From Depletion to “Feasting on My Life”: What a single-mom will do with “time off”

The divorce depleted me: mentally, emotionally, financially, materially, and even physically. If you’ve been following me, you know I have been recovering.

Maybe no one even knows that I am running on fumes, from looking at me. Most days.

And that is how it is supposed to be.

After leaving the marriage with only the clothes on my back, my daughter, and a large sack of random sundries — the reality is, two years later, I’m still figuring out how to begin “My Life Again”. This is a new revelation, mainly, because, this Father’s Day weekend I reached the finality of my depletion stage: the point where empty can’t feel any emptier and lack can’t feel any lonelier.

I didn’t know I hadn’t reached “E” yet. I was pretty sure I had.

I thought I was filling the tank back up! But, I am now mindful that I needed this particular lonely experience to grow me in my personal understanding a little bit more.

You see, Grace’s lively spirit is an Omni-presence!

therefore, my allowing of the “feeling” of emotional depletion is rare – it’s practically impossible when she does joyous things like this:

 

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Donut Diving!!!

 

 

 

But being alone on this holiday, with no place to go and no one to do anything with, trying to find solace in loads of laundry, dirty dishes, and deck cleaning made me miss her more than usual.

I missed “Us”.

 

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She has water in her mouth that she is about to bubble out and spit at me! Little Vixen!

 

But mostly, I have discovered, I missed me.

“How are you doing?” friends and family often ask.

“I’m still trying to figure out how many potatoes to buy for just the two of us,” I jokingly respond.

But what I realized I am really saying in this fake ‘potato-scenario’ is: When I am alone, and everyone else is busy with the living of their own family lives (which exactly what you all should be doing) this single-mom-who-has-no-where-to-go asks herself , “Where do I go? What do I do? And who do I go with?”

Here’s my light bulb moment: I don’t care about the potatoes. Or, how much laundry needs folding. Or cleaning those day old dishes.  These things I am using as a cover for my cold lack of going to lunch (or pilates) with me.

The funny – or not so laughable point – is that my inner being, upon waking on Sunday, Father’s Day morning, asked my outer being (we will call her ‘Pamela’ — because that is who she is) out on a hiking date. So, I didn’t HAVE to be lonely.

Inner being said, “Pamela, I am dreaming of a breezy hike at Maudslay State Park with you.”

And here is where the humor ends: Pamela stood her inner being up. Pamela really wanted to go.  She wanted to see trees delicately move in the wind and the fingers of sunshine causing ripples on the river.

Pamela chose not to open the door when her inner being knocked.

And in this bottoming out, in this dramatic-loneliness-act, I was reminded of the Derek Walcott poem which says it best:

Love After Love by Derek WalcottThe time has come to greet inner-being-Pamela with elation, again. To drink with her the wine and eat the bread of life. Or in her case sip the steamy coffee and savor the fresh cookies!

To stop being her stranger. To give back to her ‘her’ heart. And to have the favor returned. The time has come to stop ignoring her.

This is the image of the woman  I will “peel” off of the mirror…WIN_20170619_17_00_26_Pro_LI

I will give her the love letter stored on the bookshelf (it’s a juicy one!).

We will pour over the old photos.

We will laugh at the desperate notes of days past.

We will fall in love again… I am taking her to dinner.

And we will sit — but “Sit” is merely a suggestion! – Who can sit when we can bike ride, walk, swim, hike or down-ward dog as we FEAST on life?

I will love Pamela’s face (smile lines and all, I promise)

as much as I love Grace’s face:

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Gorgeousness!

And we will find “Love after Love”.

We will no longer be strangers wondering “What do we do? Who do we do it with?”

We will know the answers.

We will fill up the cup that is depleted with our FEAST on life!

We will start with dinner…

 

…Do you have any restaurant recommendations?

Blessings and peace,

Pamela Rae

p.s. Stay tuned for our summer adventures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Tale As Old As Time: How to “Create a Moment”

When your daughter tells you, “I’m not wearing dresses anymore,” please don’t take it lightly. Get moving!  Call your local professional photographer – or a friend who enjoys photo ops with flair – and schedule an appointment pronto. Now, run to Kohl’s with your 30 percent off coupon, grab the latest D-Signed for Girls Collection, and “princess it up”  before you run out of  precious “girly-girl time”.

It’s Time to Create a Moment!

She’s only nine, but Grace knows who she is and what she likes: baseball, basketball, gymnastics, swimming, and going fifty miles per hour on her scooter (helmet on, of course) down a hill – while I’m sweating anxiety beads the whole time.

I’m only forty-seven, and I know who I am and what I like, too: poetry, Pilates, hot coffee even on hot days, meditation, slow walks at sunrise, and I like her in “dressy” dresses.

Yet, despite our contrasts, Grace and I do reside together mostly in harmony. I credit Disney. We are both die-hard fans of all films, channels, garb, and paraphernalia.

So, in order to force time to standstill,  I knew I could Create a Moment when I came home with these two Disney D-Signed Belle dresses, and she’d  happily play along.

So, My KEY advice to get your female sports enthusiast in a dress?

Make it into a theatrical production — With these Belle fashioned frills, costumes were DONE.

Now, props.

Get THE ROSE (or Aurora’s spinning wheel – whatever your theme, find the prop). Lucky me, I just so happen to have a generous friend whose husband embodies artistic finesse and skill. He had already designed and fashioned his rendition of the “forbidden flower” for their little girl. So, that was a quick and easy, “May I borrow your daughter’s Belle Rose?” and BOOM (as my students would exclaim), props DONE.

Next, RUN to the photographers as FAST as you can

before momentum is lost.

Then, CREATE the scenario for your little actor: “Grace, you are Belle. I have told you not to go to the West Wing, several times. But, as usual, you have your own glorious mind, you don’t listen –”

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Next comes her exuberant (and welcome, as she is in performance ZONE now) interruption: “— oh, and you walk in and catch me right as I start to remove the lid! Mom, you then need to scold me!”

YES. She invited me to scold her. I leapt at the opportunity.

What joy! Between laughter and some serious finger waving we captured my sternness and her dismayed surprise. Moment created – DONE.

Wait…

Don’t let go yet, however.

Slow down the reel on this Oscar winning performance…

Take a minute, look her in her eyes,

Remember back to the days when she wouldn’t resist the frills,

get face to face, nose to nose…

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And smile proudly at your headstrong, self assured, sports-loving-lady.

She’s going to be just fine. No, she’ll be better than fine. And so will you. And so will you.

Cheers to Creating Moments!

Blessings and peace,

Pamela Rae