Woohoo, Thanksgiving is here! Thanksgiving is every day for me, but I love it when the rest of the U.S. plays along. Most get excited about the travels home, turkey, pumpkin pie and gatherings. The gifts we celebrate are togetherness and each other and that’s what I’m all about. On the weekend before the actual holiday, my small part Native American ancestry is kicking in, imagining how simple and brotherly that first celebration may have been.
This Thanksgiving brings me a renewed sense of magical gratitude. My recent birthday brought me breakfast courtesy of my daughter. The afternoon included a vintage kitchen set delivered by a collector. When I opened my door to greet him, we both were pleasantly surprised to discover we had graduated from high school together. Back then, his jock and my nerd status would not have us interacting, but 37 years later we caught up with ease in our shared knowledge of whereabouts of classmates and interest in everything antique. In the evening, I treated myself to the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. With less than ten people in the theater, I relished in watching the story of some of my favorite performers unfold, accompanied by great music.
“Refirement” brings an amazing sense of freedom. I am rewarded by having plenty of time to heal my MS with exercise, modified paleo diet and a new Vitamix. For the first time, I will teach myself cooking in a kitchen brightly painted in “Upbeat Yellow” by my son (who accurately described it as the color of a child’s playroom). I will play on the cloudy winter days in my sunny, beach-themed haven. All while meditating, napping, meeting and dining with friends and planning Capture Life Writing.
And of course writing. Celebrating the release of my memoir, Reconciliation of the Heart. I wrote this to heal myself, published it to give others hope and help them heal. My next book project, I Beg Your Pardon, but I am Not the Least Bit Disordered, will be a combination personal story, history, culture and insights into “mental illness.” Also, in tribute to Mom, who passed away long ago, I will bring alive her journals from her world travels with her best friend from Kindergarten. Until now, they have been stored in various closets, sporadically read, waiting for the right moment. Mom once told me that she had dreamed of being a journalist, but her parents talked her out of it because teaching was a much more practical profession for women at the time. Hopefully, by sharing her stories I can make her dream come true.
Mom’s experience brings to mind a conversation I had with my son recently when he used the term “lawnmower parents.” This was a new one for me, so I asked what he meant. He described a scenario that he had seen played out many times where his friends had expressed their vocational aspirations to their parents and they had responded with reasons not to pursue them…not enough money to be gained, too much competition, etc… thereby mowing down their dreams. His insight was brilliant, describing what I had seen in my career service work for decades.
Do what’s in your heart and you will not fail.
FROM THE SANCTUARY:
The first of the snow is falling, mixing with the rains, making it slushy. There are delicate flakes falling outside of my window as I write this. The colder temperatures are keeping me bundled in hoodies and longing a little for the beach. That will come soon enough as I transition to the Florida move. For now, I create the second floor expansion to my cozy little ranch house. When complete, it will be a glass enclosed library/meeting and nature viewing area that will become the Capture Life Writing Sanctuary where I and friends will deliver services for mental and emotional wellness in my beloved hometown of Western New York. And I know my parents, long parted from this earth, are not mowing down this incredible dream of mine. They are cheering me on instead, sprinkling fertilizer and sunshine down from the Universe.
JOYFUL, ABUNDANT BLESSINGS THIS THANKSGIVING AND ALWAYS, EVERYONE!