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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Back at my Post

Recently I have been going through a lot of changes in my life.  Life has dealt some major cards and all at the same time.  I experienced recognition in my career, receiving a double promotion, and also received devastating news of loss and sadness.  My 25 year old niece, Kyra, had been found dead.  It looked like a suicide but there was no note or any explanation.

One of these changes, my promotion, was a result of the continued efforts and dedication that I had shown at work.  I was left to wonder if I had played any part in the sudden loss of Kyra, also.  I went through some of the inevitable questions that are left for the survivors of a loss like this.  Could I have done anything differently that might have changed this outcome?  I did have a difference to temper these thoughts though. My Stoic learning over the years kept telling me that the only one ultimately responsible for this act that ended such a bright light was Kyra, herself. 

I lived my life with Kyra as I live my life with everyone who is important to me, never leave them without them knowing how much you love them and that they matter.  I will never make sense or know exactly what happened in Kyra's mind to cause her to take this action, but I have no guilt over my relationship with her.  I will not allow the ending action of her life to take away all of the wonderful moments and memories that I have with her.  The present and future are now places that no longer have Kyra in them but the light of her memory will continue to shine.

Monday, May 22, 2017


 ”Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life – that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health. ... And reflect that nothing except the soul is worthy of wonder; for to the soul, if it be great, naught is great.” Seneca, Moral Letter to Lucilius, VIII

With this reading I am reminded of the concept of "self-care", that we should take care of ourselves in order to be able to care for others.  Over the years the habit of putting myself last has taken over, not a practice that was forced on me but one that came as a result of habit.  The years of mothering, working outside of the home and the "tyranny of the urgent and most strident need" have taken their toll on the good habit of self-care.

Even though I no longer have children home or even any pets demanding care, I still have to convince myself that it is okay to take time to pamper, or do anything for my own self-benefit.  I think this is not just a female affliction but is a side effect of anyone who has had to make others a priority over the years.  We have a list of to dos and priorities, and, more often than not, self-care is the principle that takes the largest hit.

Now that I am an "empty nester" I struggle with being able to take the time for self-care and constantly have to remind myself that I cannot give to my husband, family or employer if I don't take the time to nourish myself first.  Nourish, not only physically but also intellectually and spiritually, with taking time for reading, studying, listening to music and also relaxation.

In our society we are presented with two examples of the "good life", one is so lazily self-indulgent and the other one is so filled with business for others.  I need to find balance somewhere in the middle of both of these "good lives", nourishing my body but never neglecting to nourish my mind and soul with knowledge, wisdom and beauty.