The past 4 years have been a colossal change for me and my little family.
Some things are great,
Some things are still challenging and an on-going project.
Some things are just life, like bills and taxes.
What has made the difference between existing vs. living is pretty simple.
a) steely determination
b) my people.
Now when everything surprisingly and in catastrophic fashion hit the fan one Sunday evening, within 2 hours when the environment was made safer I texted my girls, my squad, just saying something like:
“I really need some love and support, I think my marriage just ended”.
Not prone to any form of melodrama, they knew immediately that it was serious and they were as shocked as I, and were as supportive as any person in the history of humanity.
I’ve never known better people.
My heart sings at the thought of them, they’re magnificent. They make me smile.
We were offered safe places to sleep (which I should have taken but was in too much shock), we were told we were believed, and we were told we were loved, and we were trusted to take the next steps – whatever they ended up being – they trusted in my ability when I didn’t know if I did anymore.
I think in pictures then translate to words in order to communicate.
When I think of my people, I get a picture of a cute little house and a white picket fence with a sturdy gate. Then there is a second perimeter picket fence and a third. My buddies are in the picture as walking straight through the outer, middle and inner gates. They have permission to come and go, my house is their house, their hopes and dreams are my hopes and dreams for them. Strangers and baddies are outside the outer perimeter, various levels of acquaintances are within the other gates.
Over the last 4 years it has gotten to the point where we need a bigger first garden, there are so many great and wonderful people in our lives. The image that comes forth is of a garden party with pitchers of cool drinks and pretty chairs and blankets on the lush green grass.
But the image of the cute home is the grounding force, that is permanent, the fences move to accommodate new people but the house doesn’t move, it represents known values, permanence, steely determination and grit.
You find your tribe through shared values, living up to the declaration of who you say you are, and by being kind even when there are other options available, by being willing to learn and grow, by listening to your elders in experience and years, by acting on what needs to be done, and sometimes people join you in those possibilities.
There is no space for wishy washy engagement here, time is short, life is urgent, it can be taken away and with that knowledge in the first person all the other priorities fall into place.
If you are contented, be contented. If you are upset, tell a friend, they can listen. If you are pensive, excited, overjoyed… be those things, sometimes two or three of those things at once! It gives other people permission to experience their life too. It’s awesome and contagious.
Some days have been ugly, raw and unfiltered. A couple of people have sometimes been around when those days occurred but mostly it is a retreat to the house and wait for it to pass experience for me. So, sorry to those people who were around when I couldn’t filter the feelings for polite company anymore… I’ll try and learn from those times. Or maybe, next time I won’t try to spare you from it. Let me know your preference on a self addressed envelope and I’ll get to it.
Be willing to go it alone and be willing to accept company if others are headed in the same direction.
In advance of 2nd International Platitude Day, we only get 72 goes around the sun if we are lucky… if you are going to waste a day, realllly waste it. Do it justice. If you are facing something unpalatable, face it, get it done, endure it, grow and develop. This too shall pass. And look sideways sometimes to see and recognise who is at your shoulder, sustaining and supporting you. It may be surprising who you find there. If they look sideways, do they see you? Are you sustaining and supporting them too? I think you are, because you are an amazing friend to them too.