There have been dark clouds hovering above me for the past couple of weeks. Sometimes in life there are things that happen – they may even seem like fairly insignificant things when you don’t see them in their full contextual glory – that trigger turning points. An aborted family event a couple of weeks ago has resulted in a significant change of course for me on many fronts; it was irrefutable evidence that the path I’d been on led only to strife and pain and that I needed to set out on a new path.
I didn’t call a press conference though. I didn’t gather folks on my front lawn, overlooking the street (which is, by the way, starting to look pretty shabby as we enter the third week of a city workers strike that includes garbage collection). I didn’t take Sarah Palin’s lead and talk in circles to get to the point of saying that I’m not having enough fun doing this anymore so I’m going to just quit. Come to think of it maybe it would be a good thing if there was some sort of press release you could, from time to time, circulate among those whose behaviour is hurtful to you. A number of years ago, when I’d gone on a car trip through Scotland with my daughter Nili (she was studying at University College London at the time) we had a bad car accident … hit head-on on a single-track road by a Land Rover hauling sheep. Before I returned to work I prepared a Briefing Note on the issue of “What happened in Scotland?” and had copies of it sitting on the shelf just when you entered my office. That way, rather than retelling (and reliving) the event over and over again I could just smile, point to the pile of Briefing Notes, and get along with my day. Hhmmm … maybe I should work on a format for Family Briefing Notes. What do you think?
Anyhow, feeling sad and depleted I withdrew for a week or so of deep thought, trying to figure out how to move forward again. Still struggling to find my way back into the sunshine I found a surprising “lift” in listening to Ms. Palin resign as Governor of Alaska. My best laugh of the week came listening to somebody on the radio talking about the reaction that her mother – an elderly woman with great anxiety about strokes – had in listening to Palin’s resignation speech. “I don’t understand what she’s saying“, her mother said, “I hear all of the words, but she’s not making any sense. I must be having another stroke!!!”
I just never know where my inspiration will come from. Who’d have thought that what could shake me out of my turpor was Sarah Palin resigning? I do need to stop today, though, and thank her for leaving. Better yet might have been if she’d never come, but that’s water under the bridge. Bridge. Hhmm. Maybe she’s quitting so she can build a bridge to Russia?
Little by little I’m scraping my spirit off the ground and getting back into the adventure of living. It’s been a hard week though and I’ve been grateful to the friends and family who’ve been there for me and helped me to sort things through. Having no “got to go to work” restraints has likely made this even harder … I need to think about that a little more I think.