One quote in particular from a veteran named Jeff Wishik struck me: "Immerse yourself in the world in front of you, rather than the one behind you...Immerse yourself in the future, not in the past."
This is a tricky thing, because for me the things in my past have contributed to the person I am now -- all the good, all the bad, all the ugly rolled up into everything that is my story. I don't think that I can totally let go of of the world in the past, but I don't think that's what he's saying.
Immerse is the key word -- you can visit, you can reflect, but you can't be a functioning, forward-thinking, forward-planning person if you are forever immersed in the events of your past.
Memorial Day weekend marks the last of the anniversaries regarding our decision to end our parenting journey, and since the spring is so very chock full of anniversaries that could easily turn me into partial goo, I feel like I have grief fatigue to a point. This is the weekend where we got all our nursery stuff into the living room so that I could help load it into the woman's car who came to pick it up for her organization. This is when we no longer had a nursery or any of the trappings necessary to have a baby, and so it was utterly, painfully clear that the decision was made and there was no going back. It was done.
Although this was the hardest of the days last year, it was an anniversary time that did not make me feel horrid. And I think that is because we spent this weekend immersing ourselves in the world and life that is in front of us, and not what it feels like to carry bits and pieces of the life you thought you'd have out to someone's Buick to drive it all away.
We went for a walk around the Memorial Art Gallery. We walked around Highland Park, and enjoyed the tree peonies, and locust trees, and what's left of the lilacs. I edited Bryce's qual exam paper (no easy feat as it is full of Fromm's paraboloids and photonic waveguides and eigenvalues, but I did it and we sat on a bench by a sculpture to finish going over the changes after starting the project over sushi lunch. I went nuts in the garden and weeded, planted, potted, and just made everything as beautiful as I could. I spent an inordinate amount of time hand-stamping the ASL alphabet typeface onto index cards to serve as bookmarks for my students when we start "The Miracle Worker" this week.
I immersed myself in the future, and that made me less able to be wallowy and sad. Not that there's anything wrong with being wallowy and sad, but sometimes you just want to celebrate the life you have and not the one you were denied for inexplicable reasons.
The end of the podcast spoke to me too: when they talk about how sharing stories helps to lessen PTSD, helps you to process traumas of many kinds, and makes it so that you aren't holding your pain alone. I so appreciate this community for those shared stories, for the communal holding of the pain (and the joy).
|Inside this incredible allee of trees at the art gallery|
|Our gorgeous art gallery castle|
|So much in bloom!|
|Home sweet home|
|My chair in with all the plants about to explode!|
|Pretty tree peony at Highland Park|
|Sunny yellow tree peonies|
|Gorgeous pink locust tree, like a sweet pea tree!|
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