Sometimes a commitment starts and sputters then stops.
Al-Anon and writing are two examples of that in my life.
I went to Al-Anon last year when I was going through my divorce. I recently realized that my attendance there was prompted by others, and for others. I wasn’t there for me, and that’s why it didn’t work. I returned this week.
Writing is at the core of who I am. Yet, I have consistently dismissed it as a part of my daily routine. Instead, I have found, as evidenced in a stack of journals, that I rarely wrote for the joy of it, to be grateful, or to acknowledge the present. I wrote in angst. That behavior is both ridiculous and perfectly normal since writing for me is both cathartic and revealing. I can’t lie to myself on paper, but I can fail to acknowledge life’s joys and heartache by not writing.
In the absence of writing, speaking, articulating, and sharing my experiences have helped me heal. Therapy, coupled with friends and family, helped me conquer every challenge by being truthful. When my therapist first told me that the truth would set me free, I didn’t roll my eyes, I owned it. She was right and every battle, every win, every failure, and every lesson came as a result of me owning my truth.
Moving from anger and sadness about my divorce came in July. Instead of avoiding, I started owning this divorced life. That started by removing “divorced” from my life’s description and working to understand what I did to get me there/ here. By November, I had moved toward a place of peace, yet I knew it wasn’t bliss. Two divorces to two similar men required me to dig into the behaviors that led me willingly to those two marriages.
On November 1, I signed up for an Improv class, I registered for a national training on how to run for office, and I purchased a site from WordPress to start a blog. I’m halfway through the Improv class. I went to Minneapolis for the national training, honestly and thoughtfully explored running for office, opted not to run this cycle then convened a group of women to address public policy priorities, and was appointed a precinct committeewoman. After laying the blog aside, on November 30, I committed to writing 90 minutes for 90 days. I haven’t quite gotten there.
This morning, with our first snow on the ground covering the oak leaves that are always the last to fall, I decided to meld the two commitments: attending Al-Anon and writing the blog. Al-Anon recommends that a person attends for three months. At my meeting Tuesday, I received a book “Courage to Change” which has daily readings. By marrying my two commitments, the book will support the reflection, and the reflection, I hope, will serve as part of the inspiration to write.
I named my blog Table for One. I know that one person can set the tone for an entire meal. I want the tone to be thoughtful, engaging, and positive. When I started going to Shannon’s for dinner every Wednesday after my Yin yoga class, I found myself telling the host before he or she could ask, that I needed a “Table for One”. We’ve read it dozens of times, right? Life is a journey. ‘Tis true. And this blog will document mine, especially now that I can write with less anger and more construct. I welcome you to join me as I continue to get comfortable in my own skin, accepting who I am for my own strengths and weaknesses, embracing my current place in this universe and how I can pay it forward, and celebrating this gift of life with my daughter, friends, family, and community.