I allowed my “Coming of Age (COA) at 62″ writing-every-day ritual to get a bit mucked up last week.
My not feeling well combined with the drive from VA to PA; my son & family visiting; and being out of any sort of routine set me back.
I need to be precise here if I’m going to truly come-of-age-at 62, the way I intend to. I allowed my physical and holiday feelings to rule the day. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it didn’t feel good to do so in this particular instance.
Then a mini-cycle started of “well if I didn’t write Day 4 when I was supposed to (my definition of “supposed to”), do I write and publish Day 4 & 5 on the same day or just write as if Day 5 is Day 4. That conundrum of sorts lasted through days 6 & 7, when I was supposed to be writing.
I realize this isn’t an earth shattering dilemma but it kept my mind busy and distracted me from writing. But today, I’m ending the excuses and mindless/mindful complexifying of the situation. I’m writing and calling this Day 4 simply because that’s easier and I gotta do it my way or no way at all…
Now that I’ve listened to the Lover Boy song 7 times, mentally choreographed my stage moves and danced around the living room, I’m ready to write about Day 4, which was quite wonderful and enlightening.
Day 4 was also Christmas Day, which I haven’t celebrated for a couple of years.
Aaron (younger son), Jasmine (daughter-in-law) and Ellie (4 year old granddaughter) were in PA, to spend the day with Aaron’s dad, my ex-husband, who’s going through chemo for a heavy-duty strain of leukemia. They invited me along to celebrate. I loved getting the invitation but wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go. Don’t misunderstand, I’ve spent other holidays, such as Thanksgiving, with Charlie. After 27 years, there’s no acrimony or discomfort. I’ve even spent time with his girlfriends.
But I’d grown comfortable with Christmas alone. I’d given up expectations of the kind of family, friend, and fun day I always wanted. Did I really want to set myself up for disappointment again? Have hope? Make myself vulnerable?
But after a few deep breaths, I decided to go. I dressed, ready to drive to Charlie’s with my son & his family when I found out they expected me to drive by myself in my own car.
Oh @%*! This was not a promising start, even if their reasoning was logical. Logical is not what I wanted; a mad desire to want to spend time with me was much closer to what I wanted.
Then I put on my take-care-of-my-children mom-face and agreed that is the best way to do that. “You go ahead. I follow in about 10 minutes.” Which I did.
As luck would have it, Ellie projectile vomited in the car on the way there. Gooey, green slimy vomit. I probably would have been part of the line of fire. Glad I wasn’t in that car. I didn’t mind helping clean up the car and carseat but at least green puke wasn’t dripping down my clothes.
It was a good day.
He had been an excellent bass player in a band that played up and down the east coast in the 1960′s and 70′s. They almost made it to the big-time. From the stories, I understand it was as if the band was perched on a fence and all they needed was a wisp of wind to fall to the side of fame & fortune. But it didn’t happen.
Anyway, Charlie also did vocals and played the harmonica. Hearing the stories of the band’s adventures is still fun. Having him get excited yesterday and play and sing some of their songs and cover songs was a pleasure for all of us.
I sat at the kitchen table with my granddaughter on my lap, my son singing away, my daughter-in-law learning guitar tricks from Charlie, thinking how ironic it is that it took a divorce and years apart to get all of us together in the kind of Christmas scene I always wanted. This scene probably would never have happened if Charlie and I had stayed together “for the sake of the children”. At least not amongst all the lies, and cheating and fighting that cause major hurt, anger and resentment in any relationship.
But I’ll take this, in fact I’ll cleave onto it, as a major life lesson. Forgiveness and moving on make the future/present brighter. Without my forgiving Charlie for his lies and affairs, Day 4 of my COA would have been a lot different. Not necessarily bad, but different, and I like what I got.
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”
I am also grateful that I allowed myself to be vulnerable and try out Christmas again. The rewards were many.
I’d enjoy having you join me in my journey here & on Twitter & Facebook. You can also sign up (over in the right column —>) for a free 1/2 hour mentoring call when I can help you start to increase your confidence to feel better about yourself & do that thing you’ve been wanting to do.