Monday, December 26, 2011

Habari Gani?

The good news is that this has been one of the most peaceful holiday seasons.

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa, the principle today being Umoja, Unity.

I think that is what my soul feels.

My family and I had a month of experiences, created memories, and honored each other in our lives.

We started it off with my son's concert, then the girls' had concerts, then my husband had a concert, and we attended performances. These are the things they will remember more than anything that was or wasn't under the tree.

This year, we didn't even go shopping until Christmas Eve, and even then, kept it thoughtful and small. We avoided the commercialism of the season and didn't fight over a pair of overprice, cheaply made, athletic shoes that speak to the lowest of emotions, why spend $180 for that?

The economy probably set our family to thinking about what we really have, what we really need, and what we really want. Maybe, maybe not, I know, it made me think about all that we have and that what I really want is my family.

I felt a peace this year, a sense that everything is going to be ok. Even as good news rolled in on Christmas Eve that stopped hate in its tracks made me pause and smile. I would give Eric HOlder a hug if I could and give President Obama a hand shake and a "thank you" for his continued efforts to stand against the most mean-spirited of parties.

The good news is that we are entering the last week of the year, the first day of Kwanzaa, the opportunity to reflect and renew. I am expecting great things in 2012.

What is your good news?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Changing My Remote

A dear friend of mine posted on facebook this morning something that has settled into my spirit.

It was very simple, yet powerful, the statement, actually a picture with the quote.

"Life does not come with a remote control, get up and change it yourself."


I thought that was an apt metaphor of the year coming to a close and the year waiting to open.

We saw tremendous change and many frustrations over this past year. The economy continues to have many in a choke-hold, the Occupy movement is discovering it is more than a location even as the momentum of place has moved to the momentum of heart, and there are those that want to continue to control everything from what women do with their bodies to what we can eat.

The statement is a banner for me for the year, we have to sometimes shake things up in order to make those around us realize that things can no longer be the way they were, status quo is good for no one.

2012, I have been saying that for years, 2012 is my year, it is my launching because my youngest son graduates from high school and enters college. It was supposed to be the swan song of my parenting, it is now a bridge because I have his two little sisters in the wings.

So I am redefining the second half.

I have been parenting for thirty years (come April 2012) and while I truly love and embrace my essence as mother, nurturer, caregiver, I realize that there have been parts of my other self that have been lost in the giving.

Mothers have hopes and dreams, also, that extend beyond the laundry room. We are more than the chauffeur and the keeper of appointments.

Perhaps it is the onset of middle age, well, the boomers made that number a decade in the waiting, but I am closer to fifty than forty and at this age, realize that there are only so many horizons left for me to do the things I want to do, unencumbered.

Yet, sometimes I think, how am I to do that when I still have more than a decade of parenting ahead of me? Is there enough reserves in me to give them what they need and not completely empty out my tank?

Then I thought, you know what, I can take them with me, they can be my little partners, my little adventurers, and go on this discovery of womanhood. They will be developing their sense of self and I will be reclaiming mine.

Yes, sometime you have to be your own catalyst and put away other people's needs and expectations and realize that until you fulfill your own purpose, you are like a remote without batteries, unable to change from the current station.

Life may not come with a remote, but it does come with a tomorrow, and I plan to enjoy all of mine!