,” I realize I’m . . . already on it. 🙂
Every word written,
Every wildflower ooohed over.
Every heart-wish dreamed into words/art/being.
Not texting, not chasing, now waiting, not at home with a blanket over my head, not wishing for what is not here to finally arrive . . .just, exhaling. And writing. And sharing! And adventuring. And flexing my schedule (but not my heart’s promises to myself to write daily and adventure regularly)! And enjoying the precious time with my husband when we are together, and enjoying too the social invitations that arrive (gratitude!), and—even though I have taken a (perhaps permanent) hiatus from text coordinating/chasing—I find that I am still inviting others on outings, but here is is what is different: I am only inviting friends on outings that I will still happily go on solo if they say, “no thank you.” Ah, yes! 🙂
Here is what is different:
I am only inviting friends on outings
that I will still happily go on solo
if they say, “no thank you.”
Ah, yes! 🙂
But wait! What about friend tending?
Can I still be as good a friend to a friend in need if I am not waiting here at home? Yes! I am a much better friend now because my well is filling up with inspiration and love and creative insights—and a full well is a heart that overflows with love and care for others. When I take my Muse out on artist adventures and nature dates (and then let her weave her words and share her stories!), I am a much better friend because I expand. And an expanded friend has so much more to give. 💚
A full (creative) well is a heart that overflows
with love and care for others.
I am a much better friend because I expand.
And an expanded friend has so much
more to give.
PHOTO CREDITS: Pedro Lastra on Unsplash (starfish), Caleb George on Unsplash (woman by window), The Herbal Tarot Deck by Michael Tierra (“suspended person”), and my husband 🙂 (poppies from today’s adventure hike at Picacho Peak in Arizona)