The NY Times this week labelled the malaise we’re all feeling in this second year of covid as languishing, the definition of which I like the most is; to become dispirited. That feels pretty accurate to me. So rather than sugar coat a social media post, I thought I’d do a reality share here on my blog. As a spiritual guide there may be projections onto or expectations of me to offer uplifting, joyous, hopeful commentary. Maybe by the end of this post I’ll get there, but the truth is, this year’s highs were middling and the lows were pretty low. So I embrace the end of our second year coping with covid with mixed feelings ranging from grief to gratitude, disappointment to delight, and with a good bit of relief that it’s over while holding both excitement and trepidation for what lies ahead.
Grief, loss and moving on: I was going to spend these holidays with my family, until covid struck. Everyone is recovering well thankfully. Home alone, I find myself reflecting on the losses this year, starting with Dad dying April 2, on Good Friday. Sadly, I missed being with him because of covid travel restrictions into New York State and lousy timing. I was to arrive Easter Sunday. His last three years in the nursing facility were frustrating for him as he had no purpose or freedom. It was a sad ending to a long life. We held a wake for him on zoom, and planned a celebration of his life and family reunion for September, only to cancel because of a covid surge. Dad would have been 93 on December 22. This year ending is also a reminder that my mother died 21 years ago, December 28. May they both rest in peace and only torment me slightly in my dreams. Love you Dad and Mom!
Spring and summer saw my closest friend in Marin, Lisa R. move away, and my daily walking buddy Gale, retire with her husband to Finland. I also learned that my dear friend, Jo Ann who’s dementia has been worsening over the last few years, moved into an assisted living memory care facility in Seattle with her husband who also has dementia. The last time Jo Ann and I spoke in September she sounded happy, and told me more than once all about the daily activities they do at the facility, but she couldn’t tell me her address and she no longer responds to calls or messages.
And as if the universe is saying, pay attention to all who are moving on and prepare yourself for whatever is coming, my next door neighbors of the past four years, newlyweds Ian and Lindsay, just moved out of their apartment.
For the past two years I’ve worked with Naama, a young visionary, helping launch her startup organization to realize her dream for how she envisions healing the world. We grew from 4 to 13 employees in 18 months, and then in September, right as I returned from my vacation, it all began to unravel, through no fault of ours. Without going into details I have to say this is one of the bigger losses of the year for me. December 31 is my last day. Even though the entire staff works remotely and only all met face-to-face one time in July, we are deeply bonded. While my role is in operations, I am the staff elder and often times spiritual counselor, for almost everyone I work with is 25-35 years younger. I love them all and though I’m sad, I trust that we’ll stay connected.
On the lighter side: I sought guidance from a health coach this year and along with my daily walks lost 30 pounds over the course of five months. Still more to go, and I now have the tools for making it so. I think too, the weight came off as I was no longer carrying the burden of my father’s sad demise.
In March, my soul sister Mary W. and I spent three days exploring the area around Mendocino. It was my first adventure out since covid started in March 2020. We laughed at how the energy felt slightly askew and how challenging it was to navigate eating somewhat normally at restaurants, or stepping gingerly into tiny gift shops doing our best to stay six feet away from others.
June 16 I completed another trip around our sun. No celebration, just a quiet day off from work at the beach with a picnic lunch that included a slice of carrot cake. Yum! The combination of turning 65 the same year as my last parent dies has sucked. Not only am I thinking about my own mortality and how near death is every day, but also that I could conceivably live another 30 years (1/3 yet of my life) and I have no plan or idea how that will unfold. On the positive side, Medicare is less than $200/month as opposed to the $1000/month I was paying previously for crappy health insurance.
Las Vegas isn’t exactly the place to go to chill out, but in July I did just that with a visit to Mary W’s. Literally, the only thing we could do was hang indoors in the air conditioning as it was 110+ each day, so we began planning a trip to Scotland for April/May of 2022. Covid be damned!!
September, saw my most adventurous and happy highlight of the year, visiting my college roommate and soul friend of 45 years, Elvina in New Jersey. Brave enough to travel across country, the wacky covid-mask-wearing energy thing was beginning to feel more normal. We talked, walked, watched TV, ate meals, visited with her family… like people do in a normal course of daily life. One day we went to the Jersey Shore, the next into New York City to the 911 memorial and met up with another college friend. Elvina and I have known each other so long that we pick up right where we left off, even if it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. It was just the relaxation I needed. And, I found myself not loving living alone so much anymore. Perhaps 2022 is time for a change.
How about you? Okay, enough of my personal year in review. Beyond writing a blog or journal entry, which helps me to process and move the energy along so that I can let it go, how about you? Here are some other year-end rituals that might be helpful should you choose to engage them. See, I got to the uplifting, hopeful part.
- In a journal, make a gratitude list of what you are most grateful for in the past year. If that’s all you do it will help elevate your mood.
- List lessons learned or relearned this year. I find this a good reminder of what I’ve worked on and what is still in process.
- Make a list of what you want to let go of that no longer serves you. Write these on a piece of paper, bid them good bye, and safely burn the paper.
- Finally, on a decorative piece of paper, make a short list of one or two things you will manifest in the coming year. Speak them out loud, then roll the paper up into a scroll and hang it in a tree near your home so that the wind carries your intentions to the universe.
Peace and blessings to all, May 2022 be an enlightening year!
Enjoy 12 of my favorite photos from my morning meanderings this this year.
Click on any image for gallery view. All photos ©2021 LjW Divine Sight
I want to acknowledge my position of privilege as an elder white woman, and the immense gratitude I have for all the people in my life and the experiences I’ve had in what has been a profound year. Thank you for reading this and if you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Linked In.
thankyou Lisa …your words speak for more than your own journey….the walk of Grace and Grief feels over this last year one with a longer stride….and gratitude still wins over most days….
sending my love,