Friday is the autumnal equinox, a time of balance, which I have been a bit out of lately.

Just now, I thought “huh, equinoxes come twice a year. It’s like a when a clock stops and it’s still correct, twice a day.” You’d think I could achieve balance more that two days a year.

Actually, balance has been on my mind since mom went into the assisted care facility in 2015. I though my life would pull back into shape from the vast amount of stretching-beyond-what-I-expected-I-could-do, but it’s more like a beloved sweater that’s out of shape. It just doesn’t fit like it used to and you wonder if you still love it.

Plus, this is the time of year (pre-birthday) that I take stock of my life. My journal entries from past years list things to do in the upcoming year and things I accomplished from the previous year’s list. And there’s always a short of list “didn’t get this done.”

You can probably see that I am goal-oriented and possibly over-structured. Not so much a spur-of-the-moment person. All this served me very well when I was managing dad’s cancer treatments and mom’s doctor appointments, selling their house and belongings and wrangling insurance problems.

Yet, I knew there would be a time I would have to sit with myself and figure out whether I was going to tread water for the rest of my life, (work, mom, home) or carve out something else. I’ve become an activist, calling my congressmen, attending rallies, and did some compaigning for someone I truly believe will make a difference in my community. I’m not going to say this is fun –  it was work. I’m pretty much an introvert, but it felt very necessary for me stand up for healthcare.

I am cutting back on the time I devote to my mom. That activity, my mom, carries a lot of guilt-potential.

One thing I am slowly managing to do, is cut back on obligations. This is funny because I really don’t have a lot going on beyond mom/work/home. I was active in a shamanic circle for 4 years and confess that the last year or so, that has become an obligation. So I left the group. A cousin I rarely see invited me to his son’s shower and wedding. I declined. I wouldn’t know his son (or his fiancee) if they passed me on the street, nor would I know anyone at the reception except for two cousins. That one, I wrestled with. It felt like a family obligation. I did worry that my other cousin, the aunt of the groom, would think less of me that I didn’t attend. In the end, the sheer amount of energy I put into the worry told me it wasn’t worth it.

Sometimes I worry that bowing out of things like the circle and the wedding will result in me becoming my mom: a bitter old woman who lays in bed all day at a facility. I worry about this and want to balance “not be exhausted all the time” with “function at work/with mom/ and at home.”

To my credit, I have been walking 2.5 miles before work and 2.5 miles in the evening and have gone back to reading tarot, even if it’s just journaling about the card of the day. I pulled out some old tarot books and remembered how much I liked reading about the cards and spreads. I count that in the column “doing something fun.” In the mornings before my walk, I put the coffee on and say the rosary – I know! I am mixing traditions, but it’s a connection to my dad, who died as he was praying the rosary. Plus, in one of my meditations I heard “say the rosary for your ancestors ” and I am ok with that. One of my sage friends said “What is Mary but another face of the Goddess?” I am flirting with the idea of going to our local UU church. I went there briefly before we started going to PA on the weekends. That may or may not make the cut of things to be involved with, but a community is always a good thing when it is the right community.

Hopefully, I will find some cool(er) things to write about beside silly me. If you haven’t started putting up your Fire Cider, now is a good time.

 

2 thoughts on “Autumn Equinox – Balance

  1. It seems to me (mostly looking in from the outside of the normal world) that leading a sane and healthy life for a lot of people is about striking a balance of two things — what, and how much. They don’t seem to me to be at all the same issue.

    Too many obviously burdensome responsibilities can be soul-crushing…but too few can be, too. I’d put being responsible for something, even if it’s just for keeping a fern watered, on the list of basic human needs. But too many things on the plate that seem on the surface to be fun and pleasurable can also be damaging, just as too few more obviously can. You look at the kids who are being dragged from activity to activity not because they want to do it all, but because their parents think they should want to, and there it is: Soccer and dance and softball and on and on are fun…but maybe not all of them one on top of another.

    So I don’t see anything wrong with shedding some of what is on the surface “good for you,” as well as what patently isn’t, and to pick up other things to fill the spaces — or not, as it suits you. I’ve had a lot of space in my life lately to just sort of hang out. That’s been good for me, because I haven’t done much of it in my adult life, but it’s beginning to wear on me. Yep — I’m tired of relaxing. We’ve just been offered a chance to do something that would put some practical work back in my life (without the immigration dudes hitting me with a flying tackle for working for pay), and that’s a major part of my leaning toward accepting it, bizarre as it is. I’ve got to decide what goes on my plate — and you’ve got both the right and the duty to do that for your own sake, too.

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    1. Thank you for this insight because I never fully thought about what happens if there is no responsibility on my plate. And for me it feels right to have some responsibility – to feel like I am engaged as a human being and participating in a constructive way toward a goal. Or maybe just that I am doing my best to bring something better into my sphere of living. I am LOL about you being tired of relaxing! But it’s like the wheel of the year – a time for everything and for sure you’ve charged your batteries and are ready for something new, and good on you for this! Best of success to you as you proceed. and thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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