Last week I earned the gold belt rank in Tai Chi. That was exciting. I can’t wait until I earn the blue belt because then I can wear the black uniform instead of the white uniform so I’ll look thinner (ha ha). Tai Chi has been a bit of a lifesaver for me. Going 4 days a week has given me something to look forward to, and taught me a lot about commitment, accepting feedback graciously, and pushing through no matter what. Last week I made the decision that my daughter can no longer come to my house. She is in a relationship with a man I consider very dangerous, and I must protect my family and property. This was a hard decision. I felt great loss and grief. During a Tai Chi private lesson I asked my instructor if doing Tai Chi was a good way to face the emotions and let them out. He said, “Let’s see.” So I did the Tai Chi form and felt joy and peace. Not what I expected! I think it showed me that even though there may be drama in my life, I can still feel happy and have fun. Life goes on.
Don’t you just love to have “ah ha” moments? It happened to me while I was watching Cinderella a couple of days ago. When Cinderella was walking down the palace staircase entering the ball, all eyes were on her and she was a beautiful princess. I thought how much she reminded me of my own daughter. I see her as a beautiful princess, just perfect and kind and courageous. Yeah, that’s who I see when I look at her. Just before this scene, the Fairy Godmother turned Cinderella into who she really is, from a country girl into a princess. Then just as Cinderella was heading to the ball in the pumpkin-turned-carriage, the Fairy Godmother told her that the magic was only good until midnight. It wasn’t forever, and everything would go back the way it was. Well that hit me like a brick! All these years, I have been rescuing my daughter, magically making everything right for her. But I really need to stop that. The magic should only be good for a short while, then she needs to get back to her “regular” life and move forward, on her journey of embracing who she really is. I noticed that the Fairy Godmother didn’t keep coming back to Cinderella and using magic to fix everything. I feel like I’ve been doing that all these years with my daughter. I’ve been a rescuer, and an enabler. It’s time for the magic to be done. It’s midnight and she needs to move forward on her own. This is a hard lesson for me and I don’t know why it has taken me this long to see that I can’t solve other people’s problems. If I keep interfering, how will they learn and grow? What will they do when I am gone? How will they become independent? I will take Cinderella’s mother’s advice – I will “have courage and be kind,” and stop waving my magic wand.
This year’s garden was great, especially since my daughter did all the work. Sadly, she moved out right when it is time to put the garden to bed for the winter. I managed to pull the sunflowers, and my grandson pulled the corn. Just gotta pull out the tomato cages and other braces and it’s good night garden. Pulling the sunflowers was quite a task for me considering the fatigue that hit me after about an hour of work. I keep thinking the post-brain surgery fatigue is gone but it’s really not. Perhaps I’m just “getting used to it.” And my vision seems to be getting worse. Are we having fun yet? I wish putting this disability to bed was like putting the garden to bed: A bunch of hard work for a while and then enjoying the peace. I guess I still have a lot to harvest from this life lesson.
At my job there is an opportunity for me to apply for a management position. I would love that. I really enjoyed being Dean of Nursing at Fortis College. I like working with people and assisting them to reach goals. But darn it, my health is not good enough to take on such a responsible role. It’s been 2 years since my brain surgery, and I am still not the energetic, Type A, “let’s do it” kinda girl I used to be. I could sit and be disappointed, or I could choose to focus on what I have, not what I don’t have. And I’ve got a great job and wonderful students, and supportive colleagues. Maybe next year…
My daughter moved into her own apartment again yesterday. I went over today and helped her unpack some boxes. She has a great job and the apartment is lovely. I miss her already but know that she needs to be out on her own. It is just my grandson and me here now, and he will be moving on soon himself. Life continues to move forward, with new paths appearing all the time. I have many new things to adjust to, but I have always enjoyed change. Let the excitement continue!
I continue learning lessons on the train. If you’ve read “Girl on a Train” it’s nothing like that. I haven’t witnessed any murders or anything. Last week a man was laughing loudly on the train. It made me smile and I looked around to see what was so funny. As I scanned the crowd I noticed that people were not smiling, they were looking concerned, scared, fed up, and other emotions I couldn’t read. Then I thought maybe I was crazy and should act like the rest of the crowd. Yeah, I was “shoulding” on myself. I never found the source of the laughter, but I enjoyed listening to his glee, and kept smiling.
That same day I was eavesdropping on a conversation and was surprised that they were discussing an exact parenting issue I was facing. So with confidence I joined the conversation and LEARNED SO MUCH! It was an answer to a question I have been wondering about for several months. I went home and applied the advice I was given. It’s great talking to strangers.