***DISCLAIMER – To all of you who may walk with me in my daily life and my daily journey and actually do read this blog, do not let the inner workings of my mind alarm you. Please remember that I am an “over-processor” and that is why I write. Do not let my words cause worry or concern because it is with these words that I do find peace from my over-active, self-critical, and over-processing mind. Please also remember that these words are always my interpretation and may not reflect how things actually happened, but only how I process these things.***
We all have gifts and challenges. Some of us are better beginnings, some better at middles and some are better at the end. I am better at middles. I love the comfort of knowing things are how they are and that routine and ritual work. I do appreciate the excitement and exhilaration of beginnings and ends, but can’t live there all the time. It’s probably why my children were happy toddlers. I am very good at setting up structure, transition time and being there for people. I am reliable and responsible…probably to a toxic level for myself…attributes I assume came from the fact that I am the oldest daughter of five…and well, it is who I am.
Over the past seven years, I have tried to find a middle from the beginning of something that has challenged me to my core, being a widow. It was the end of something I cherished with my entire being that tossed me violently into a beginning I never wanted. I am so grateful that the beginning of my journey of widow has passed. I have become somewhat comfortable with the middle of it. I have established ways of dealing with being alone, a sole parent, the only responsible grown up, being on duty 24/7, and well with being a widowed person. I am almost to the point where the little changes don’t throw the whole routine out of whack. Back in the beginning, any change, would nearly drown me. Kids getting ill, an addition of a new activity, new teacher, new work…all these things would send me searching for my life raft. Now that I’m in the middle…not so much. I can handle surprises a bit more now and am capable of suppressing even some my most extreme fears and emotions…don’t know if it is a good thing, but it is my middle right now. I have even been known to, on occasion, do something for myself…amazing for me. Thinking about my own needs, re-affirms to me that I am in the middle. The middle allows more brain space for me to consider beginnings again….endings though still throw me for a loop.
Unfortunately, sometimes the fact that I am a middle type is boring…comforting, but boring.
At the end of last year, I was given the grace of a sweet beginning. It was a beginning that I had pretty much thought was never going to be a part of my life again. A very sweet man came into my life and the beginning was exhilarating and reminded me that beginnings can be good. Here’s the thing I need to remember though…not every beginning leads to a middle…and that’s ok. Sometimes even the most wonderful beginnings are just that…a beginning. All the exhilaration, and for me it was truly amazement that he was even interested, was a reminder to me that I can’t always stay in the middle. It is important to risk, especially in matters of the heart, even if a beginning is all that is there. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes. I need the joy of starting new things in my life. Since Dave died, my life went into hold…kids and survival came first…granted I have tried many new things with both success and failures…so I guess that counts as beginnings…but this beginning he graced me with was different. It challenged me in a new way, a way I was not willing to be challenged in for a long time. I am grateful.
Endings. I’m not so great at endings. I over-process, blame myself, and have trouble letting go. I feel abandoned….hmmm, I wonder where this comes from??? Yes, it’s part of that widow journey I’ve been on for a while now. Although it isn’t anyone’s fault, endings still leave me feeling more alone these days. When I thought I wouldn’t get to work in a place I loved, I plummeted…more deeply than I have in a long time. When I think that my sweet beginning may never have a middle and might jump to the end, I am sad. It’s just me. I like the middle. The thing I can appreciate about endings though is that I really do learn from them. I can appreciate what was. It may take me a while to move on to the next thing, but I am always grateful that I risked enough to discover something new. As hard as endings are for me, I know that they are necessary.
I know my story must have beginnings, middles, and ends. I know that with all of these phases, I will find grace. I may not always be happy with the outcome, but hopefully I will always be able to discover the way I have changed. Hopefully I will always be grateful for the opportunity no matter where it leads. Hopefully, I will have more and be more of who I am to become because I risked the thing I detest the most…the endings…because there is never a new beginning without the ending…and maybe, yes maybe, someday I will find myself happy in a middle again.