And so, on to the day.
I did my presentation yesterday at the LEND seminar, talking about complex trauma and Julia. It was so very short -- just under 10 minutes which was our max -- and it left out much of what I wanted to talk about. And so much of what I've learned. I did an adequate job presenting, thinking that with more time and much more experience, I might evolve into a compelling speaker.
I have a folder full of forms to fill out and another class to attend, but otherwise I am done with my year at LEND and the Waiseman Center. There are questions: will I do a second LEND year? Does UW and the Waiseman Center have more for me to do? Is this family discipline within a somewhat medical/research world something I will pursue?
I intend to lie fallow for a time and see what rises to the top.
Likewise, with PTO. Another week and half before the meeting at which I hand over the reigns of "power". I am not immediately volunteering for more to do there. I would not refuse a board position if asked, but I will not pursue it, at least not right now. Maybe in a year. I need to see what living without it is like.
Again, lying fallow.
I understand that I have busied myself for this past school year. It has helped with grief, it has helped with a sense of purpose, it has helped getting me up every day. Now, to purposely let go of so many self-imposed responsibilities and see where I lean towards. I give myself a year of this, but even as I drove home from class yesterday, I was making plans to check out classes and connections. I plan to move slowly right now, but will also give myself the freedom to explore. I will really try not to jump into any big project for at last three months.
Ah, a year has already become three months!
I came to a decision about the house two days ago. Have just about breathed it to Cheshire and then Lisa. Feeling less than sure today, but ready to live it out loud. I will not do the big renovation on this house. I do have a list to make this house more livable and beautiful which hopefully I will get through this summer and into the early fall. It still includes sorting the piles of stuff and making my load a whole lot lighter. It also includes getting a new kitchen, although definitely one which will serve my needs but not be the dream kitchen or impose too much economic pressure on this house. Julia and I will probably move to Maryland, with or close to Lisa's family, in two years. I say probably because this is my proposal without all the approvals necessary -- there is a lot to decide and work out. And I say two years, accounting for my fallow year and another LEND year, accounting for another 2+ years of intensive therapy for Julia, as well as attachment work. Julia will also have to change schools for middle school at that time. This morning I am thinking that 2 years is a very long time, and I am open to the ebb and flow of change. Maybe I would better say it to hope and pray that in two years we will be somewhat settled in our future plans. I still dream of living in China; I still dream of another child; I am beginning to hope for (but not expect) another beloved partner. All of that will have to be fit into the bigger picture, and all is so dependent upon the rest.
It is a step.
To those who might say -- I always knew . . . , or Of course, . . . . , I'd say I have known nothing and assumed less. It has been an incredible struggle to get this far from last July, and I know that my journey back from grief and loss is far from over. These decisions, or ideas for decisions are hard won, after much thought and silence. They are hardly set in wet clay and maybe the most sure statement I can make is that they will change, and grow, and morph into what will be. The humor of the fact that I am coming to these decisions now, and in direct relation to whether or not to dive into the major house renovation that would give me a splendid abode is not lost on me. The thought that in this "place just right" that Madison is to me and with a house perfectly fit to my needs and desires, I would be living without a heart hold in life, was the beginning of a cascade of decisions. But I am probably standing at the threshold of this cascade, modification and alteration will probably be the norm.
I will not try and catch the stream but let it flow around my legs and through my fingers. I will stand in the river bed and move with the water. I will not be afraid.