Rainy Morning Musings
Eva (my sister Mary's Daughter) and Alanna, my granddaughter
Me and my sister Mary (who will always be 8 years younger than me, haha
Saturday my sister's family was coming up from Pelham to visit; I was slightly concerned as I lay in bed at 7 am listening to the heavy rain pound down upon the air conditioner, sounding more like hail than a rain drop. Nine people in a small house; what were we all to do for 8 hours?
As I lay in bed, I thought about how up until the past year or two, I had a general dislike of entertaining, and realized that I have many characteristics similar to my father which was difficult to embrace, especially since I lived in fear of the man, and did not particularly like him.
He never liked crowds - we only went to Jones beach on the off season, usually when it was too cold to swim. (like warm days in December?!) I don't think he liked to leave the house unless it was to go to work, to church or do the obligatory food shop once a week with all four kids and the wife (my mom did not drive most of her life). He made it very clear that he was not driving me around all over the place after school, which meant I had no social life, as at 12 years of age we moved to the boonies outside of Woodstock from Long Island. We rarely entertained, unless it was his sisters and cousins. I never had a sleep over at my house, and the only birthday party I remember having was when I was about 4 or 5. We led a solitary life, and I wonder why it was like that. Did he have something to hide? Was my mother's drinking that apparent? Why?
I thought about my own life....how I don't like crowds, don't really like shopping unless it is under the right circumstances, never liked having lots of children at my house, and though I did the obligatory sleep overs for my kids, I did not enjoy them. And as I got older, I liked entertaining and cooking less and less and preferred a solitary life. Yes, hard to imagine to my friends who see how busy my social life is, but in reality, I enjoy solitude and could easily become a hermit, coming out only when I need something or feel the need for human contact. Entertaining was a chore. I had to clean, shop, cook, and clean again, all things that I hated.
But something shifted. I am not sure how and when, but I suspect it was my four day seclusion at the monastery, where I was introduced to mindful living. Perhaps it was when I had grandchildren, and my daughter got sick with cancer and I realized how fragile life is. Perhaps it is the gifts I give myself- such as having someone help me clean, buying from markets that I like to go to (IE: Farmer's Markets/Health Food Stores) that made my life much easier. Perhaps it was letting go of the notion that I had to have a certain level of cleanliness and a fancy menu in order to entertain. Perhaps it was that I learned how to love.
As the rain drummed down, I smiled knowing my house was clean, the fridge was full of garden harvest and local healthy foods, that I was going to have fun and enjoy the people in my life no matter the day. And, as the day progressed, the sun came out, we went to the zoo to feed the animals and let the kids run, we took them out for ice cream, had two healthy eclectic meals, and I had a wonderful time seeing those I love.
It's never to late to teach an old horse new tricks. It's never too late to change a way of thinking or living. And for the transformation, I am grateful.
Patti O Party