Re-reading my Back to Life post from almost a year ago brought back so many memories, and made me appreciate even more how far I've come - since then, since a year before that especially. There are a lot of themes there, a lot of Beginnings, and promises to elaborate on them in future posts - many of those Beginnings have evolved into full stories of their own, and the stories have developed, arced, and concluded in the year that has gone by.
Touching first on My Hilarious Son - I am tempted to rename the story My Heroic Son, as he has embraced the changes in our lives and flourished without much intervention from me into the loveliest little gentlman. He is a Scientist, an Inventor and A Man of Romance (his words!). His school is his second home and his teacher last year became his second Nana - "there's so much of her to cuddle" said Son, and that described her all encompassing personality just as much as her all encompassing embrace, the softest of places for Son to land after a particularly tumultuous departure from his former school.
He has a Best Friend, several Girlfriends, and generally leads the pack of boys in his class. Now in Year One, having grown so close to another little boy in his previous class has turned out to be a huge blessing, which was clear as they embraced on their first day back together after a long summer holiday apart.
My New Optimism was at the time a bud, and sadly it did not flourish but wilted away over the months following its appearance. The Transition Period in my career proved to linger on for months, as the Deferral of my Law Firm Job turned into a Termination of my offer to join. I found myself again lunching with recruiters and trying to sell myself, a process I'd grown incredibly weary of. There were no prospects, the market was flagging, and I felt set adrift with no destination or end in sight.
The Lovely Man became my lifeline - he fished me out of the stormy sea and reminded me every single day how beautiful life could be. Despite viewing this beauty through an increasingly blurry lens I was tremendously grateful for this daily reminder of how lucky I was - how lucky we all were. Son and Lovely Man became the best of friends straightaway, and again Son demonstrated his resilience and maturity in his easy acceptance of the new member of our household.
And the food, the wonderful music, the strong arms to embrace me when the floor dropped out from under me again and again - Lovely Man painted our lives in vivid colour, strengthened the foundation under our feet and set our course toward Someplace Wonderful.
You may remember a post about Buddhism for Mothers - turns out living in the present moment was a skill I would need to perfect in order to truly appreciate the path my life had taken. The Transition in my career was actually the Destination. I left behind sole proprietorship and incorporated my own company, a step that was less a real life change than a psychological shift. I embraced the flexibility that my work life had given me, particularly compared with what life at a Law Firm was like.
These were Building Blocks of something beautiful, but I was still living life as if underwater, viewing beauty in blurred images, failing to feel the tremendous happiness that I could nonetheless perceive was all around me. My Heroic Son was settled and growing into a Strong Young Man, The Lovely Man was becoming even more a cornerstone holding up our arc of triumph over early doubt, my wonderful mother was darting from room to room, making house into home and providing the strong backbone in our family that I'd grown to rely on over the years.
But something was missing. I had Building Blocks, but they lay at my feet with no form or function. What I needed was to become my own architect, to pick them up and place them one on top of the other so that I could rebuild my life. I just didn't have the strength or the vision or the mental space to make it happen.
Following on an absolutely perfect holiday to France, I fell into a deep depression that left me emotionally crippled and overwhelmed. Finally I admitted that I needed help, and started taking antidepressants.
After a few weeks of intense physical side effects I woke up one morning to find that the cobwebs over my eyes had been wiped away - I saw colour in the world again, a vivid and varied range. I smiled, and felt happy. I was so grateful - and found the energy I needed to rebuild, finally.
What you'll find here from now is a narrative of The New Life - the new beginning, the wedding plans, the new home, the form and function of a life on the mend.
But before that, ladies and gentleman, we have a Supper Club to put on! Until next time...