autumn days

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Daring to Dream with Alternate Realities

M planned every detail of every trip for our family for the last 18 years.  Now he is not here to plan for us anymore.  Along with a million other details, trip planning is now one of my new jobs.  M wouldn't fly under any circumstances.  He had an awful flight once and decided his feet needed to stay on the ground.  On the other hand, I took flying lessons as a teenager and adore getting into the sky. 

With the new gut-wrenching freedom that comes with losing a partner, I want to see the world.  I would love to be a worldschooler, to travel the world with my children.  I had the fantasy of backpacking Europe with my children long before I was a mother.  Maybe that fantasy has been there for a  reason.  Maybe one day I will get to do just that, and more.  Now is the time when I stay rooted in our routines, getting the kids onto the school bus and tackling financial projects for most of the day, driving children to classes, keeping up with homework, and taking my own classes once a month. 

And now is also the time when I dream about the possibilities.  I call these alternate realities.  I love my alternate realities.  When M was dying of lung cancer, I had many alternate realities: he would get well again, he would love a long time on immunotherapy, we would all travel together, M would be able to make one more video or write one card to his children, friends would move in and help me care for M, my cousins would visit us, and all my family's needs would be met.  Beginning on diagnosis day and continuing for four months, my focus and energy went mainly to caring for our children and supporting M as he and our extended family reached for a cure.  After he died, I focused on the memorial service and learning to manage the details of our home and supporting my brother-in-law as he took over the family business.  I was not as easily dreaming of the possibilities anymore.

In trying to raise my own energy, I am now intentionally focusing on the many possibilities of my life as a single-mother of three young children.  I see myself sitting with friends playing board games, laughing until my stomach hurts, feeling satisfied after a big meal, driving across the country with friends to see what is out there, my children taking gymnastics or martial arts, sitting on a warm beach, living in another country, getting my hair cut wildly short, sleeping in a bed by myself, eating a whole pint of chocolate ice cream by myself, writing love letters to all my beloved friends, my estranged brother speaking lovingly with me, going out to a comedy club, learning to ski and surf, using up all my crafty materials and selling my wares to pay for trips, starting my own healing practice, finding a way for my children to keep their possessions tidy, painting the inside of my home, driving an art car, traveling with friends and their families, spending a couple nights alone, finding joy in preparing a nourishing meal, and putting on that backpack and traveling the world with my children.  My children dream of driving around the country, opening businesses to sell honey and fried eggs, selling their origami creations and original art works, sleeping in the same bed with me every night, riding their bikes as often as they desire, eating endless desserts, reading every waking hour of the day, and playing with their friends all the time.  We are all dreaming of our possibilities now.

Many of these may not happen.  Some will.  There is empowerment in getting to choose which alternate realities to bring forward into our reality.  My soul takes great pleasure in this daring to dream.  Dream big, and then dream bigger.  My alternate realities open me up to the possibilities that await.  I get to choose.  What a satisfying feeling that is.

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