A new year is sort of an arbitrary date, but we do like to celebrate it. For years, I didn’t really enjoy the turn of the year because it meant that I had to go to a nutso party and leave my kids at home. Then one year – oh about 27 years ago – I just stopped doing that and had a huge party. Those parties were awesome fun and I then started to enjoy the new year festivities. Being with my children was what made it so special. Sharing that turn of the year, even though it is a day like any other, meant a good deal more.
Don’t get me wrong, their father was fun to be with and I enjoyed sharing it with him… but all the drugs and alcohol that were so much a part of the party scene really didn’t make me feel like I was celebrating any new anything… or any old anything, for that matter. It simply felt contrived to me. Then, the massive parties in Haverford, PA initiated new years that were incredible and meaningful markers… they became a tradition in our lives.
In 1992 we moved away to the mountains of Colorado, where things changed. In just a few short years, my marriage ended and my children got older. They preferred their friends, but it was still a close in sort of thing for us because the town we lived in was small – easy to navigate and everyone sort of checked in with each other.
One of the great benefits of my 1st marriage was that my husband was far more social than I, which meant I ended up being “out there” in the world more. Without his influence and probably because of the sadness I felt, my life became much more internal. New Year’s Eve didn’t hold much allure to me and my willingness to celebrate anything had changed some… maybe I lost it completely for a bit.
Now, I’m much older and a grandmother… Some years we are all together, some years only some of us are… and some years I’m not with them at all. Last year (2013) turned into this year with just my lover, myself and the two salukis. We had a glorious time together and I have learned how to keep what’s most important to me – with me – all the time.
My family is the most important part of me. Each of my children have shown me more about myself and how to be in the world then anyone I’ve known. They are my greatest teachers and have given me tremendous clarity in life, even the child I didn’t give birth to but who was a huge part of my becoming.
Qadir was two when I met him. A small and thoughtful child, who wasn’t quite sure what my presence in his life was intended for at first. He taught me that love isn’t reserved for children who are of our bodies. He was my heart child from day one and I loved him like my own; protected and guarded his tenderness while I honored his mother, who fulfilled all his needs completely. He showed me how to be unconditional with my love.
Chelsea Briggen taught me how strong I was and that I could do anything. She showed me how being vulnerable wasn’t weak, but a powerful way to be in the world. She taught me how to be soft and generous, while I learned to celebrate my gifts. She helped heal me from the years of being discounted and brought meaning into my life again.
Sarah Corinna taught me about how big my heart actually is, as when she was born I realized that I had a capacity to love that was endless. She also taught me how to heal myself and not back down, while being completely generous and loving. She showed me how to be honest, as she has always been honest with me, even when it wasn’t comfortable. Her being encourages me to be fierce and gentle, simultaneously.
Asher taught me how precious men are and that they didn’t start out being mean and cruel, but only some of them grew into being that way. He’s shown me how to be determined; how to never give up and to be consistent, no matter what and showed me how to laugh at myself sometimes. He’s taught me about the profound value of friendship.
Hannah Melissa King taught me about laughter and how important it is to not take myself so seriously. She taught me to be lighthearted and love life more and reminded me that I had much more in my heart than pain. Her being showed me how important focus is and why listening to others carefully made me a better person. She also showed me that I was valued and magical; that my being here makes a difference.
Tyler Quinn taught me how to take full responsibility for my health, my life and my choices… He showed me the value of not thinking that anyone was trying to hurt me, but that they just were doing what they felt to do. Tyler shows me how to forgive everything and everyone and to trust my inner wisdom.
My children… they have made my life rich and remarkable… and I love who I have become BECAUSE of them.
All this doesn’t mean that raising them was an easy task. Rather, it illustrates something about how time works in our lives.
For example, having some faith that everything was really “OK”… when I was living with 5 snarling teenagers who thought I was ridiculous and fearful, rather than wise and capable… Or the days where I was juggling numerous sport activities I had to get various kids to and failing miserably in being present for anyone… Or the late nights with a houseful of sick children and feeling like an utter failure to someone during the long nights of no sleep… My method for getting through all those times was a commitment to remember who they really were and holding that image close to my consciousness instead of what they were showing me in “real time”.
This appears to be a fucking brilliant method for being in the world, as we are all here and in love with each other still.
A new year can bring change, but so can a new day. It appears that without a whole bunch of focused determination, this has become my way. Celebrating today with all your heart is such a powerful way to live in the world. Celebrating yourself and all the many ways you are able to mess things up as well as the ways that you employ utter brilliance without any ego involvement….
These are the elements of life that make it precious.
We can’t change the world or make it a better place by merely focusing on what’s wrong or what isn’t “right”, but we can change the whole world by being honest, being humble and knowing that no matter how messy it all looks, there is an overarching perfection working in our lives.
Making a determination to be in love with yourself and in the support you are gifted through the universe (like my children were for me), this is what smooths out all the rough edges and makes even the biggest disasters a thing of beauty… In time.
Give thanks today for your breath. Give thanks today for your heart beat.
You don’t THINK, “now I must breathe” or “now I have to get my heart to beat again”, it just happens. It happens magically and for your whole life, day in and day out. Given this truth, it stands to reason that there are other magical things occurring all the time that can make today incredible.
Make your way out into your day – KNOWING – Your life is precious, you are surrounded by grace and you are doing just fine.