Its been one of those summers. Transition and excitement and change and full catastrophe living. In some ways its the price to be paid for living the dream. Its exhausting dodging all the curve balls that get thrown this way. Like my car.
Not that long ago, I declared on a summery eclipse night that I was ready to let go of my old crappy Mazda and make the space for a reliable energy efficient car. My sweet car wasn’t always old and crappy. She has served me well for 12 years. But the repair bills have been higher and more frequent than I’d like. I use packing tape to hold one headlight on and the body–well–the body has seen better days–to many urban parking garages. Twice this summer, the Universe has prompted me to let her go–first when someone backed into me in a pool parking lot. And then again on Tuesday on the way to Max’s swim practice when I got into another fender bender. The insurance company says her current worth is likely less than the cost of even the minor (but necessary) repairs and so more than likely when I meet with the lovely insurance adjuster, he will tell me that I am driving a drivable “total loss”, cut me a check and take her from me at last.
Unfortunately, the money I will get wont buy me a good car and I don’t really have much cash for a new used car. I knew a new car was on the horizon but I had been hoping and praying that this baby would last as long as I needed her to while I lazily flipped through Consumer Reports and diligently put the right amount aside. I didn’t want to face this problem urgently. Do we ever want to face any problem when its urgent?
This has been another blip in a long line of summertime happenings that have left me feeling panicked about my financial plan for the fall. Just when I had it all figured out, practically to the nickel, a new car throws everything into a tailspin. This despite pulling out every trick I know to figure out how to live on just 60% of my old income (or rather add to it) and create some cushion in case life gets nutty.
What’s almost comical is that I can’t quite seem to catch a break. There is a long tale of woe about a car my folks want to give me that ended in heartbreak and rust. And just a few weeks ago, not long after I declared myself ready to get rid of the car, I got a phone call. I had (hold onto your hats) won a car–a hybrid no less. Never a winner, I had won a sweepstakes I had entered at a hockey game some 8 months ago. I barely remembered doing it. I never thought much about the car. Really I just wanted to get Max a Red Caps towel to twirl at the game so I filled out some card, barely noticing the shiny Hydrid vehicle being hawked, trading the info I assumed would go to a marketing firm for a terry cloth freebie. Yet, here, as my old car was falling apart, a new one. The entire time I listened to the spiel I kept interrupting trying to find the catch. There always is a catch with these sweepstakes–a timeshare to buy or a vacation to take. And then, it came–the kicker. For some dumb reason, in order to win you had to be married. It was in the fine print on the damn card I didn’t care about filling out but did. I explaining to the kind man on the other end of the phone that I was no longer married. He then politely hung up.
When I was trying to decide to go to school so many people told me “Leap and the Net Will Appear”. I am not sure exactly what I thought it meant. I suppose I thought it meant something like a Fairy Godmother would appear out of nowhere who would secretly behind the scenes pull a few strings to conspire along the way to smooth the way and make it easier for things to fall into place. Interestingly enough though, this summer has been an exercise in the exact opposite. Every little step along the way seems three times more difficult–like walking into a blizzard wind. Each problem has required me to stretch myself. Learn something new. Go to some new uncomfortable place.
I am beginning to believe that, “Leap and the Net will Appear” means
“When in a free fall-the Universe may toss you some rope and whisper that its a pretty good time to learn to weave.” The magic must come from within.
Living on the edge, pushing toward my dreams means full catastrophe living. Being willing to walk on the edge and embrace the worse case scenario with calm and confidence and the full belief that whatever disaster comes our way, I will discover a way to solve that problem. It may involve my brain, my intuition or maybe just hard brut work but I will magic my own way out of it. Bibbity, bobbity boo…
And yet, at the same time, I know that the law of the Universe is that we are all interconnected. I am deeply powerful, but I am not alone. I will find allies and guides and and even net weavers who will support me, magicians assistants and wizened old mentors. I need to open to the resources that will appear. Friends and family who know how to buy cars, or rent bedrooms or market wares will show me the way. There may be partners who want to join me on my journey who won’t solve my problems but who will invest something (money, heart, ideas) into my quest. I have to keep believing that the resources I need to weave this net will appear and that I will know exactly what to do with them when they show up. Even when in freefall.
It was supposed to be a week of productivity. Of completing all the lonely projects, the ones that linger like forelorn orphans around my table, staring at me from piles, begging for attention. Our life has become hurried in the last few years and like so many mothers I am collapsing into bed leaving many things half done, wishing to duplicate or triplicate myself.
Its been even crazier since I decided to in fact make acupuncture school a reality. There has been so much to do to get ready, to take the steps I need to free myself up. Nothing has come together easily. I say that not as a complaint but rather as a way to explain my absence from the places I normally haunt. I click down the to-do list mentally and it never seems like much but in the execution, in the moment it is everything. Like lifting a boulder over my head–every ounce of strength going into each task. And yet, I am aware that while I am busy being productive, our life is flying by and
I suppose that is why, I am here instead lingering at the pool, using my vacation to remember again that my life is more than the sum of completed to-do lists. It is feeling the hot blanket of summer on my skin, watching my son frolic for hours in the water, it is breathing and resting and taking a cat nap and then picking up my book. It is feeling how cool the water feels when I dive in. It is experiencing summer.
Earlier this week, I gathered my soulsisters up and we traveled to Baltimore to hear music. An old college friend was coming through town playing in a band, in a dive bar, in a gritty part of town. It was a week for for greasy chips and mussels in garlic butter and Belgian beer with orange slices, live music and finding a way to shrink 20 years into a blink of an eye. A week to touch the me that is fearless and sees life as a a wide expanse of possibility.
It will soon be time to click through my to-do lists. There are swim meets, and chores, and a room to show to potential tenants. There are playdates and bills to pay–all of them as real and rich as my time basking in the sun. But for now the scent of sunscreen and the energy sapping heat is the only thing before me and so I sink into it.
It is in the shelter of each other that the people live–Irish proverb
When it rains during swim practice, take shelter in full view and watch as they move undisturbed through the rain. Stroke after stroke, patient and steady. Take a deep breath and know that this is exactly how we move through life when it rains.
When it rains during swim practice, take shelter under the rough hewn beams and listen to the teenagers play cards, raising their voices as though this game and its outcome is the most important thing in the world. In this moment, this hand that they play, it is indeed the only thing that matters–not the childhood they left behind or the adulthood that they will soon launch into but this hour where they throw cards on the picnic table as the rain pounds on the roof and they laugh and scream.
When it rains during swim practice, take shelter under a pitched roof and watch the girl and her best friend on secret missions, giggling and hiding and stealing looks at boys. Watch the young ones with their breakfast, watch the babies put their googles on, watch the ten year olds play roofball their play undisturbed–watch as the whole world unfolds, in the rain, despite the rain, because of the rain, in the rain and with the rain. Watch what happens when the world shrinks as we all seek and find shelter.
many thanks to the strong and lovely Jena who drew my attention to this video
Over the South pole today we had a solar eclipse. I mention it because it explains a whole lot of crazy that seems to be going on around. Lots of shaking things up and separations and releasing of old to make way for the new. The energy of the sky has been one big clearing, a massive spring cleaning of our homes, our lives or souls. Have you felt it? I sure have!
I have been taking comfort in the energy of letting go. Even if it means sitting empty for awhile–especially if it means sitting empty for awhile. There is something about opening to the infinite possibilities of what this moment holds when we let go of what happened in the past without holding any expectations of the future.
Sometimes in order to stretch far, to grow into our next phase we need to untie some knots–the ones that are holding us tight, keeping us reigned in, giving us a short leash. Sometimes untying knots means we need to go over old ground–but then having covered that ground, we need to kiss it and let it go forever, turn our backs and march forward into the future. Tonight is a perfect time for letting go of all we don’t want and for saying YES with arms outstretched for all we want to welcome in. For the next several weeks the universe will continue to support us in clearing out whatever we are ready to let go of!
I am letting go of my sentimental attachment to my crappy falling apart car and opening up my heart for some energy efficient clean and neat little mode of transportation. (I hope she comes quickly!)
I am letting go of friendships that no longer serve, the ones where my openheartedness was never really appreciated and instead opening up to the ones who love me for my messy vulnerable self.
I am letting go of any remaining fear about walking the path in front of me and instead opening up to the wild and wooly adventure thats been calling to me for years.
I am letting go of stories I wrote about not having enough and instead and opening up to the abundance laid out before me.
I am letting go of rushing and feeling pressured and tortured by time. I am instead opening up to time as a friend and hoping that in the slowing down I will experience infinity and experience the sense that everything happens right on time.
I am letting go of being a martyred single mom and opening up to all the ways that my ex wants to support Max.
I am letting go of the words, “I have to…” and opening up to the words, “I get to…”
I am letting go of worry and opening up to total faith in the process of my life. I have always risen to the challenge of my life. It has taken me this far and as I type this, with the feet of the most beautiful boy in my lap, that this far is exactly where I need to be.