I’d napped too deeply
and woke up late,
scrambling to meet up
with our homegroup at 6.
I was eager to keep my promise
to be with this small band of friends
who gathered weekly
for support and encouragement.
I remember grabbing
a handfull of grapes
and finding my husband
with the rally to ready the kids.
Wearing sweats and still dumbly fumbling around
inside a wintry naptime fog,
we pulled into the field filled with too many cars.
Oh God, a large gathering.
(great…must’ve missed that memo.)
I pulled my sweatshirt around me and braced myself against the cold,
hoping to dodge any overt attention.
A whole warehouse full of birthday-wishing smiling faces
and tables groaning with potluck love.
It was an outpouring of generous gifts from genuine friends.
I felt humbled and grateful
and strangely missing
…as if waking up inside of someone else’s dream.
Later that night, as I described the evening
to my mother and sister on the phone,
it sounded so wonderful.
It was wonderful…. special and thoughtful and kind.
I should be happy. Pleased.
Truth was, I’d begun to feel more lonely
than ever before in my entire life.
I’d bumped into the woman for whom the party was thrown.
She seemed so very far from home.
This woman they honored~that image of me~I didn’t like her.
Wouldn’t even want to hang out with her.
She seemed a cardboard cutout….a role someone played…..a model wife and mother….
a standard to strive for…..a singer of worn out songs….a hoverer over home
and children (could’ve learned a thing or two from them)
…a selfless woman living a small scared life,
suffocated by her own virtue.
She completely pissed me off.
When had I stepped aside and let her take my place?
Why had I just disappeared?
I felt the keenest sense of dissatisfaction
and with it came a surge of something I can only describe
as hope on steroids.
It wasn’t too late for me.
I’d somehow lost myself in my 30’s; I had a new decade to put things right.
I would begin again.
And so, like waking up from a drugged and shadowy spell,
I stepped back into my life again.
~I took responsibility for my dissatisfaction and began making course corrections,
trusting the Spirit of Life to enable me to create new patterns and palates for my life.
~I began to grow a strong “no”.
~I made friends with the struggling artist within me.
~I labored to birth and build a business that expressed my truest colors.
~I began to savor wine and spoon sugar into my tea.
~I became, bit by wee bit, more of the woman
I’d wanted to be
…someone I like.
I’ve got one more week to live
before my last year of this decade begins
and I’m over the moon
for every day