My birthday is coming up and Chani App prompts me:
May your next go around the sun be filled with joy, abundance, and adventure. Take some time today to reflect on all that you’ve moved through this last year; the challenges you faced, the growth you made, the love you let in, and the lessons that refused to leave you alone. Then, consider what it is that you are cultivating for the year to come.

Black and white portrait of Helena

A year ago I was tired to the bone, four deaths with corresponding funerals, working much more, with a new level of responsibility, an 80th birthday bash, and a graduation where the loss of three of those four people was acute.

A year ago I was overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement at the heartwarming support I had received in dealing with all of the above. To get ready for the graduation party, I was helped to clean and clear the house, had a huge turnout for a gardening party, and cannot thank the gods and goddesses enough that me and my ex-husband planned the whole thing before he left this earth.

A year ago I was still very much caught up with the insight that parental redundancy no longer exists for my two kids. Sole parent left on earth was (and is) me, and that thought hurt, felt like a burden, and scared me.

Today, I am not tired to the bone, exactly, but still, I am tired. I am stressed. Wound-up. Haven’t been able (yet) to calibrate my life to an active balance of (income bringing) work, social life and caring for myself, but most of all, the reading, writing, reflection, that is such a vital part of who I am, how I want to live, what fills life with Life. Haven’t yet found the key to have The Dependable One be as dependable for myself, as she is for others.

Today, I could definitely use a repeat of the help to clean, clear and garden, but the sense of a looming deadline (read: Graduation day) isn’t present, so… nah. What wants to happen will happen. Vacation coming up in a month’s time, and I’ve got nothing planned. Except for a fix-the-fence-project, with the help of two friends. Doing that, with them, is something I long for, with no sense of pressure. Otherwise, I will be home. Doing nothing. Oh, the bliss!

Today, I know (even more than before) how resilient my kids are, able to face hardships and tragedy, and even though I have no intention to leave this earth anytime soon, if I did, they will be ok. And that knowing brings me calm.

Portrait of Helena.

I have learned that…
I am loved and cherished.
I am both light and darkness.
I could do with treating myself with a bit more care.
I am resilient, with high capacity. Nothing new under the sun, but:
there’s a limit even for me. Am grateful for that insight, as it alone sincerely makes me want to care for me.

As for what I am cultivating for the year ahead?
I don’t know that I necessarily want to cultivate anything. But I sit here, in bed, with a feeling that for the first time in a long time, I am more open to what wants to happen, especially in my personal life, and that, that feels really thrilling!