Friday, June 26, 2009

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost

Thought I'd share this since I alluded to it in my last entry, and because it is one of my favorite poems of all time.

After my entry 2 nights ago, I've learned that sometimes giving voice to inner angst is very painful. I cry, without knowing why I'm crying, and feel generally quite lost. I suspect this phase will pass soon enough, leading into yet another stage of whatever is happening, be it grief or some other process of dealing with the uncertainty and challenge that face me and the ones I love.

So, while keeping things inside and pushing the worry aside was easier in some ways, I know that only in letting it out will I be able to move on through to the other side. And really, the bottling things up, even when done unconsciously, is pretty darn harmful all by itself. But really, I'm not in love with the tears and feelings of fragility. Bring on the next phase of healing!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


What I've learned and/or discovered:

Everyone heals differently. From physical and emotional and mental trials and tribulations, we all progress uniquely. For example, my surgical wounds are healed, but my body is still adjusting and adapting and coping. Sometimes it does this adjusting when I really don't expect or anticipate a need to adjust, and it takes a moment to figure out what's going on. But I'm confident that in time all will be just fine.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Safety is a state of mind. If I am in a safe place mentally and emotionally, I will in fact, be safe. To say that I didn't feel safe in the interwebs in recent months is not a statement of what I was reading and experiencing, rather it was a statement of my own inner reality.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It's OK to mourn the death of a beloved pet, and I don't have to get over it since it was only a pet. I realized anew that my life is so much less without Duke in it. And I know I'm fine, and will be fine, and I've discovered that pushing the grief aside is just as detrimental as if I had lost a human member of the family. It's been almost 9 months, and just realizing that he's been gone that long takes my breath away and reduces me to tears. My heart hurts.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've learned that no matter how difficult the relationship with your parent may be, it is never easy to adjust to having them move 350 miles away, when you've lived near them all your life. It is also never easy to adjust to the parent's loss of physical ability, independence, and autonomy.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've learned that figuring out how to best parent a child on the brink of manhood is tricky at best, and even more difficult when the child is an alien. He is nothing like me. This child is such an individual, and so unique, so unconcerned with pleasing other people (especially authority figures) and so delighted with being himself, and blazing his own trail. He amazes me that he was thrilled to graduate a year early and work out his own best path to adulthood, rather than follow the proscribed path of High School and Proms and Graduation ceremonies. He does what works best for him, in his own time, and never worries about what others are doing. He's not a loner, as he enjoys the company of his peers, but he's unconcerned with "fitting in". He learned from his teachers, but had no desire to demonstrate to them that he had learned what they taught. Yet he passed all his tests with honors.
He is so very different from me, the people pleaser, the one for whom good grades and all the pomp and circumstance mattered. But I forget that he's different, and I needn't be sad for what I think he's missing. He doesn't want it anyway - that was me. He much prefers to follow the "Road Less Traveled." (a book by M. Scott Peck, but the title was taken from a poem by Robert Frost.) I grow melancholy as all his friends celebrate the traditional rites of passage and make plans for college, and yet, he is so happy in the here and now he has created for himself. He doesn't need or desire those rites.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've learned so many things, much more than I can recall right now. Mostly, during these past months, I've come to realize that it is, in the words of the song I posted in my last entry, the climb. That really is what matters, and ultimately, all that matters. The climb. How we live day in and day out. Because there will always be lessons to learn. And there will always be mountains to move. There will always be something else to cope with. What matters is the coping, the climb. And I know that when the emotional and mental and physical bank account are drained dry, the climb can seem insurmountable. And it isn't always easy to make deposits to those accounts. Somehow, the climb itself must include ways to put back, before we run out. I forgot that in the past months, and I'm not done finding ways to refill what was depleted. I'm trying but I'm still quite empty. I'm not there yet. Somedays I can't face the frikkin climb at all, and really just need to pull the covers over my head and wish it would all go away. But that isn't an option, so I put on my big girl panties and get on with it. That's what good girls do, right?

But it is all about the climb. And I will be and in fact, AM, fine. None of the worries of today will be seen from a galloping horse, as my Grandmother used to say. I've missed everyone here, and yet I've had nothing to give. I was overwhelmed at the thought of trying to read and participate even as I was missing you all.

As I get myself put back together, I am trusting and believing that I will once again find joy and energy in participating in this wonderful community. I hope it's soon. I think even writing this much is a good first step.



Sunday, June 7, 2009

Speaking To Me At This Time

The Climb lyrics
Songwriters: Alexander, J; Mabe, J;

I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa