I sit here in the warm sunlight, enjoying the Pacific Ocean as it rolls onto the sands of a nearby beach. It’s a day alone for me - a rare treat. Even in this first full year of retirement, I’m finding it hard to do. It took me a long time to learn how much I need this - time spent quietly alone.
For most of my life, I’ve had my radar turned 100% outward. Is everybody out there okay? Is there anything I can do to help if you’re not okay? And if you’re not okay right this minute, what should I be doing to help make sure you are okay within the next minute?
I was about seven years old when my mother very carefully told me that it was a daughter’s job in life to be sure her mom was okay. She didn’t use those exact words, but I got the message. Yes indeed, I most definitely got the message. Just as she had gotten the message from her mother, and my grandmother had gotten it from her mother. A strange sort of family legacy, a secret code and a very particular set of expectations: girl children, particularly eldest girl children, exist to take care of others. A long list of others - parents, first, last and always - followed closely by husbands, children, extended family, friends in trouble, anyone in need.
But here’s the deal - that kind of living can just plain wear you out. The year I turned 45, I knew I was empty. Empty.
If you'd like to read the rest of this post, may I invite you to jump over to Tamara Lunardo's wonderful site, "Tamara Out Loud," and read it there? About 3 months ago, Tamara invited her readers to submit possible guest posts. So I did. And lo, and behold - she opted to put it up on her space. I'm deeply grateful for her generosity - and for her open and honest presence out here in cyberspace. She always tells the truth, even when it's hard truth, and she quite often tells it with either a.) a sharp sense of humor or b.) a deep well of compassion. And sometimes she offers up both at the same time. It's a special place. She is currently collecting submissions for a community book based on a post of hers titled, "What's a Woman Worth?" Once you're over at TOL, check the archives for that one. Stunning.
Here's the link for today's guest post: http://tamaraoutloud.com/2011/12/29/guest-post-from-the-inside-out/ I'd be honored and grateful if you'd follow me over there.
Thanks to Carol Garvin for catching a faulty link to this post. Try this one instead: http://tamaraoutloud.com/2011/12/30/guest-post-from-the-inside-out/