Yeah, it’s been a while, and I’ve got much to say.
About The Decemberist: I kept my wits about me, I was happy, I ate well, I exercised; I felt good about the season. I did not lose weight. It was a good month.
And then January came. I had planned well, checking in with an Ayurvedic practitioner on the second of the month. My plan for the new year was further honed and was ready for the start of something beautiful.
And then a woman I know chose to end her life. Of course, my initial response was set from my own vantage point…how does somebody make it through the holidays and then decide to kill themselves? But just because I happen to be rejuvenated by the start of a new year does not mean everyone else is. She took her life on the eve of MY new beginning; she saw it quite differently.
I did not wonder what I could have done to save her, as even her inner circle did not recognize her needs. As I looked around a church packed funeral, my questions were not for friends who might be going through the same sadness, but for those of us who think we’ll never see the world from that horrible place.
What made her get on the plank and walk to the end? I knew her as someone who had a lovely group of friends. She was quite active in our church, covering large congregational tasks as well as being involved in more than one small group. For if she didn’t have it all together, she was involving herself in all the “tasks” that could be recommended. From my vantage point, at least.
And if someone (seemingly) doing “all the right things” could be pushed to the edge, what the heck is keeping me in the boat? And what’s the switch that changes all that?
So my New Year’s plots and plans seemed a little less important. What is important is that I change my point of view. Why would I want to “fix” the self I see when I could just as easily start seeing myself differently? I mean, like a lot of woman, I can be quite fickle. I’ve been known to change my mind without much warning. So an attitude adjustment was in order.
Ten days after her death I gathered with friends to debrief and close the season. We all wrote notes, put them in a big jar, set them ablaze, and sent them up to our fallen sister. We addressed her struggles, our struggles. We talked about her limitations, our own limitations. And we vowed to do better by each other, and for each other.
And that starts at home. I’ve found a coach and picked up a new sport. My Friday work day will be cut a little short so my week can end with a private yoga session. Although I enjoy being a leader in my Wesley group, I have joined another spiritual group as a participant. There are a few “loose ends” in my world; they seem to tidying themselves. Funny how that happens when you look at the big picture from a new perspective.
It’s a new year with a new view.