Inside Self Outside Self

One of those mornings that I want to write and do not know what I want to say. Nor do I know who wants to read it…….A time of inner reflection and searching…….for something. A time for noticing my changes and appreciating them.

A quiet early spring snow day with gray skies and feelings of solitude.

I may have 5 or 6 University young men coming to visit for a few days, arriving soon . Feels overwhelming, loving, delightful, scary, and I am almost, but not quite, tired already. My precious grandson Nick has asked if he can entertain several of his friends from school in his grandmother’s Toronto home. I am fully aware that Toronto is the pull, and grandmother the landing place. That suits me. I will turn over the down stairs and the kitchen and a household money envelope and let them go to it. I just hope my clients are as open and willing as I am!

I have been thinking often of late about changes we make that are inside changes, and changes that we make that are outside changes. Mostly I think they happen simultaneously or at least almost simultaneously. Sometimes there is a back and forth energy that happens. Not quite the same, but close enough. The obvious is changes made in one’s home: painting, new furniture, pictures and art collected, floors decorated differently……outside would be painting and fixing up the outside house, the yard, the garden, creating flower arrangements, colours, times of year for blooming…..

The not so obvious would be what is going on inside ourselves. Our feelings, our physical bodies, our minds, and our spirit. And what we are doing intentionally to bring new life into our daily world, new ideas, new plans. How we plan to expand in the outside world within the life we are currently living.

Everything is always changing. Nothing ever stays the same. Every moment is a new moment. When the moments get added together and make hours, then days, then months, then years, it is amazing, delightful, sometime frightening, and always miraculous to see what we have done with the life we choose to live.

As I am about to enter the last months of almost 3 years since Clo died, I think often about who I am now and who I used to be. Much the same. Everything different. Simultaneously I am the same and so very different. How ever did I do that? I look older, I feel different, I speak more, I cook some, I take care of myself and my home. I look similar but older, I am different if only because I am older and now am single, I have to eat, I have help with my home. The same….but different.

Inside I am closer to something I have been searching for since my memories of being a child. I don’t know the word…….inside the feeling is mysterious. Not dark. Rich. Hopeful. Not peaceful yet, nor certain. But wondering, curious.

I used to dream of growing old with my beloved. Sharing a life time of memories. Laughing, smiling, holding hands, dreaming, drifting along together. Safe with my partner. I want that for you. I won’t have that for me. But I am warning you, I am giving you a head’s up. It matters. It truly matters that you nurture your love. It truly matters that you go into the last stages of life with the comfort and familiarity of being with someone who sees and understands you like no one else does or can. Your partner. Your life partner. Your partner with whom you have shared precious moments and have precious memories and know precious things about you and about your togetherness that no one else will ever know. Nor should they ever know. It is just yours. The two of you.

I find that always life is a challenge. And I see myself as a valiant little trooper trotting along one foot in front of the other doing what I do. Doing life. If I had been blessed with doing this stage with Clo, life would have been different. Not necessarily better. Certainly not worse. But different.  I thought I preferred to do this with my partner. I didn’t know she had a different plan.

So for those of us who for whatever reason are doing life as we age as a single: we have our particular challenges and our particular joys and our woes  The trick I think, is being intentional. Intentionally setting out to find what gives us comfort, feelings of safety, pleasure and satisfaction. I need to be satisfied with how I use my time. I need to know I am wanted and valued and loved. Thus, I must be intentional about doing something everyday that hopefully contributes in some way to the bettering of the world. Soooo, I open my home happily if timidly to 6 University young men and their 3 day adventures in our wonderful city.

I am practising to enter new communities for possible new connections. I am intentionally telling myself to be open and allow for surprises and to humbly let myself be unknown and learn to be known. I am mindfully remembering what I like about myself and tenderly living with that me. I am trying to not be disappointed in what I find when I go deep inside and not expect me to have already learned and integrated knowledge of life that is still a mystery to me. I am urging myself to not be frightened of facing the unknown alone. I am remembering to embrace my alone self, to love her, value her, appreciate her and remember how precious she is. I am attempting to find, once again, the divine within.

If anything at all that I have to share here resonates with you, please feel free to communicate with me.

In love and in searching, Nancy

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