The third to last day of my half-century birthday month celebration fell on a Monday. Mondays in Western Culture can be fraught with disappointment and angst. Mine was fraught with #LifewithAutism weirdness (which as I pen this has not subsided), a very long list of chores, and an even longer football banquet.
However, I think I handled it with grace and tried to hold onto the moments that brought me joy, like my Hubby (No. 1) holding my hand as we fell asleep, my youngest son (No. 2) being recognized as a scholar athlete, and being able to provide perfect eggs to members of my community (No. 24). Even though I didn’t get very many photos along the way this Monday.
I also practiced Honesty (No. 23). I wrote a letter to a friend (No. 5). An overdue communique that was raw and real. I felt bad afterwards. As has been my habit in recent years, I sat with that regret and examined it. Then I recognized that that was the false facade that society puts on friendships — like it should always be butterflies and unicorn farts. Life is messy. If someone is a true friend, they will understand when sometimes you’re in a mess.
It was at that point in my introspection that I recalled a small epiphany about who I am. Nearly a decade ago, I had a friend tell me that some of my honesty would often make her flinch, and not because I drop the F-bomb in my speech from time to time, but because it was a type of honesty she’d never heard before, “It’s absolutely wrapped in love.” She explained further that I’ll call bullshit when bullshit needs to be called, that she noted also tended to be more about my own behavior than others; but, that I also am the staunchest cheerleader for my friends. When I’m happy for them, when I want something for them, when I encourage them, it’s genuine.
“For me,” she continued, “that’s the most balanced of friendships I could ask for and the truest type.” I held that memory to my heart on this Monday, and had cause later to counsel my youngest with the story, too. He unfortunately gets his boldness and honesty from his Mum. I’m trying to teach him that language can be his best friend when he’s expressing that honesty, and to do it from a perspective that everyone has a hard journey they are making. So, dear friend, if you’re reading this, my apologies for the rawness of my letter; but, because I love you and trust you, I could be that honest with you. I didn’t intend to make you cry, and for that I am sorry. But my words were true.
Monday also allowed me some small moments of entertainment. I got to watch the first episode of the Gilmore Girls reboot (please no spoilers in comments, because it may take me some time to get through the rest of the episodes), and finish decorating the inside of the house for Yule. I purged some holiday decorations from our inventory, as well, which a bit of decluttering always brings me joy.
I also finished the final polish of a manuscript I’ve been working on for too many years (No. 6). Wilderness Rim is as done as done could get and I began laying it out for publication. That’s a huge thing. However, it brought with it the creative downward spiral of “What if no one reads it?”
Today I’m trying hard to figure out a way to get No. 17 on my list in before Thursday. That’s foraging. The mountains now have snow, so many of my foraging spots will be difficult to get to; however, if the weather breaks like they are claiming today, I may just bolt and see what I can find. Winter, however, comes earlier in the Cascade Foothills, and there may be little to forage. So, I may just have to do some forage studying, as there’s still so much to learn.
I haven’t noted No. 25, but I get outside every day and work my microfarm or hang with the ducks, chickens, or dogs. I’m on the trails constantly with the dogs, and I’m uncertain why through the course of the month I haven’t noted it. I reckon it has to do with not being able to do a longer hike. I blame the current weather and #LifewithAutism. As it was, the end-of-year football banquet kept me out of the house for more than four hours last night and that set off a chain reaction in My Wandering Boy (MWB) that the whole household is still reeling from on Tuesday morning (more on that later). But, I do try to get in a 30-minute walk every day. Sometimes I’m alone. Sometimes just one, or two of the dogs, or all three accompany me. I guess it’s so a part of my life like doing laundry or dishes, that I just don’t take better notice of it. But, as a creative individual, that 30 minutes a day is like a muse reset. It’s essential, and I guard it very much as I do my writing time and yoga time. In that sense you could say that No. 25 (Nature and being in it) is very much self-care.
The other thing that seems only partially noted was No. 8 (My Spirituality) for which I actually signed up for a new class to explore some new things. The first lesson just came out yesterday, so I’ll be diving into that in the next week or so. So, it’s there, just not on the surface as much as say No. 10 (Food). It would be difficult to instagram Spirituality. But, it’s there, and it brings me joy, peace, and recharges my batteries.