Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Decisions and ponderings

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold" ~ Yeats

I've made a few decisions recently. I am not returning to teaching. I barely made it through the last semester (I always take summers off) and I had to admit to myself I just can't do it any longer. My faculty partner is finishing up some research and wants me to help in ways I am able to do from home, so I agreed. The research is not affiliated with the university so I can still turn in my resignation. My few consulting jobs are enough for now and maintaining contact with my colleague is just perfect.

Thinking about my grown children and the idealistic views I had when they were all small. I envisioned this perfect little family who would always be close and we would be strong and have an unbreakable bond. Wow, was I naive. I tend to "blame" myself for everything that hasn't worked out in that perfect little scenario I created - I blame it on my illness. That's all I know; perhaps things would be the same had I remained healthy, nobody will ever know. Truth is, we aren't as close as I'd hoped. My husband and I are closer - that's a blessing. But the kids, they have grown apart from one another and from us, in varying degrees - of course. Examining my illness, once again I had an unrealistic view of how my family would behave; they would all surround me with love and affection, become closer as a family unit and give me an abundance of support. Duh, Sue.

First, it's normal for kids to grow up and move on. That's their
"job" in life as young adults (I DO have a Master's degree, which included alot of psychology and I should know this....Erikson, Piaget, Maslow, etc) but it's difficult to apply to those you love. I have four kids. They don't all get along wonderfully. They love each other, but at times do not like each other very much. They probably would not be friends if they weren't family. I get that. I've got one child who has done the things in my "perfect" vision as far as my illness goes, but the rest - not so much. And it's not their fault; they each have their way of dealing with how it affects them and their own pain surrounding it. One is taking a self-destructive path; one has turned feelings for me into anger; and one is still figuring things out. I love the phrase "It is what it is" and that certainly applies. I have to let it go. Release. Be thankful for the good times and appreciate the gems of a day, a week a month - I can't overlook that. And I gotta take care of me, be tender with myself and my spirituality and be filled with gratitude for my wonderful, loving spouse.