Beginner's Heart

via flickr

via flickr

So here it is the 1st week of January, and already I have…schedule conflicts??? I’m retired, for pete’s sake! How can I have THREE happening on the same weekend next JUNE??

But I DO. And each of them dear to me, although obviously not of similar importance.

First (and certainly most important!) is staying w/ my son & DIL for the birth of my granddaughter. Who wouldn’t be ecstatic to even be asked, much less get to do it? Time w/ the two of them, my smart & funny & adorable grandson, and the new baby? Bliss.

But then there’s the writer’s retreat I’ve been guest writer/editor at for 10 years. This will be my 11th, and it’s smack at the end of the baby month my son & DIL requested. I’ve grown extremely fond of the writers who attend year after year. Over the past decade, I’ve watched their writing reflect the personal growth — through loss, through education, through time and attention — each has made. I’ve shared their griefs and their triumphs: the tragic loss of a spouse, a parent. Publication, tenure, a new super-job. How to not be there?

Third is much easier, but still a bit of a struggle to let go of: a poetry marathon. This was the first year I participated, and I ‘only’ did the half-marathon: a poem an hour for 12 hours. It was amazing! I had hoped to try more this year, but I’m thinking that’s not going to work as I juggle my grandparent duties!

This is the year, too, that I am trying to reflect in my actions my values — spending my time (it grows shorter…it grows shorter…) on those things most dear to me. And certainly my family heads that list.

So there is no real ‘conflict.’ Only a bittersweet recognition that things don’t always go the way we might like — that old Buddhist attachment thing again! I’m turning to my friend reframing: how lucky am I to have the opportunity to do THREE things that reflect my deepest values?

Even if they DO all come at the same time!

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