May, 2011.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve been having a hard time.  I have some guesses about why, but really– I don’t know why.  I have the writerly problem of deciding whether it is just too personal to write about here.  Or too boring for a reader, which is a different writerly problem.

I’m in the midst of my April-May-June cycle.  April and Passover– are about spring, liberation.  Passover eight years ago was the last time I ever saw my father.  May and Mother’s day– the commercial holiday that was, for a number of years, oddly meaningful as I worked through feelings of wanting to be and worrying I wouldn’t be, a mother.  May 20th– my daughter’s birthday.  May 20th has been a very special day every year since she was born– but for a mother of a daughter whose birth was announced to us after the fact, it has been a very special day every year– except the year of her actual birth when we didn’t know she was being born nor did we know that there was a very small girl who would be our daughter.  I think often about her first 48 hours in the world– untethered to anyone who had a plan to love and care for her.  I believe it was a very hard way to come into the world.

So yes, with all of that as backdrop, I’ve been feeling down for weeks now.  Discouraged.  Some days it is up in my face, all day.  Other days it is just a quiet hum in the background.  I know I’ve been down this road before; I think I have written these exact words before on this blog.  Those of you who read this blog have been down this road with me (as well as yourselves, I assume, but that’s a different story, isn’t it?)  I’ve not posted here in a while, but I’m not exactly having a hard time writing; I have several drafts of several posts in various states of finished standing by.  But I am having a hard time fully deciding and fully articulating just what I want to say and pushing the “Publish” button.

I have been worried about going back to work– worried about whether I will find work again that is as meaningful, as consuming as the work I did many years ago running the HIV/AIDS legal program here and about what that work might be.    For many reasons my world has shifted in certain ways and some things that were very meaningful and held great interest for me fifteen or even ten years ago, do not feel the same anymore.  The ground has shifted imperceptibly and here I am on a new landscape– trying to find my way.  It feels scary some days, it feels terribly discouraging some days.

I do know someone who says that all discouragement and worries are old feelings.  That we can heal from earlier disappointments and losses, and that it makes no logical sense at all to be discouraged about the future — like what does it mean to be discouraged or worried about something that hasn’t even happened yet?  And I must admit I follow the logic and agree with him though I definitely don’t feel that way.

But today in particular and for the last several days in general, I’ve gotten glimpses that there might, maybe possibly be something really wonderful ahead.  And my mind has wandered again, more and more often, to a few of the extraordinary interesting things in this world to write about other than this internal discouragement.  A good perspective is returning and a good perspective is a good thing.  Stay tuned.

6 responses to “May, 2011.

  1. To HOPEFUL things! (We were visiting your city for 48 hours–had to keep it family except for one brief visit with a new friend) and thought of how close we came to meeting once! Ugh. One day I trust, but until then: to hopeful feelings and great perspectives.

    • Yes, here’s to hopeful and to good perspective!!

      I love that you now tell me when you come to my town, even though we don’t get to meet yet. We will, we will, when the time is right and I like knowing you’ve been nearby. Hope it was a good visit with good weather!! love, L

  2. Just wanted to acknowledge that I heard you and that I wish you a lifting of the heaviness. You have actually been in a major transition ever since you were laid off, and I have been impressed how positive you have managed to remain. The shift from being a member of the paid work force to being a “stay at home mom,” even a very busy and engaged one is monumental. My own life experience was the other way round: I found it hard to be a stay at home mom and found working outside the home a relief –but then I was very very young and had not yet figured out who I was and I surely wasn’t going to find it in the home with babies. Not sure why I am sharing this, perhaps just to join you–to show I understand about going through a difficult time, and to say that I believe it will lift. Love, Evi

    • Thank you. For the hearing and for the acknowledgement. As I said to you privately, it always makes a difference to hear from you– and even if you aren’t sure why you wrote about your experience (so different from mine) as a stay-at-home mom– I think it’s so helpful and such important dialogue to be engaged in– the different ways this piece of things hits different women/ mothers at different times in history and in our own lives. It has been a monumental shift to go from working lawyer to stay-at-home-mom and mostly an amazingly good shift. And it will be monumental again, I assume, whenever I do return to paid work. Keep writing me when you get the chance.

      Love, Laura

  3. My *teenager* (the second one) is May 19th.

    Hard times so often allow for the next thing we’re really chewing on to come to fruition. We need that chew time.

    • I love that we have children with birthdays close together. I know that the hard times often precede big, good changes– and it is so helpful to have you reach across our many state separation and tell me, rather than trying to hold on myself. Thanks, Sarah. Hope the birthday celebration was a good one. xo

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