The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


Me Time

As I am typing these words, I am lounging in bed while listening to Sleepy Hollow on Philly based member supported public radio station WXPN 88.5 fm (you can also get the web-streaming version at www.xpn.org ) In  pj’s, nestled in flannel sheets and comfy quilt. Gazing out my window onto a winter-white landscape. A cup of Roiboos tea from South Africa on the nightstand.  Breathing in the nutty cinnamony aroma before sipping it each time, making it part of my mindfulness practice.  Not such an unusual experience for me.

 

What has become an out of the ordinary thing is stepping back from activity, of necessity.  In the six weeks or so since my mother died, I have been as ‘on’ as ever, maintaining my regular work schedule (full time social worker and consultant, writing, teaching and ministry gigs, as well as doing promo for my own and other people’s work), finishing my book, tying up loose ends with my mother’s affairs, unpacking her belongings and integrating them into my environment, going to the gym for my regular ‘playouts’…much more fun than calling them ‘workouts’ and spending play time with friends.  All of this hasn’t left much time for mourning the passing of a woman who I have always thought of as my most ardent cheerleader and (as cliche’d as it sounds) my best friend. Much of who I have become, has emerged from her influence. And therein, I have recently discovered, comes some of what has been challenging for this go-getter, recovering Type A personality.

In an information gathering session last week with my friend Ondreah Johnson, in preparation for being a practice hypnotherapy subject, I had a startling aha-moment. 

My mother, whose  father died at age 52 when she was a young woman of 18 or so and whose beloved mother died in her 70’s when my mom was 38 and I was 4, modeled doing it all.  When my grandmother died, I have no recollection of feeling neglected or of even witnessing my mother mourn out loud.  In conversation with my cousin Jody yesterday, she reminded me that she likely grieved with my father, in private. She talked alot about my grandmother, so it wasn’t as if she was withholding her feelings, just putting a bookmark in them so she could keep on keepin’ on and raise two active girls. She just did what was expected of her.

My mom was a Renaissance woman whose jobs while my sister and I were young, included making and selling doll clothes, writing a local newspaper column, working as a gate guard at our community pool, selling Avon door to door and later on as a switchboard operator at Sears.

My father was a milkman and bus driver who worked what we referred to as ‘crazy hours’…and yet, when he was home, we had plenty of family time, vacations, gatherings at our house of aunts, uncles and cousins. I never recall being told to keep the noise level down since my dad went to bed early; not that Jan and I were particularly rambunctious kids to begin with.

My parents had a deeply passionate and loving marriage and had no problems with PDA’s whether in our presence or out on the street.

Quite simply, although perfect they weren’t, they modeled doing it all; so I learned from masters.  Back to changing my routine.  I am blessed to have loving people in my life who invite me to all kinds of fun events. I used to attend as many as I could and have the energy to keep up with it all. Lately I have been politely declining some invites and uncharacteristic for me, have been changing plans once made.  This weekend, I have done it 3 times and have felt only a twinge of guilt.  Yesterday, I attended the Bar Mitzvah of a cousin and during the beautiful service at which Gabe mastered his recitation of the Haftorah and Torah portion, aced his speech and shared about his project, I felt an overwhelming wave of sadness, barely keeping the tears at bay and knew I couldn’t gracefully attend the reception. Not wanting to be a distraction, I chose instead to head home.

The second, last night was an annual gathering of kindred spirits called Peacweavers honoring the turning of the new year and the third was an engagement party for the daughter of a dear friend, today. My realization during the session with Ondreah was that for so much of my life, I, like my parents, ‘did what was expected of me’.  What would people think if I veered from that path?  In the midst of stepping back from activity, I have allowed for the tears to flow, for my grief to be given voice. I know that people understand. It is, as I am, a work in progress.  So, for the moment, at least, I am allowing for me time.

 



  • http://www.yokibics.com Gael Chiarella Alba

    Congratulations Edie. Beautifully written. You have entered the boat and now you are floating (crying/feeling/being) your way to the other side. May your quiet time continue to enliven. Blessings for being a good model of self-renewal. Blessed be on your journey.

Previous Posts

No Explanation Needed
"No' is one of the shortest words in the English language and one of the most difficult to say for some people, unless the person happens to be two years old and then it might well one of their most favorite to utter. It implies disagreement, disapproval, a sense of refusal and lack of cooperation.

posted 7:38:52am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Full Circle Experience
  With Christine Lavin and Julie Gold Had a full circle experience on Sunday, when I walked through the doors of the Unitarian Church at 21st and Chestnut in Philly to celebrate the 80th birthday and illustrious career of music legend Gene Shay. He had been the host of folk shows on

posted 9:50:13pm Mar. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Living With Grace, Flow and Ease-Book Review
  What if you could invite three angels into your home who would accompany you through your days, assisting you in having, as I like to refer to it, a 'rich, full, juicy life'? Would you issue a call and then keep the door open to welcome them in? Reading the book Living with Grace, F

posted 7:45:33am Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

The Sound of the Dove-Music Review
  "If you could combine the compelling voices of fellow Canadians Sarah McLachlan and Loreena McKennitt, with the soaring throat notes of kirtan singer; best known as Madonna's back up singer, Donna DeLory, you would have a sense of the magnificent tonings and tunes of Pamela Jane Gerr

posted 3:59:41pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Bucket List
I awoke in the wee hours this morning, from a dream about my parents. Both passed in the last few years; my dad in 2008 and my mom in 2010. They were the dearest people in my life; teachers, guides, providers, cheerleaders and guardians of my heart and soul. Although I know that they are safe and so

posted 9:43:22pm Feb. 24, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.