If you are reading this post, it is not what you think it’s about if you just read the title.
I woke up this morning feeling that I was being dragged down….down into a black hole.
Although I’ve spun around the edge of this hole before, very often around holiday time,
I don’t think I’ve ever gone completely into it.
You do know there’s no way out of a black hole.
Thus, the resistance.
And, unlike what the Borg of the Star Trek, Next Generation series will tell you
resistance is not futile.
Honestly, resistance is essential
when it comes to the slippery slope of the black hole.
There are many reasons for sliding into the abyss.
But, there are more for not.
Grateful, I am, for all the reasons that keep me out of the hole.
Off the top of my head are three handsome, intelligent, caring young men.
I am proud to call them sons and even prouder they call me mom.
We worked hard to have them and raise them well.
I love them all endlessly.
Then, there’s my husband. I hit the jackpot there.
He’s my partner, my tormentor, my supporter, my court jester, my lover, my handyman,
I love him.
Then, there’s my sister and sister-in-law.
Great women. Inspiring independent, loving, caring women.
Women I do not see enough of.
Oops, that was a step towards the black, slippy edge.
Then, there’s my parents – both still alive – both still able to engage.
Both, still together, in their own home.
This time has been hard on them. And, me, if I were to be honest.
It is one thing to not visit because you choose not to.
It is another thing to not be able to visit because you can’t.
My parents live 880 miles away in another state, separated by one road.
I sent them a wreath this week for their home.
It was a gift in part. It was to assuage my guilt for not seeing them, in a larger part.
I woke to all these things this morning.
I have a small group of wonderful friends.
Quality is better than quantity where friendship is concerned.
I never have to prove myself to them. They accept me in all my oddness.
I’ve tried to stay connected to friends during this time of isolation.
It’s worked better with some than others.
Still, I am fortunate to know I have friends I can count on when the going gets rough.
Then, there is the richness and diversity of my life experience.
I’ve lived in four states. I’ve worked in five. I’ve had two completely different careers.
The people I’ve worked with included the indigent of inner city Baltimore, the
immigrants of the Buffalo West Side, the rich of the Driftless Area,
the poor of rural Southern Tier of New York,
the high risk pregnant women, the prematurely born babies, the
highly intelligent trail blazing doctors, nurse practitioners, and teachers I know.
Some were like me, many were not. I worked with them all.
I learned from them all.
I learned from professors at three different university’s from which
I obtained degrees.
I love to learn.
It is one of my favorite things in life.
I am constantly learning new things from new people.
I hope others learn from me.
I love students. Any type of student, but especially gifted students.
They know what being on the fringe is like.
I love to teach. My favorite positions were teaching positions –
in education or healthcare or even the middle of a field of flowers.
Teaching is teaching.
All this keeps me out of the black hole that I felt tugging at me this morning.
If you know me well, you’ll know there is no need for this post to cause alarm.
I am merely reflecting on my feelings.
Holiday time is hard.
It will be harder this year.
But, I am a resilient, strong, caring, and intelligent person.
I know it will all be okay.
This morning I woke.
Merriam Webster defines woke as: American Slang – “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues.” This word more commonly pertains to race and social justice issues. My post today used the word in the previous, more traditional sense of the past tense of wake. Still, being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues” at play in our own lives can help us recognize how we can attend to our own health and the well-being of others. Woke.