Saturday before the Saturday

I know I’ve written about this topic before: Leaving. It has always been ridiculously hard for me, starting with my cousin Bevie leaving Spreckles Lane to go back home to San Carlos or Chicago. Leading up to, and following, her departure I would be absolutely cry-boo-hooing unconsolably. I still feel that way when I’m away from her. The world is just better when we are hanging out, drinking a glass–or two–of wine and talking about our family and the various life decisions that have brought us to this point in time. Bevie, and my sister, are my angels. They’ve been through it all with me, and I with them. I am so blessed to be able to hang out with them. We’re The Three Amigos, bound for untold fame, fortune and tons of fun, God willing.

I’m feeling nostalgic and melancholy: this time next Saturday I won’t be here in NYC I’ll be back home with my West Coast family. No more baby cuddles. No more mattress-on-the-floor-sleepless-nights. No more freezing temps and central heated apartment. No more making Saturday pancakes for my much-appreciative daughter or strolls along Austin Street and the grand brick estates of Forest Hills. No more strolls to the neighborhood park and mittened hands and icy sidewalks. No more “Frozen’s” Anna-spins in the living room and Playdough snakes and the finger-paint of life with an almost 2-year-old. Close the scrapbook. It will soon be over. And it’s on to taking care of Bronson, my 8-year-old grandson, and maybe hanging out with cousin/grandboy Jack. In a short time I’ll be on another solo camping trip for a couple of weeks and then—Maui—for a week. My life and my heart are full and blessed. I am grateful, hopeful, and feeling positive these days.

Discovering the new, challenging one’s self, is like carving down the center of my body and tattooing a gorged river vein from the top of my head to my toes. Everything is vulnerable, exposed, yet I am conversely healed. The Great Shakeup can’t happen if I sit on the couch remote dialing Netflix to Hulu and back again. Discomfort, sadness even, is the great nudge I need to un-numb myself. Rawness leads to light.

The jubilance of a sunrise or sunset is sweeter following a storm.

Just like Millie, the crying-for-nearly-an-hour before nap time “Mommy, Mommy!” toddler. She misses her mommy the way I already miss both of them. I totally get the wailing. I totally get the sense of abandonment now that her mommy has returned back to work after 2.5 months savoring maternity leave. It just feels right hanging out and being together. I feel that way too as I wait for my daughter to feed Baby Boy so we can get back to needlepointing and watercoloring. I never want this to end. Even the tension–when the parents discuss the benefits or damage caused by allowing their toddler to cry it out rather than rush to the room and comfort her–will be missed. What is right, really? Dealing with the pain, the frustration, the sadness in the moment then moving on or postponing loss and never leaving? Staying put.

Welcome to a kinda strange transitory for instance…

Last September I decided to try a new weight-loss approach via Noom. This isn’t an advertisement for Noom, therefore I’m not adding a link. But it seems to be working for me. I’ve lost 30 pounds. Not dieting. Not denying. A little bit of calorie counting/observation. Mostly, I’ve lost the weight due to new thinking about my relationship with food. Noom provides prompts, strategies, to get to the core of why I have spent my entire life over-eating. Without being hardcore, without shaming, the 12-minute a day “sessions” gets you to revisit your core and ask, “Why?”

Now why am I sharing this and what does it have to do with leaving New York and crying babies?

Pain.

Feelings.

Ouch.

My vehicle of choice has been to numb the bad with food. Someone says something mean to me…eat. Someone doesn’t understand my intentions…eat. Someone didn’t get enough sleep, drank too much, didn’t make time for herself to have fun and be creative…eat. Eat to feel love. Eat to deny. Eat to block out. Keep overeating and I am destined to die before my time.

I’m changing. I’m on the right path. I’m not covering up. I’m dealing with the whole shebang of life. It’s OK to feel. as Kasey Musgraves sings, “Happy and sad at the same time.” It’s OK to feel alive and free and miss and long. It’s OK to hope and dream at 65, at 75, at 90.

Their lives are beginning, and so is mine.

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