When I was 17 the mommy made me a cross stitch that read: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. K glued it onto a piece of paneling and framed it. Despite the peripatetic nature of my early adult life I managed to hang onto it. I always tried to always hang it where I would see it first thing in the morning. I don't look at it every morning but I know that it's there.
I didn't actually like it for a long time. I mean. 17. My mother made it. So uncool. (Heh) And I'm not big on aphorisms. It was a saying that was on t-shirts, posters and buttons everywhere at that time. It held the feel I associated with the sixties. Hopeful. Open. Ready. Now it's 2017. I feel none of those things. I feel watchful. Braced. Reserved.
The goal yesterday was to clean the nest so that today would start ... clean. But instead I played in plant dirt and everything is a bit dirtier.
Earlier in the year I started the day with a bit of yoga and some writing in my hand written journal. It was my attempt at creating a ritual. I ate breakfast at the table and not in front of the computer. At some point I lost the beat. Recently I've been doing yoga again and doing a better job of it. I still haven't done the journal and today the table is covered with unfinished plant projects so ... maybe tomorrow.
I don't do resolutions. I never commit to anything I don't think I can really do. I wake everyday thinking about things I need to do to feel more engaged in life. Well maybe not every day. Some days (maybe most days) I stumble along from start to end. But I try to engage.
Because my birthday is in the middle of the year I drove myself crazy in my young adult life doing critical reassessment every (bleepin) six months. How was I doing? Teeth gnashing. Hand wringing. I was never doing very well. My birthday is near the solstice and there's another one of those near the holidays. Six month self awareness alarms. I don't remember when I stopped.
I do like a ritual acknowledgement of passages. I like ritual in general.
For the last few weeks I was aware on the day that the mommy left that it had been another week. And then it had been a month. I think this will wear off. And then, too soon, it will have been a year. Her ashes were combined with K's and put in a really pretty biodegradable pouch. Today that pouch will be placed in the French Broad river near the places in North Carolina where they lived after they retired. That was where they were the happiest. They can start the year as particles and waves. Onward to the big next thing.
The word happy still feels like sand in my mouth. What I wish for everyone is a deeply immersive love. Some people find that in romantic relationships. Some with family. Some with pets. Some in mediation or prayer. It wasn't easy taking care of the mommy. It was hard. I complained. But it was immersive and there was love. I feel so grateful to have had the end of our story be so filled with playfulness, sweetness and love. If we have another story to tell together (some how, some where) it will resonate with the songs we sang to one another and the inside jokes we told.
But now I need to sweep up some dirt. And wash some dishes. There's already laundry in the machine. It all feels like perfectly lovely things to be doing on day one.
It's snow/raining. My friend calls it chunky rain. So far it's not sticking.
I'll read. I was trying to wait until I had finished some magazines to start a new book but I thought it was good to start a book on the first day. That's my resolution. Work to do the things that seem correct and then do what feels best.
Into the river.
Onward to the next big thing.