If I had to use three words to describe myself last year at this time I would say “hurting, perplexed, tenacious.”
IN OCTOBER, 2021
I was hurting because my father died less than six months before October last year. I had been my mother’s primary caretaker from April through July and spent much of that time simultaneously emptying her home before assisting my brothers in moving her into an assisted living facility. I was perplexed because I had managed to hurt my middle daughter by following through to move to New Jersey without adequate ongoing communication for a much needed sabbatical from my life on the west coast. I was tenacious because I didn’t stop trying to get it – life – work – my creative pursuits – better than they had since I had a near death experience in 2019 and quite honestly, for a few years leading up to that.
WHEN LIFE’S PLANS ARE DIFFERENT THAN YOUR OWN….
I didn’t know last October I would go on a wildly circuitous route to find myself starting over again. I am back to the manse where I started my “year of creative retreat and radical self-care” on October 6, 2021.
I didn’t know it would devolve or evolve into a second period of intense grief, and crisis caregiving of an entirely different sort which lead me to spend January, March, May, June, July, August, half of the preceding December and half of September only to return right back where I started – as if my hopes and dreams chewed me up and spit me out – and I got back up, Slowly and sometimes quite unsurely I brushed myself and my circumstances off and insisted upon finishing what I desperately longed to start AND finish.
AND THE IRONY OF THINGS D/EVOLVING INTO BETTER
Ironically – and I wouldn’t have expected to be saying this – but experiencing that crisis caregiving time healed the rift with my middle daughter, strengthened my reserves and built my west coast family into much more of a team. Our communication is stronger. It is safe to say we all feel more resilient.
There was one important request I made before I got on an airplane and headed back east on September 15.
DOING LIFE DIFFERENTLY: THE SIMPLE THINGS
I said “You guys need to text me for no real reason. You need to let me know how you are, tell me how your day went, ask me how I am doing, because right now, I get scared with every text I receive.
“When I left last year I only heard from any of you if something bad happened. I do not want it to be like that.”
It isn’t like that. Our healing through tears, struggles, laughter, strength building and stubborn will changed us all for the better.
I am still grieving – with my younger brother’s death last December 10th there are still tender firsts to experience. I am still concerned about the health of my family members. There is still left over sadness because I was hustling so much to be sure Samuel’s college tuition was paid I didn’t get to invest in as much time in work around my home in Bakersfield or connecting with friends AND.. things are so much better I am still wondering when I will wake up from this dream.
THE HEALING POWER OF POETRY
In May Swenson’s poem, “October”, one stanza includes this section:
“I sit with braided fingers
and closed eyes
in a span of late sunlight.
The spokes are closing.
It is fall: warm milk of light,
though from an aging breast.
I do not mean to pray.
The posture for thanks or
supplication is the same
as for weariness or relief.”
YOUR THREE WORDS… OR PHRASES.
For you, I am grateful for your presence, I am thrilled to connect with you again, and I am honored to meet and walk alongside new companions
I am relieved and thrilled to be back here for another October with you and another Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have not been stable through any of the months we have done this since… I don’t know when – surely at least since 2019 but that makes me even more determined to be here for the other participants as well as to honor what I have been through this year and what is coming next in the future.
I would love to hear what you are looking forward to in October and how I might help you either in the content I write or the encouragement I may be able to offer you.
I am beyond words grateful that you are here reading my words.
Julie Jordan-Scott is a Creative Life Coach, an award-winning storyteller, actor and poet whose photos and mixed media art graces the walls of collectors across the United States. Her writing has appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers List, the Amazon best sellers list and on American Greetings Holiday cards (and other greeting cards). She currently lives in a manse in Northwest New Jersey (Sussex Borough, Nj) where she is working on finishing her most recent book project, hugging trees daily and enjoys having random inspirational conversations with strangers.
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