This year’s haul of jack o’ lanterns, carved by the Husband, with lanterns and baby pumpkins decorated by Lottie and Michelle.
On my old blog, I used to celebrate Samhain every year with an annual post, looking back over the previous year and looking forward to the coming one. A kind of taking stock. Most people do that at the turn of the calendar year, but we Pagans tend to do it at Samhain – or Halloween – as well. And it struck me today, in the wake of a serious pumpkin-carving and trick-or-treating with my little god-daughter last night, that such a tradition might still have some value.
In Review then:
My ongoing absence from this space lately should tell you all you need to know. We continue to struggle with elder care, and the stress it involves. Just when you think things are settled for a while, another crisis arises. My poor Husband is skating perilously close to the limits. I try to support him. Between us, we attempt to do our best in a situation in which there is no answer, no magic wand, no way to be right, or to even be appreciated for our efforts. The best we can hope for is that in years to come, we will will at least be able to sleep at night, in the knowledge that we did everything we could.
As an antidote to all this, I have set to work on remaking a novel from an idea I came up with years ago, in the hope that it will give me something productive to focus on for myself, something outside the ‘wrinkly situation’. After an enlightening session with a great Life Coach, I’m trying new approaches, new ways of thinking, new ways of working.
And honestly? Its fantastic!
No matter what is happening, this delicious landscape is chuntering away in the back of my skull, building up details, accumulating momentum, reminding me constantly of who I am apart from my situation. I am doing something for myself. I am doing something that gives me enormous pleasure. And it feels great. (More to come on that project in future posts!)
So much has changed for me in the last 10 months. My choice of the annual word ‘Ease’ turned out to be laughable – I haven’t had any! Oh, but I am so much more easeful in myself in countless ways.
Giving myself time off, allowing myself space to grow, has enabled exactly that. I can see my writing, my creativity, and my very self in so many new ways. I truly have grown.
And now for something completely different?
No, not really. More of the growing, changing, evolving, I hope.
Less of the stress in future, I hope, now that professional care is in place for the elders. Things aren’t going to get any better, but I hope that I can give up fighting reality, wishing things were different. Accepting where we are seems to be the only way forward at this point. Giving up struggling against the situation means having more energy to put into what can really be helped and changed. And into looking after myself and my man, so that we come out of this with at least something of our sanity intact.
More investing in myself. More self respect. Stronger boundaries. Taking less shit (ie “don’t fucking ask me how I’m going to make money out of this damned novel when I haven’t even finished writing it yet! Can’t you see that its the PROCESS thats important, not the bloody money that may or may not come at the end?”)
And more journalling. Lots and LOTS more journalling. Because it is an outlet for all the feelings. And in this situation, there are LOTS of feelings.
In the meantime, I am in the process of remembering how to write again. I’m rusty. My fingers are stiff. The words are clunky, the metaphors are tired. I need to practice, strengthen the muscles, write every day, do a little bit, often.
And reading. Lots of reading. Because as writers, we learn so much from our peers.
I’m changing. I am different even to the person who wrote the last blog post here. Next time, I think I will be different again. But if we do not evolve, we die.
And as for Samhain:
Dear friends, I wish you a peaceful, happy Samhain. May your ancestors gather around you in love and support. May you step out on the path of peace and creativity in the coming year. May you know yourself, and find peace therein. May you find healing. And may your path be strewn with joy.