Alyse In Words

A Year of Practicing Contentment

Ownership

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1.26 through 1.29:  Well, I’m not being too successful at this write everyday-thing.  I suddenly realized that all 6-10 of you reading this are reading some things I don’t talk about and that in order to explain my silence I would need to explain that I am one of those people who get silent when they hurt.  Writing about the assault stuff was more difficult than I thought it would be.  I needed to just…be present with it for a couple of days and ask myself if I’m really letting it go.  I want to.  I think I am.

I’ve been making notes on things I’m reading along the way and there is a big empty space below a question I jotted down for myself:  What are your priorities in this?  At this point, I know one–ownership.  This means owning those physical things that are useful, meaningful, and/or just beautiful according to me.  I cleared my clothing and feel better about that.  But today I cleared the refrigerator and spent time muttering to myself about what a strange thing it is for me to buy groceries and household products for one person. I told myself I was doing a two-fer by tossing out moldy, nasty leftovers in the plastic containers because I need to reduce the Tupperware drawer by about half. I will buy quarts of milk from now on. I will buy the smaller packages of Milano cookies that cost more than the Oreos because I’m the only one here to eat the Oreos. I have to figure out how to own shopping for one.  Interior ownership is a thing, too. A friend asked me for some help researching ideas that may help his family. He also needed me to listen to his frustrations.  It wasn’t until the third time that he teasingly called me ‘Mom’ in the conversations we were having that I realized I had easily put on my powder blue twin set and pearls  and was treating him like a kid. That’s not who he needed or who I want to be.  To borrow one of Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s ideas, I want to be courageous enough to sit with pain, mine or another’s, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.  I want to be strong in the way of a crone instead of a mommy.  

I did find some real joy in the past few days.  I was able to celebrate both of my 20-somethings making some successful choices and transactions without me. I gave minimal advice only when asked.  I celebrated their success without feeling the need to reflect on successful parenting.

And then there was the round of robins in my Chinese maple tree.  They, along with some blackbirds and doves, were giving me side eye because the bird feeder needed to be reinstalled.  I filled a long plastic container with seed and peanuts and leaned it against the rain gutter on the garage.  On Saturday my son helped me reinstall the bird feeder.  The doves and flickers and robins were happy enough but this morning I saw a disgruntled sparrow sitting empty gutter waiting for a turn at the feeder.  I can’t figure out courage, ownership and contentment all at once but I do know how good it feels to watch a sparrow jump feet first into a plastic container of birdseed in the rain gutter.

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