I honestly can't believe that it's May already. I'm not even kidding about that. January and February just dragged for me because I was so keyed up about my surgery. Once again I over-anticipated things and the Universe dropped a Tower moment on me. Despite all of my plans, despite all of my safeguards for Dave, despite it ALL - he fell thirty minutes after my arrival home and broke his hip. That meant that the contingency I thought I had armed myself against happening, had happened. I basically wasted two months of gray cells trying to outguess the Universe. Well, that'll teach me.
I'm not even sure where my propensity for extensive planning has come from. I think I can say with confidence that it wasn't there 40 years ago. Perhaps it began, subtly, in the mother duties after my kids were born. The learning to look ahead, to try to anticipate what hurts or danger might lurk and head them off. Maybe spending thirty plus years doing legal work, where a misspelled word or badly misplaced comma can mean the actual difference between a happy and an angry client, drove me into some kind of space that I created to protect myself from error. I honestly don't know. I only know that coming up on my surgery, I'd done everything I knew to do to make my six weeks of being off my feet as easy and safe for both Dave and I as possible. And wow. What a singular waste of time. The Universe would have its own way with me, and it wouldn't be at ALL what I expected.
If ever there was a fortuitous "accident" then this was it. I don't wish ill on anyone, especially not my own husband (ok, maybe a little here and there) ... so to say that what happened was a good thing is not true. But. If it HAD to happen, it happened at the best time ever. Dave was in a place where his breathing and hip issues could be treated easily, and I was in a place where I could rest as prescribed (ok, maybe not as much as prescribed) and both of us could heal. And we did. And then we came back together at the tail end of our recoveries, and it has been a joy to have him back home. Life is different, no doubt. Before surgery, I struggled to stay on my feet for more than an hour because of the escalating pain to the right foot. Now, I have NO pain and I am more mobile than I have been in years it seems. Dave is now somewhat more limited in movement, but with my ability to move easier, I can help him more. So ... win/win if you will. We have both been totally vaccinated, and I am starting to move around outside the house a bit more confidently. During the convalescent period, I was able to accomplish much in the way of emptying the house of tons of "junk", and my whole being feels lighter as a result.
I also jettisoned my publishing company. I set out with a noble goal, I thought, of helping new authors get their books published without the hassle or cost that mainstream companies did. And ... I did that. Not only did I publish Holly, but she has now peeled off on her own, opening her own publishing company dedicated to the same principles I held at Churchill. I am exceptionally proud of her. Because I rarely do anything with grace, my decision to separate from her/Churchill was abrupt. While it was a bit of shock for her, she rebounded and is now blissfully happy calling her own shots. In addition, she has written two very, VERY good novels. Pretty big accomplishments for your mid-twenties, don't you think? I'm so proud.
Having Churchill Publishing off my plate added to my feelings of emancipation. I had been struggling with it for some time. It was a conundrum. The more successful it became, the less I wanted to deal with it. It had become an albatross and more than anything, it prevented me from having all that room in my brain (if such a thing exists) for making up and writing stories. I felt bound and tethered to reality, and honestly ... I've had enough of that. I want to close my eyes and picture lords and ladies, kings and queens, princes and princesses. I want to be able to go to England and touch thousand year old walls and feel the vibrations of the centuries of folks who also touched them. I want to sit by the Thames and picture the barges traveling between Hampton Court and Westminster, or ... to the Tower where who knows what fate may await. I couldn't do that anymore. I couldn't see myself doing it anymore. And that was a fate worse than death for me.
When I started shedding, I started winning. When I started paying attention to the knot in my stomach at the thought at certain things I needed to do, I started winning. When I realized, or began to anyway, that my world was MY world and no one else's, I no longer felt as though I needed validation, and I started winning. And I mean validation from anyone. About anything. I just needed to be free. To be free to do what I love and what makes me happy. Not at anyone's expense, mind you. Most certainly not at MY expense. And that's not selfish. It's being kind and true to yourself. It doesn't involve lofty goals, unless you want to make them. It doesn't involve perceiving yourself through anyone else's eyes. It doesn't require approval from anyone but you.
So yes, I am winning - at last. And I'm winning by not playing at any game other than those that mean something deep to me. I have gotten rid of so much stuff - and I don't just mean the VERY empty basement of our house. But the stuff that caused me to constantly need to plan, even when I didn't have to. The stuff that made me worried for no reason. The stuff that I no longer need. All gone. Out the door, and out of my head.
And yes, I'm winning. You can too. Trust me. It's easier than you think to just let go and clean it all out. There were things in the basement I've not seen or touched in 18 years. Given that, I didn't bother to go through the stuff. Just take it all. If I need to replace something, I will. But give me a wide open vista that I can relax in without clutter, and I'm your huckleberry.
What an incredible feeling.
I wish you all love.