A few weeks ago, I got a phone call that would change my perspective on many things in my life. A dear friend received a diagnosis of a life threatening disease. His wife was so full of grace and compassion that I could only think she must be in shock.
How would I react in the same circumstances? I reflected at my behavior in the studio the days prior to getting the news. Having one of those days, if it could go wrong, it did. I spent time in tears, shaking my fists at the ceiling, cursing. At the time, it seemed okay. I was angry! Later, I was shamed. The way we respond to little problems can only reflect how large problems will be handled…right?
Maybe not. I hope not. I’ve never had anything horrible happen to me as an adult. Losing my father was painful and sad, but everyone loses a parent. The Scripture says, “out of the heart, the mouth speaks.’ I am humbled at that. What do I have to be so ticked off about? Really, nothing. My behavior is born of frustration, tiredness. We all strive to accomplish impossible things day in and day out. Our society expects it of us, and then it filters down. I have huge expectations of myself, and then, unfortunately, of others. I’m sorry for that.
Approaching old age is softening me. I try to think the very best of those of around me, rather than looking at how an action has hurt me, usually through omission, not commission. People are busy! I cannot expect my friends to read my mind. If I need something, I must speak up! And it goes both ways. I will try to be sensitive to the needs of others, be more tolerant, be patient. Letting things go is also a new action for me. I have never, ever been able to let anything go! I was the queen of holding on, a master of dragging it out. There are a few things that still fester, but I think those annoyances will disappear in time.
My birthday is approaching. It is literally sickening. I was just 25. How did this happen? I don’t want to fritter (sic) my life away. I don’t want any more regrets. I want to be loving and kind. I want to have the kind of grace my friend has in the face of adversity. I want my friends to know they can trust me to be there for them. I want to be slow to act. This is new state of mind for me. I am a person who jumps in blindly.
Another thing, something I can do easily, is unclutter my space. The rooms and barns full of stuff that is overwhelming me can go now. Suddenly, I am able to let go of 35 years of artifacts that I dragged all the way from New Jersey. I wasn’t ready to get rid of it then. Now that the decision is made to unload, it can’t happen fast enough. My sister doesn’t know this yet, but I am going to try to talk my niece into spinning and weaving so she can have any leftovers. Yarn that is still around is going to the Goodwill. Fire is also an option.
I am clearing out my life in all of these ways. Another Scripture says to ‘shake the dust off your feet…..’ I like that. Although I am taking it out of context, that action is exactly what I hope to do. Move on, grow, leave the unnecessary behind me. Shake the dust off my feet.
Thank you for sharing this. I think we all have some traumatic experience at some time that touches us like your friend’s disease and that often is a trigger for a change that must be another level of maturity. I, with you, hope my change is a positive one for me and for those around me – far and near.