Today I began a new journey, turned over a new leaf, and opened a new doorway into my future. The path has been long – some 26 years in the conscious making – and of course, in actuality, a lifetime to traverse. I first felt the niggling to creativity, to embrace passionate movement and to express those passions and creative urges when I turned 40. I still considered myself a “young” mother then, with a 10-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. I had already trod many directions trying to establish who I was, am, wanted to be. Pre-school teacher, writer, newspaper carrier, writer, baker, food-preserver, herbalist, writer. Novels started and novels given up on. A major move across country in 1997 when I was 45 was fueled in part by that drive to find myself, as well as an urge to escape who I did not want to become. I made great, meaningful friends there in Tennessee, friendships that will last my life and beyond. For those I am grateful. And in that time, I cared for my one-in-a-million mother, until her death.
Even so, my path was not there, only a way station in my journey to self. Back in California in 2005, minus my beloved mother and my gall bladder, both events in 2005 acting as catalysts to propel me homeward. I needed some things, some people in order to be whole. My daughter and son, both back in California, were grown, with lives and homes of their own, but I wanted to be a part of those lives, however peripherally. I wanted as much interaction and connection with my adored grandsons as possible. I wanted to be within hailing distance of my dearest and best friend, and to be able to meet with my sisters regularly, to talk and reminisce about our parents. My husband and I with the infatuation of young marriage spent have settled into a joyous and ever-evolving love, learning to be mature adults together. Health is sometimes an issue, and money a concern, but rather than focusing on the negatives, I felt the urge to dance sky clad, listen to music and to my own drummer. I attempted to re-enter the job market as an employee of Girl Scouts, and though the work was fulfilling, and the people dedicated and interesting, it was not the right match. I needed something else…yet unknown.
One of my favorite movies of all time is a Walter Mathau/Elaine May movie called A New Leaf. In it, Walter M. plays a ne’re-do-well out of money, looking for a quick marriage to provide the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed. Elaine M. is the perfect foil. A ditzy but wealthy botanist, she accepts Walter’s marriage proposal, and they honeymoon in the wilds, looking for rare plants. Upon finding an unknown fern, she names it for her husband, thereby fostering the creation in him of “a new leaf” in his life. I love the concept of the movie – unexpectedness in life often helps turn over a new leaf! And so it has been for me – the unexpected, the revelation and the motivation to rewrite the script called “This is Your Life!”
Three pivotal things created the impetus for me – watching the silly movie “My Mother’s Boyfriend,” reading a delightful book (several actually but mainly this one) “Eat, Pray, Love,” and reconnecting with Jennifer Louden, the Comfort Queen. I had written some articles for Jennifer, some 6-8 years ago, for her website www.comfortqueen.com and found her philosophies and encouragement exactly what I needed.
This latest evolution of me is focused on a redevelopment of spiritual seeking, time for meditation and introspection, time for family, time for crafts and developing new ideas, and of course, time to write. I don’t feel motivated to write a book (at least, not yet!) but rather a form of journaling, blogging, and note taking as I read. I belong to three review sites for which I do monthly book reviews, in exchange for books. I don’t work outside the home any more, but work at my own business, as a writer, researcher and editor.
What do I expect to achieve from this growth? Absolutely nothing! I am content to let it be what it is, and enjoy the process, without over-thinking or over-analyzing the purpose or value of the path. I am opening myself to enjoyment without guilt, passion without depletion, energy without sugar! (I am also a recently diagnosed diabetic!)
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross
to see a fine lady upon a white horse
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
and she shall have music wherever she goes
Join me on the ride to exploration ~ ~ turn over a new leaf!