After a week of silence and a lot of reflection, I'm a bit closer to what is next for me. Like many of us, I've been thinking about the past, recent events in my life, and what these events mean for my future. In no particular order, I've been thinking about
Weight Loss (always right up there at the top)
Instructing myself more deeply in my Faith
Becoming more disciplined and focused
Becoming more productive
Finishing my kitchen project
Maintaining close ties to my brother and sister
Improve my cooking skills
Getting back to my poetry and haikus
Garden more effectively
Bring more energy into my life
Designing thematic photo books
Clearing up and reinventing my art room
Resurrecting my creative spirit
Clearing out the cobwebs in my mind and heart
There is a lot of confusion and indecision in my mind and heart these days. For five years my focus was on my mother. Even before she became ill, she could not drive. She was housebound because of that. Shopping, errands, just getting out was impossible for her. She did learn to take the bus to the shops just up the road, which for mom, was a pretty big deal. And then when she moved to Samaritan Village and before her stroke, she formed a circle of friends that brought her not only much happiness but also greater mobility. They drove, she didn't, and they included her. There were a few occasions when mom would show up at my office door at work in the middle of the day and I would be so surprised. These sweet moments brought me a lot of joy. It was wonderful to see mom out and about with friends. But then that all changed.
It took mom 2 1/2 years to pass after her stroke. Even though she regained a degree of mobility and independence, she was never really happy again. She could not speak well and the new language between us was deeply tiring for both of us. Tiring for her in her struggle to communicate. Tiring for me in my quest to listen, hear, and understand. Patience became the center of our communication and our physical interaction.
With mom's passing, I feeling like a rubberband that has lost its snap. Even as I write this, I find my thoughts centered on mom as I sift through what she has meant to my daily life for the past five years. Even when I wasn't with her, my thoughts were not far away. And yet my thoughts are moving forward as I try to discern the first step I must take.
The word "energy" seeps through my mind. I can't do anything without energy. I can't do anything until I give renewed energy the time to do its work. I can't do all things as once. Energy, Focus, Steadiness, discipline. I don't have mom to put first anymore. My children are raised. I have a renewing relationship with my husband to think about as final retirement approaches. The energy is like light forming over a black hole of energy sucking darkness resistant to the encroaching light. Darkness has had dominance for a long time. I will need a lot of energy for this next phase of my life.