My heart is healing wounds born in childhood. It’s a lifetime process because often the work of healing is unwittingly avoided. That work requires too much growth for some days. Growing pains are real. This pang comes when I sit in the depth of a wound, when I sit, listen, and give comforting words I so needed to hear as a child. The pain comes from reminders of the void’s original point of entry. This is how I know burying pain to get rid of it, is not possible. Ignoring old wrongs in hopes of moving on is not possible for me. This is how I can see that Forgiveness, is quite magical in healing pain.
I am still working about 15-20 hours a week as an occupational therapist assistant at a few different skilled nursing facilities (aka: SNF or nursing home). This has been my life for the past year. I work only during M&B’s school hours so that they don’t need after school care from anyone else (expensive! and they prefer to be home with me, a feeling that is mutual). School, by the way, is going well for them – nothing has alerted me to any issues, emotional, mental, developmental, or otherwise. I’m looking into middle schools for Max (holy shit) and am leaning towards our local State College of Florida Collegiate School. Our second choice is Manatee School of the Arts. We’ll see what happens.
On the days I’m not working, I’m planning/cooking meals, plowing through a To Do List of Responsibilities, taking care of home and dog, tending to my hobbies (writing, watching TV, and going on long walks), attending therapy, grocery shopping, having lunch with Max or Bella, and occasionally cleaning. What a life! Not a day goes by that I am not acutely aware of how good this life is. Often, I have to cope with anxiety related to that feeling of… any_day_now the other shoe is gonna drop and my life will be terrible.
Defining, A Good Life, or, A Successful Life, is different for everyone, defining it for yourself is half the battle. The definition is fluid, it changes to make room for Life. For me, it means simplicity in the day-to-day, being with my family, laughing often, crying freely, giving space for the full spectrum of emotions, having friends to love, continual learning, service to – loving – caring for others, having enough, being enough, and caring for myself. Getting to travel is a nice bonus but I would be happy even if it weren’t possible. Having an Adequate Income and Good Health certainly assists in experiencing feelings of ease and simplicity; while I don’t believe Joyfulness is contingent on these two privileges, quality of life can be impacted by their absence – people who deny this with willful ignorance have never struggled, experienced debilitating illness, or gone without.
Some predictability in life, I have learned, is quite lovely.
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” ~ Paulo Coelho