"Show up before you are ready" was the summary statement of Elizabeth Gilbert's interview (conversation) with Glennon Doyle Melton (Here are some ways to listen:
direct download: http://tinyurl.com/h3bnvxm; max fun ep page: http://tinyurl.com/gl29q4t
itunes: http://tinyurl.com/zg5abpm). "Show up before you are ready" are the words which seem to be resonating within my life, my family and all the unknowns within my little world lately. Show up before you are ready.
I did the brave thing and gave notice I was closing my daycare, giving my parents four months notice before my closure. Three months before I had financially prepared for my decision, all but one of my families have "abandoned" me and moved on. I guess this was an invitation to show up before I was ready. I was shocked at first but now I feel up to the task.
I listened to Glennon talk about her "on the bathroom floor" moment when she was served an eviction from her previous life of addictions and invited to be a wife and mother. I thought of my "evictions" of the past. When I was younger, my eviction out of my old life and invitations into a new way of living were a little more dramatic and easier for the bare eye to see. Pregnancy, divorce, change of jobs and the like are out there for the world to see. What I wasn't prepared for, was this age called "55".
Eviction notices at this stage of the game show up differently. Impending loss of health, loss of loved ones, loss of those dependent upon you and in many cases retirement is around the corner so there is the loss of identity that comes in the form of shedding many of your "labels" and finding new ones.
I looked back on my blog post history yesterday to see if I could find a trend as to when I gained my momentum to write and lost it. I was 47 years old when I started up this blog. My first year, I wrote 298 posts. Percentage wise, this equates to writing 82% of the days available within the year. I reached a 100% average the year I was 50 years old, then my average hovered around 85 - 88% for the next few years and has continued on a downward spiral ever since. When I went to calculate my stats for this year-to-date, I found the reason I have had very little to submit to the papers I write for. I have written 149 out of a possible 266 days, an average of 56%. Barely more than half.
I wrote through year after my break up, I wrote through my challenging attempt at a career change, I wrote through my fears of Mom's health, I wrote through the changes and transitions of my family. I wrote through it all. This year, the year of being 55, I have almost stopped writing. Writing hurts. Writing is hard. I wrote anyway but it wasn't the same. This transition of my life has been the least dramatic and hardest to manage. This "eviction" from life as I knew it came upon me like a storm you see off in the horizon. I hunkered down and gathered what I thought I would need to survive, but the storm was not what I expected. It was a weather system that simply settled in and stayed. It's harder to deal with day after day of "bad weather" than it is to pick yourself up after a hurricane. Hurricanes are visible and newsworthy. The community bands together and unites. There is support and "new" replaces that which has been destroyed. There is a before and after. The clouds that come in and stay don't attract attention but it doesn't make it much easier to endure.
I look at my children and I think I see them wandering through some of the same stuff I'm feeling. A little bit of "this isn't what I thought my life was going to look like when I was 38/29/18". Varying thoughts from that point of view, but the underlying sameness of "this isn't what I was expecting" and the emotional backlash of thinking that thought but not talking about it. The conversations between me and each of my children varies with who they are and who I am when I'm with them.
I think that is a small part of what I am longing for. The echo of "me too" in a conversation with each of my children. I'm not going through what they are going through but I'm going through something somewhat similar. Maybe hard conversations will open up doors, ideas and communication. I'm ready to show up before I'm ready and talk about this out loud.
And now I must go to work, whether I'm ready for that or not. It's okay. I'm ready. Bring it on, day. I'm showing up for you whether I'm ready or not.