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The Mixed Emotions of a Coming Winter

I am scared.
The gray of the sky overburdens me,
Swamping me in a soft blanket
of ennui,
but one in which
I can’t indulge.

I muster my strength to throw off its

weight

and push through,
giving birth to myself each morning
from another cocoon of dreams.

I am choiceless.

Now, the green grass still lies splayed
below me.
A maiden no longer,
She shows herself fully,
a last gasp before her faded beauty
dies for another season,
smothered by a soft, frozen fatal whisper.

I am coddled
by the lowing clouds
That catch me up in a drowning
Embrace of cool sadness,
Pushing on my eyelids
As the earth
Balks and wavers
And hunkers down to suffer through
Another winter.

It is that time of year again.  My beloved Spring and Summer have turned now to Fall.  Two nights ago, we had our first frost – unexpected.  The hummingbirds are gone wherever hummingbirds go during the cold – where is that place?  The crickets now require water to stay alive, water in the warm light of day.  Yellowjackets are struggling inside in a last, desperate attempt to survive.  They are compassionately and carefully shooed back outside, with every effort made to help them keep their limbs and wings intact.

Around now, I start thinking about next year, about resolutions, about goals.  Where will I be this time next year?  My lease will have expired.  My daughter will be in high school.  I don’t even know what to think about money.  It occurs to me that I need a plan.  And I need a dream picture.  I have been reading much about creating your own reality over the past year or so, and I figure it can’t hurt anything…to paint the dream in my head, shape it, and make it real.  The universe works in strange, powerful and mysterious ways.

Perhaps it is time for a true change of seasons.

That’s the little sign on the corner of my computer monitor.  The little sign at the top of the computer monitor says “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.”  Both are pretty apt for me these days.

I am getting ready to leave my job – well, more accurately, my job is leaving me – on Friday.  I’ve been coming here off and on for almost nine years to the day.  That’s a long time.  It will be strange not to drive up, walk through the doors, settle at my desk.  Fortunately, at least in my head, the company is moving everyone into our “back-up” building, into a completely different environment/layout/set-up, so I comfort myself by thinking that it would be very different anyway.  Had I stayed, I might have switched to full-time work-at-home – which I’m going to do anyway with my own business.

But what I will really miss (aside from the steady paycheck) is the support system.  I’ve known the women I work with for a long time:

Kathy: 9 years – she heard my sorrow over losing my Mom daily; I’ve helped her through dating, marriage and two kids, and we’ve been each other’s moral support through some hellacious work schedules for the past 7 months
Kathy: 9 years – she was first my boss, and then she became my friend; she helped me move out when I left Pat
Denise: 5 years – very much like a sister to me
Kris: 20 years – we’ve been together at two companies and through the deaths of my parents and her dad
Debbie: 4 years – we compare notes about our kids
Colleen: 4 years – we’re talking about painting houses together in the summer
Christine: 5 year – we’ve always wanted to go out together, but we agree that might be dangerous – a big support for me during times of transition

With all of these women, I have shared tears, laughter, dreams, and rants.  At times, they were the only positive thing about coming to work.  While I know that I don’t need to let the relationships go, I’ve never been good at maintaining relationships, and the dynamic changes once you’re “out” when they’re still “in.”  I want to change my old pattern of letting people go, and try to keep these women in my life.

I know that some of them are closely following my plan for working independently, and wishing they could pursue their own dreams.  They’re watching to see how I do.  After all, if I can do it, they can do it.

So I owe it to them, as well as to myself, to be fearless.

“This is a blank map that lets you go as far as you want in any direction, with no questions asked, but it’s no help at all if you want to know if you’re going the right way.” -Storypeople (Brian Andreas)

 

I downloaded divorce papers today.  I couldn’t look at them, but at least having them on the computer is the next step.  It is sad that I don’t miss Pat.  I might miss him, if it were not for Russ, but not enough to go back.  My God, it is daunting, though, to end a quarter of a century of taking care of someone.  You miss the idea of how things were, not the reality.  And I know that I’ve had that experience for many years – thinking about how it would be nights when I came home, and looking forward to it, to seeing him, and having it be so different, so disappointing, but always hoping that perhaps a different night would be better.  There were good times, sometimes, traveling, cooking, champagne at the cemetery of summer afternoons…others as well, and getting to the point of honoring those is important to me, loving those times, and losing the wistfulness that surrounds them.  And while it’s important to me that he gets there too, I have no control over that.

 

When I check in with myself, I still feel that all he really is going to want from me is money.  Not that there’s much, and I am on the fence about how much to give him – half of the inheritance my Mother left me?  He’s already blown his small amount.  That just doesn’t seem fair, doesn’t seem like what she’d want.  But if it must be, it must be.  I can’t determine if it is worth fighting for.

 

I do want to wind up being friends, though.  Shared custody of Kelsea and perhaps the dogs and cats.   It is so sad.  And it is hard to be strong.  I will not let Russ take care of me financially.  That is something that I must do myself, in order for there to be true equality.  Never having had a true partner before, I do not know how to manage or approach such a relationship on a practical level – on an emotional level, I think I am improving, allowing myself to trust him with more and more of me every day.  But the practical side is different and may take a different kind of perspective.   With the shadow of losing my job hanging over me like a dim spectre, the idea of quitting the second job is unthinkable. The idea of incurring more expenses – like buying a house in Boulder – is inconceivable.  It’s as if I should not take on anything that I cannot handle on my own – just in case.  I do not want to have that “just in case” attitude, and must keep reminding myself that this is a different relationship, a different man, and a different me than I’ve ever experienced in the last 25 years, since I came of age.  Ah, but I have always been of age.

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