Life has a way of circling around, doesn’t it? The Indigo Girls have a line in their song Watershed that goes
“Ending up where I started again
makes me want to stand still.”
On January 10, 2015, I was in a very similar place to where I am now. Then, it was facing divorce after being married to Bob for 25 years. Today, it is facing divorce after 31 years. Obviously, the divorce six years ago didn’t happen; we had a turn-about and changed our relationship and stayed together. After some really difficult times in the last few years, we are now getting the divorce. There will be no turn-about this time. The heartbreak and grief I was feeling 6 years ago have been back in full force this past year for me, as well as facing the changes that come with ending a marriage. It is a hard place to be.
In January 2015, Bob had just moved out, and I dealt with the heartbreak by throwing myself a party. It’s not that I was feeling jolly and wanted to celebrate. I needed my friends around me, and I needed something to look forward to. So I planned an unusual party, one where I had my guests paint on my walls and paint on ME. It really helped me so much, in so many ways. Continue reading
December was a hard, sweet month. Hard for the busyness, the book, the surgery, the time-crunch of the holidays. Sweet for a special get-away we had, touching moments, a loving Christmas, and much closeness. But hard again for the anxious countdown to January.
Bob moved out of our house in early January into an apartment. It was an upsetting time for both of us, a wrenching apart that we knew must happen, even as we’d been relating to each other in new, more honest and tender ways. Living apart is something we both agree will help each of us, individually and together, in the growth we want to happen. Knowing that doesn’t make it any less painful, this big change after 26 years. Continue reading
I’ve had a rough week. Due to a stressful situation, there’s been tears, sleepless nights (it’s 3:30 am now), panicky-PTSD episodes, and a whole mix of feelings. I’m not a night person, so it’s been strange and new to be awake in the middle of the night so much. As hard as it’s been, I’ve been having some amazing epiphanies, so I’m embracing the silver lining in this cloud.
I’m also on the verge of turning 50 on Tuesday, so reflections and new awareness is all a part of the package right now. It’s a big milestone, half a century, and a time of great change for me as my kids are all young adults and growing into their own lives. We’re not empty-nesters quite yet, but things have shifted much at home, and soon we will be. After years of pouring my physical and emotional energy into raising kids, I’m poking my head up and looking around. What’s next? What will I do? Who do I want to be? Continue reading
This weekend I was driving down the river road and saw a young artist with his easel set up on the bike path. He was standing in front of his canvas, painting the beautiful Fall colors. I turned and craned my neck to see how he was doing as I drove by. There were colors and lines on the canvas, a half-finished work of art. “That’s brave,” I thought, standing there in public where anyone could watch his process, see the humble beginnings, judge what might not look like much in the middle.
I remembered watching Bob Ross on public television when I was a kid. My dad liked to watch him teach the audience how to paint landscapes, and Mr. Ross did have a mesmerizing quality about his voice (painting all his “happy little trees.”) I was fascinated by his process—he’d start painting the scene and it would look like a mess. It looked like a mess until he was more than half-way through– every time I watched, I was sure he had totally botched his painting this time. Wouldn’t you know, he always managed to turn his mess into a miracle, and end the show with a lovely nature scene.
All this has got me thinking about Perfectionism lately. Continue reading