Writing helps me get shiz out of my head and recognize progress or lack thereof. Therefore, I will write. I might share and I might not. I haven’t decided yet.
It has been a year of many changes and a lot of reflection. I have lost friends. (Did you know that clicking “unfriend” button on Facebook does not bring the dramatic closure that is desired? It’s not even as satisfying as a good old-fashioned door slam.) I have made some new friends. I even made an effort not to make friends at one point, but it happened anyway. Dammit, why do I have to be so friendly?
My chicks left the nest. I have shed many tears over this. I am so grateful that they are growing up to be amazing, independent, and responsible people. I miss having them around and it sometimes seems absolutely wrong that they are not here. But, I am learning to be alone. I am creating my space, moving furniture, buying art, thinking, reading, writing, and walking around naked.
I have struggled a lot this year…with different things and situations. There were a lot of un-planned things happening. I have written about most of these things and that has helped me process and press on. So, I won’t list out all the crappy stuff. The good news is, I survived and whatnot. I persevered.
I found myself having the same thought as we all experienced news of violence, riots, killing, political nonsense, misunderstanding, judgment, and just plain meanness. Love your neighbor. I am not preaching. I do not care if you believe in God or Buddha or aliens. I do not care if you are gay, straight, bi or tri or tran or whatever other terms or standards people use to pretend that we are different from each other. Love your neighbor. I actually think this is the right thing to do. Yes, even those who are evil, spit venomous words, and the ones that get the consequence of the “unfriend” button. I should also add that even if we feel that we are the mean ones, we should love ourselves, too.
Something fantastic did happen during these changes. I created a distraction during the process of looking for full-time work and became a nanny. Looking back at my time as a nanny, I can now find a bit of clarity and understanding about myself. I love the littles. Taking care of the littles comes so naturally to me. I don’t know why really. Being Mom, Aunt Erin, Auntie E, Nanny, and Babysitter account for a lot of my smiling this year. I met a lot of great people with fantastic kids, witnessed a variety of parenting styles, and experienced an abundance of healing hugs, giggles, and poopy diapers. I have kept two of my nanny families and help them from time to time. I am blessed beyond comprehension to have been given a chance to be a small part of their lives. Recently, I was in mixed company with a nanny family and introduced myself as “The Nanny.” In an instant, I was corrected. “She is not just the nanny, she is our friend. Our good friend.” I will never forget that moment and how it filled me with joy. I am truly humbled.
Special note to the nanny families, especially the parents of my Clark and my foursies: Thank you for entrusting me with the care of your children and allowing me to re-live the fun of raising my own little bundles. I remember how difficult it was to leave my kids for an hour or two or even longer. I also want to praise all of you for taking time to nurture your relationships as spouses and parents. This can be an important little step that folks forget to take while raising their families. Great work! P.S. I love your children very much.
So, have I made progress this year? Yes. I think so. I’m pretty sure I have. I probably have. Do I still have work to do? Duh. P.S. So do you.
As my colleague, Oprah, says: Here’s what I know for sure…
1. More hugs will bring world peace.
2. Red wine goes with everything.
3. Puffs are the best kind of tissue to use.
4. Listen more, talk less –this is a really good idea.
5. Change happens.
6. Being brave is hard work.
7. Haiku is under-appreciated.
8. Gluten and carbs are delicious.
9. Music is a powerful drug.
I really wanted to add a number 10 to make that list an even number. But, I am practicing the idea of trying new things and having a different perspective. So I will take a deep breath and move forward. I’m not just a work in progress, I am a masterpiece in progress.