Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Taking a Break

Please consider a trip down memory lane and visit  my blog archive - in particular some of the 2009 Xmas season blogs.  Scroll down the sidebar to the left and click on 2009. Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope to be back in the New Year with some fresh perspectives.

Decomama xo

Thursday, November 10, 2011

OK, OK, I'm coming!

About an hour ago, I was driving toward home from the east, heading straight west, the sun just starting to head toward the horizon, but still up high enough in the sky to necessitate wearing my sunglasses.  There were some big puffy clouds obscuring parts of it and there were several minutes where the beauty of this scene was so intense in my mind that it brought tears to my eyes.  This happens to me occasionally when I am awestruck by something so perfect it fills my heart with something akin to how I felt when my daughter was first born and I could not stop staring at her.  I was so full of love for her tiny innocent self, this seeming miracle that had bestowed itself upon me. For weeks I was almost trance-like.  I will never forget that time in my life where nothing else seemed to matter.  She was and still is one of the greatest gifts of my life.

So now, whenever I experience even a moment of that sort of intense feeling, I am reminded of what is important and precious in my life.  Now, a short time later, I am sitting looking out from my perch here on the 16th floor and the full moon is casting it's glow on the lake and twice within an hour I have been moved to tears by the perfect simplicity of nature.  These are the things that feed my soul and lately I could use as much of this "food" as I can possibly get.

I have to admit, the introspective journey that I have been on for the last couple of years had better be coming to an end soon, because I am getting so fatigued by my own navel-gazing that if it doesn't end soon, I may have to go back to that unconscious place I was living in before all this started and after all the work I have done that would really be such a waste of growth, not to mention excellent fodder for my novel.  But really, did I have to fall into the depths of despair to be able to crank out some good material?  I think many artists who have gone before me have.  I am hesitant to lump myself in with them, but I do think that lots of creativity is born of "hitting rock bottom".

That is not to say I have had a drug or drinking problem.  I have not.  But I would say I have had a "crisis of consciousness" so to speak that has felt like rock bottom some days.  I have and still am completely transforming my life and it has been perhaps the scariest and most exciting time in my entire existence.  No, I have not found Jesus, nor have I accepted him as my personal saviour in case you are wondering.  But I have come through a rebirth of sorts.  Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Those are pretty major I reckon. I have rejected the status quo (huge for me), walked away from what most would consider a good marriage, bared my soul and needs and flaws to anyone willing to listen, (like Meryl Streep in Out of Africa), shed more pounds than I care to admit and strengthened my body and immune system drastically, changed my work, succeeded beyond my wildest dreams and then plummeted just as quickly, faced death and illness in my extended family, left behind some of my joys and passions to  pursue new ones, made new friends and ended relationships that no longer served my growth or fed my soul, re-ignited parts of me that were lost and buried and those are just some of the things that have happened.

Whew!  It tired me out just listing it all.  Essentially, I have just opted to follow the path of my soul's purpose in this life, as difficult as it has been and it has taken all my courage and all my energy and it has been extremely painful and extremely joyful and I have never felt so alive in my entire life.

Would I recommend it?  Yes and no.  It is certainly not for the faint of heart.  Nor is it for everyone.  Would I do it all over again?  The jury may still be out on this one.  One thing I know for sure - sometimes it is necessary.  I  just knew in my heart it was for me.  I had to listen.  I read a quote about a year or so ago that sort of summed it up perfectly...

"You might as well answer the door my child, the truth is furiously knocking." - Lucille Clifton 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's all Greek to her.

Ancient History.  The Classics. Greek and Roman Mythology.....with a minor in Film Studies.  How about that?  This my dear readers is what my lovely daughter wants to study in university next year.  She has come a long way from wanting to be a veterinarian.  I'm not really sure if she actually wanted to do that or if her father and I were pushing her in that direction.  There was a time when she loved animals so much that it seemed natural, but all that has changed now.

Lots of things have changed for her in the last few years.  She has grown up, matured, found something she is passionate about, traveled to Scotland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and beautiful British Columbia.  At 17 she has had more worldly experiences than many and certainly more than I had had at that age.  I did not really start to travel the world until I was 19, so she has a good head start on me.

The environment she has grown up in is so vastly different from what my reality was at her age.  I am continually surprised by how much she knows that she has not even experienced largely due to the Internet and the world at her fingertips.  The library is a thing of the past now. Just Google it - it's so simple.  In about 9 months, the same time it took my body to nurture her into being, she will be taking the next big step in her life. 

I am not one of those parents who frets and worries about her leaving.  I am actually excited for her, knowing that the next few years will be some of the most wonderful years of her life.  She will make life long friends, learn how to fend for herself, fill her brain with knowledge, get up to a bit of mischief maybe (currently she is a self-professed geek), so I hope she does let loose a bit and hopefully figure out who she is and what her soul's path is in this life.  I am so fortunate.  She has been easy.  Not perfect, but never difficult.  She marches to her own drum and is not a follower.  Sometimes that can be a bit lonely for her I imagine, but it suits her and it certainly makes life easier for me.

I have never had to worry about her getting into a car with other kids who are under the influence.  She does not hang with that kind of crowd.  She is very conscious of what is right and wrong and she is almost a bit too cautious sometimes, but again, I rarely worry she is making the wrong choices.  I still wonder how the hell she came from me sometimes.  It does speak to how your environment plays a key role in one's development though.  She grew up in a peaceful, loving and supportive home as an only child, so she did not even have a sibling to influence her decisions.  She knows I was a bit of a wild child and she loves hearing tales of my own misspent youth, but she does not feel the  need or desire to follow suit (thank god).

She has spent the past two weekends touring her top two picks for university.  One is in Ottawa and the other in Peterborough.  Either is fine with me - but time will tell where she ends up.  For now, she needs to work to get the grades to get in - that is the current challenge.  How badly does she want it?  That is really the question.  She is beyond capable, but she is typical in some ways when it comes to being a teenager.   Focus is not her strong suit.  Nor is time management and organization.  I do believe she will get there.  But it won't come easy.  This term will determine her course, so it is critical to do well.  That is a lot of pressure at 17.  I don't know if I could  have done it.  I went back to school at 24 as a mature student - I was not even close to ready after high school.  I went to the school of "travel" instead.  It was the right route for me, but it is not for everyone. 

I dropped out of community college after one year of a two year program and hit the road, backpack slung over my shoulders and no bloody idea of what I was doing or even where I was going other than I was landing in Amsterdam and I would figure the rest out when I got there.  Pretty ballsy now when I think about it - but at the time it was all I wanted to do.  See the world.  Get the hell out of Dodge.

If she came to me next summer and said she wanted to do the same thing I am not sure how I would respond.  It's a different world now.  I hitched rides all through Europe, took the odd train, had a few close calls with danger but survived to tell the tales.  Those days are long gone.  Her experience would need to be more planned, safer, more structured.  I grew up without any of the safety nets our kids have now.  Why would it have been any different trekking around the world without a plan or seat belts, or a specified destination at the end of the day?  I do wonder if we have coddled our kids too much. 

In any case, she is about to venture away without me and although her reality will be vastly different from mine, it will be her adventure with her signature on it and that is what really matters.

The world of academia awaits.  You go girl.......my girl, my sweet child.