I started this in 2017 and made it 138 days. Then my golden retriever died unexpectedly. I don’t know if that’s a reason to stop writing but I pointed to that moment and used it as a great excuse. And I have continued to refer to it as ‘last year’ as if 2018 never happened. My other big dog, Baxter, died. My daughter started pursuing a different career and my son eloped with his beautiful soul mate. Neither one of them need me to hold their hands while crossing the street.
For years I have done this thing: At the start of the year choose something that I want to make better about myself, read all that I can, consciously work on it, practice making it a part of life. Peace. Clarity. Hope. Compassion. Happiness. Last year, I set about to gain some contentment with my life. My empty nest, divorced person, individual without a clue how to do this life.
Contentment is not all it’s cracked up to be.
I spent a lot of time making plans. I read a lot of great advice for couples who are facing empty nest and retirement. The women all have perfect silver chin-length bobs and some version of a twin-set. They are drinking mimosas and carrying sensible handbags. Not one of them looks like they wept under the stars listening to Paul Simon or waved their halter-top and screamed I LOVE YOU SO MUCH at Rod Stewart. I have never fit into that clique and never will.
I suppose, makes me uncontent or a malcontent or worse, without content to my story. Well, hell, no.
So, I did a tarot read for myself. That’s right. I read tarot, deal with it. And it basically said, “What are you waiting for? You know how to do this. And you know how to trust yourself.” Great, I wasted a year looking for a sign that’s not coming and the wisdom of someone else that not meant for me. A memory wove its way through this: Me sitting with the kids after our lives looked like scorched earth, barren desert and telling them that from here on in we’re making our own rules, creating a path even if there wasn’t one there before. And I told them they could be anyone they wanted to be. And inner me responded with a supportive, “Well, duh.”
I’m going to talk about what I did wrong this past year. What I did learn. But, I’m going to DO stuff. Moving forward, even if I don’t have a map or a perfect chin-length bob.