Between Here and There

In part, I am in between ruminating and celebrating. In other words, torn.

It is what I call the after-travel sorting out of the mind. It is the tug between here, there, everywhere. And trying to find that comfortable center where I am my self.

Sounds weird if you don’t know what I am talking about. But this is my life, my mind, my comings and goings of thoughts. Because basically, that really is all I have.

Whenever I go away, I come back in some degree of flummox. Don’t confuse that with flux, which I think plumbers use. Flummox is a sense of confusion and not quite having my feet under me and asking myself questions, like, “Duh, what is this all about? How much of my life should I invest in myself, and what part do I make decisions based on the needs and wants of others?

I have never been good at figuring that out.

My children are grown. But I still think about them, a lot. I wonder how and what they are doing and how the grandkids are and should I work more at building my life around the wants of family?

That is a real simplification of a complex life question.

Maybe part of the question is, how much of my life is mine? What do I owe to myself? What do I owe others? And how the train will all of that come together in a way that I don’t feel guilty … that I will find some sense of peace, instead of feeling that I short, everyone?

Deep, huh?

I know that some people would read that and say, good gingerbread, woman, get your head out of your ass.

In some ways, I know that is true. I can reflect and cogitation with the best of them. I can sort out more thoughts than a centipede has legs.

But that is who I am. And I am glad for it. I live a contemplative life.

There is something about traveling and being involved in the worlds of other people, that causes me to feel like I need to have two parallel lives going at one time. One is the free and focused life that keeps moving forward. And the other is the one that I mostly lead … zig-zagging … going two steps forward and three steps back … with moments of clarity, but a lot of time, feeling disjointed.

I handle discombobulation much better at home, than on the road. I have my comfort areas where I can go and rebound, re-center and refocus.

When I go away, especially after going to Ohio, and being with kids and not getting to see grandkids as much as I’d like because they are busy with their lives, I get conflicted about being here, being there, being anywhere.

And I don’t think that is what life is supposed to be about. It is just my head.

You know, I get grandiose ideas of what my family is, and what I want it to be. But the truth is, much of that is fantasy. It is that Walton’s syndrome or the Hallmark myth.

At least in my world, it is a myth.

Families are what families are. Kids grow up, they build their own lives, and that is what we want. But for me, it has always been a question of where do I fit in to their adult lives? How do I make whatever expectations they have and I have, work for everyone, so that there aren’t residues of guilt and hurt feelings?

I know that I, as a parent, used to try to do what was “best” for my kids. But as they got older, the question of what is best for them became more obscure. They are each their own being. I am mine. I had my experiences with life, but that doesn’t mean they will share the same experiences. And each child is different. Each grownup child is different.

And it all gets so confusing to me.

Should I just stop this weird thinking and let some of that go?

At what point do we, as parents, say, “Ok. I have done the best that I could. I have to let go and think of my own life, more than I think of yours?”

Maybe the word “tethered” is what I am thinking about. I feel tethered, and it might be time to cut that rope that holds the ball and keeps it from flying. Maybe that would be better for my kids … and me.

Just thinking. It is Sunday morning. I have to get the ham ready and get cooking. Family is coming for lunch.

Love to all from South Carolina,

Susan

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