Taking Up More Space

Dillon Reservoir, Dillon, Colorado

Here in the last week of 30 daily posts, some themes have emerged. Liberated was initially intended as a description of growing more irreverent with age, and ‘the value of your opinion to me…’ was all I had to say about that. As I thought (and wrote) about what I really feel liberated to do and say at this age, it really did circle back to bolder bids for connection, especially at work, with patients.

Smooth With Edges also started out with more of a defiant, rebellious feeling. The meme about Hecate came across my FB feed and vibrated immediately with deep resonance–of holding divergent, soft and hard, smooth and edgy parts of myself together in harmony. I like that I’m playful, curious, lighthearted, and nerdy. I also see myself as strong, taller in personality than physical height, and a force to be reckoned with when needed. It was too much yet to try to express in prose, so I chose stanzas instead. It spilled out in seconds, and by the end was no longer about me, but about Daughter and every girl or woman who holds back any part of herself in any way, about my urgent desire for us all to shed our constraints and own our power in full.

One kid has cleared the launchpad; the other now readies in the hangar. For almost twenty years they have been the two foci of my elliptical life orbit. I have done nothing in all this time without considering and accommodating them first–waking hours, meal plans, social activities, vacation dates/locations, professional meetings and engagements. Mom liberation occurs in stages: from nursing, from carseats, from dependent cook, obligatory chauffeur. While both kids lived at home, simultaneous attunement and attachment to both was 24/7, the default. The center of my logistical world was always our house. I felt most secure when my two life hubs were home, my universe a tight sphere. Now one nucleus is flung 1700 miles away, and my heart space has expanded exponentially, in a familial big bang of sorts–and I celebrate it.

As the kids’ independence grows, I find myself with bandwidth reserves now available for other pursuits–my own. It’s not that I subsumed all of my own needs and priorities to the family, and some constraints were still very real. Sometimes now I feel like my lung capacity is bigger, my breaths deeper, my armspan longer. How fascinating.

Last year my 30 November posts were a consolidation, a legacy capsule series to reference when the primary source is deceased. This year, like Sven the sourdough starter, I rise. I expand, multiply, propagate–ideas, connections, reach. I get to play, noodle, experiment, riff–make more. How exciting!

Liberated, indeed.

Taming Mama Bear

Sometimes it feels like not enough to simply empathize and validate. I have been there, I have life experience, I know what you need!

I AM MAMA BEAR HEAR ME ROAR I CAN FIX THIS FOR YOU GET OUT OF MY WAY

So then we have to empathize *enough* to remember what it’s like when empathy and validation are missing, and we get force fed solutions instead.

Definitely better to sedate the bear.

Steady Into the Storm

It swirls and circles

Dark, tense, looming

Mal-energy precedes in time and space

Imprints from the last pass

Check gear, reinforce, fasten

No more stalling

Raise the mainsail

Eyes open, shoes tied, jacket zipped, nothing loose

Clench up, onward with authority

Verbal lightening

Thunderous stares

Roiling emotions

Raw dysregulated tempest gale

The expert seafarer

Sets in confidently, well-moored, steady

Calm on the horizon in focus

Knowing

This too shall pass