I did not have a big expensive party, or dinner or even go anywhere. I stayed home, in my mountain house, all weekend with Lexie, my buddy and sweet friend. We had no visitors and no long phone calls with family or friends. For these two days I was totally mindful, as I understand it.
I did only what brought me joy.
Listening to the rain and distant thunder gave me a peaceful feeling. Watching the leaves of the oak trees so close to my window as they danced in the wind, wet with the precious rain, made me smile.
Lying on my sofa watching a history-based story with period costumes on my TV with Lexie curled up in the circle made by my knees and the back of the sofa opened my heart and filled it with gratitude for all I have.
Waking in the early morning in my own bed, knowing I could sleep for awhile longer if I wished, with no pressure to get up and do something. What a blessing that is. No one needs me to do anything I don't want to do. I can sleep and sleep is such a healing practice for me. Eight or more hours of sleep banish pain in my body. Works better than pills and shots.
Having time - precious time - to do just what I want to do, reminded me that I have too much going on in my life, going and doing, and I asked myself, "What do I really want to do with the precious life I have left?"
In October I have another birthday, and it is a milestone, marking the weight of the Third Act of Glenda's Life. What will the next year hold for me? Every year I vow to reach out to family and friends, those who live far away and those who live near me. It seems to me, I never do enough. I am always so busy with other things. But I know that whatever I can do to make my loved ones know I care for them and that they are in my thoughts, is more than doing nothing.
One of my favorite things to do is listen to educational podcasts. I did that this weekend. I am a life-long learner, but I would not like to sit in classes for hours a day or be required to write or discuss my thoughts.
Having time to listen to others, agree or disagree with them, was one of the most delightful things about this weekend. I had time to digest what I heard and make up my mind as to what I believed.
I intentionally avoided the news of the day, of the world, and found my life more relaxed and at peace. Why should I hear all the awful things reported when there is nothing I can do about it? Instead, I listened to music. I danced and I sang.
I became aware this weekend, alone with my thoughts and with my little Lexie, that the worst of grieving the loss of Barry, my husband of 45 years, is finally beginning to wane and I can finally say, I am happy just being with me and my things in my place.
I am enough. I don't need anyone else to make me happy or full-filled. Do you feel that way, those of you who have lost your beloved people?
I knew in the fall of 2009 that I would go on with my life, and that I must do something to fill the time, but must also do something beneficial to others. For ten years I have taught senior adults to write about their lives. I have provided a place for writers to come and learn from excellent poets and writers. I was inspired to teach by my mentor, the late Nancy Simpson, poet and friend. I was encouraged by other writers and friends and appreciated by many of them. I am grateful to writers, Karen Paul Holmes, Joan Howard, many of my guest instructors, who never fail to let me know their thoughts on what I do.
Mary Mike Keller and Estelle Rice, visual and literary artists and my best friends, have been there for years through my mourning time and through theirs. How many have friends like that?
Also this weekend, I smiled when I thought of my sister, Gay, who is having the time of her life. She is dancing two or three times each week with wonderful dancers who let her finally do for herself what she always enjoyed most. After years of taking care of loved ones and being there for others, she has made the decision to do what she loves to do. The joy in her voice is exhilarating. It reminds me: We should never think it is too late to follow our dreams.
It is never too late to make a change in who we are. It is never too late to stop and let life show us who we are and what we really want. Be still and listen.
So, my dear readers, although you have been there through my pain and sorrow, welcome to my happiness. I hope your weekend has been all you wanted it to be. See you next week when I hope to have my essay on John Cecil Council finished and posted.
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