Friday, May 13, 2016


I am finally home in Washington, in body and mind and spirit. It took over two weeks this year, longer than usual. That might be because we stayed longer - three weeks longer than the four months we stayed last year. I need to remember, for next year.

I had interesting comments to last week's post called "Adrift":

Mona said, "I had turned to one of my sage friends during a period of angst, looking for consolation and commiseration. She said, 'Good. Stay with it and see where it takes you.' And like you expected, trust that you are just where you belong."

Tom said, "Thank you for this post which reminds me that we all have the same problems. Transitions are often difficult, and it's hard to give up things, whether they are favorite activities or piles of old stuff that often hold so many memories."

Jann said, "Any change can be hard. It's a process. I try to remember that each stage of change brings its own challenges. It gets even more complicated when you go through a lot of different changes at the same time and need to work through the stages for each of them. I have to reassure myself when I feel nervous or unsure that it's just the process...ride the wave, you don't know where it will take you."

Madeline said, "...I agree with your friend who says you need to release first so you can say YES to new happenings as they come up--I am in an in between space right now too..but it's feeling good to have a bit of NOTHING on my plate for a while!!"

And Barbara said, "I have always called that feeling 'The late arrival of my soul.' It is as though my body is here but my heart and soul is still back there. Thankfully it does pass and I let go of one to regain my life at the other."

So, what are the learnings from this?

1. Transitions are hard. I'm giving up the known and taking on the unknown. I can't go back to where I was because life has moved on.

2. I have some choices. I could decide to stay home all year, or to move someplace else and stay there all the time. I am not making that choice because of Arizona winters with sunshine and without arthritis and because of Washington summers with its sunshine and glorious green beauty. With the choice to have two homes, I get the transitions. Nothing is all good, all the time.

3. A transition may involve where we live, our health or the health of others, our friendships, our financial situation, or other factors. There's not always a choice. But when I talk or write about my own experience, people around me listen and empathize and share their own experiences. I am not alone. We are all in this together.

4. With the ending of my two community responsibilities, I've gained some extra time. To sit in my garden and read or meditate, to nap in the afternoon if I'm so inclined. To spend less time planning and more time relaxing. And to remain watchful for the next Right Thing I know will present itself.

5. Hospice for the dying is a merciful thing. My friend passed away on Monday, without pain and surrounded by love. I mourn the loss of this lovely, kind woman but am so glad she did not linger. I still think grieving alone is difficult, but I'm grateful that I have friends to grieve for.

Mostly, I need to trust the process of transition and know my soul will eventually arrive back home, wherever that is. As my friend Barbara says, "It always does. It is attached by a long silver thread."

It is finally good to be back home again.


Dreamer said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling anchored. Condolences on the loss of your friend.

Olga Hebert said...

Wow, I love that "late arrival of my soul" and its "silver thread" attachment. So apt. Something is going to call to you soon enough.

DJan said...

So glad to hear you are fully back home in Washington. The weather has been gorgeous! :-)

rosaria williams said...

You hit it right on.

Meryl Baer said...

So sorry to hear about your friend...Love the 'silver threads' analogy.

Deb Shucka said...

Such powerful lessons you're learning, and sharing. So grateful for your presence in my life.

Kailani said...

Thank you for leading the way for me. My retirement will be in 2-3 years, and we are moving from southern California to Gilbert, AZ. (love the sun and the heat, personally.) Glad you enjoy Washington. I suppose it's lovely in the summer, but I could never take all the rain the rest of the year. To each our own! :)

#1Nana said...

I'm glad you're grounded again and appreciate your sharing the process with us.

Madeline Kasian said...

#4 sounds like it propelled you the most, into this liminal space.I can relate.After two years of retiring, downsizing, then moving TWICE to get it right, in addition to over-planning and over-volunteering, and even trying a part time retirement job... I am now "settled" back in a home town I love, and in a MUCH quieter space and pace that before..and at first it felt very strange.Now,I am getting to love the slower pace, a few LESS plans and commitments, and I am discovering a new NON -Type A Madeline!

Sounds like a lot changed as far as commitments in both your home towns.. and that the in between space your'e in now will lead to some interesting (and probably amazing) new insights that lead you to the next chapter.... I love your blog..thanks for sharing!!!

Linda Reeder said...

This Washington spring has been especially glorious. I'm glad you are not missing it. It's good for your soul.

arwa bond said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.