Roses and azaleas in the front yard:
There was a period of a few weeks from the end of March through the first half of April where I committed myself to too many disparate things and I felt a little scattered. Some of those projects were things I really wanted to do, and others were things I agreed to just because I was available. Oh wait, maybe I wasn't really available, or maybe I shouldn't have been available. It seems a bit of recalibration and sorting is in order.
In the midst of all this busyness, a person whom I hope will become a friend, made a comment that brought me up short and set me to thinking. My interpretation of the comment was not at all the way it was intended, but it was what I needed to hear at the moment for it brought me up short and made me realize that I have been drifting along on autopilot, and although I realize, and say, that I am doing well, and am finally at a point where I can focus on myself, I have actually been rather bad at exactly that.
Two weeks from today will be the 3rd anniversary of George's death. 10 weeks from today will be my 58th birthday. In many ways I've gotten my focus back, my energy back, and my ability to be at home by myself with little risk of falling into the slough of despond. And yet, I haven't quite accepted that priority of self yet. There are things I want to pursue, things that make me happy, things that mesh with my gifts, talents, and inclinations, but I haven't always given myself permission to put myself first, to honor those gifts, to honor those needs. For a couple of years after George's death I needed to busy; I needed to be busy outside of myself, and I became very good at keeping myself occupied. Too occupied in fact. Too occupied with stuff that was really not the best use of my time and interests, too occupied with stuff that kept me from doing what I really need and want to do.
So I've been engaged in a bit of spring cleaning: physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am in the process of pulling out of a few things that aren't right for me, and I've put out feelers toward some projects that are better uses of my skills and interests. It is a good process, but sometimes a rocky one, and hence I've been a bit inconsistent here on this blog. Well, I've been a bit inconsistent overall.
One problem I've noticed is that once I give myself permission to set aside time for myself, for the things I want to do, I have to actually figure out what those things may be. It is a process of discovery, a process that yields occasionally surprising results. Something that, at a distance, seemed like a precious flower proves only to be a weed. Sometimes weeds prove to be the most beautiful flowers. It appears to be a slow process, but I am learning.
In the meantime I am in the garden again. At this point this involves mostly weeding, digging and grunt work. I am behind schedule. As you can see if you look closely, weeds still rule. The garden is not where I hoped it would be, I will not plant everything I hoped to plant. I missed an opportunity by occupying myself elsewhere, and yet at the same time, I have learned that some things I thought would be difficult are easier on my back than I had presumed. This has lead to dreams of grandeur and future gardens, although at this point there is really no evidence that I can keep up with the garden I have. But we shall grow together this garden and I, through whatever mis-steps and surprises come our way.