It seems like a lot has happened since my last blog post. A lot, yet nothing much at all. There were no significant, life-changing events, but yet I feel a certain sense of change. Christmas has passed. It is a new year. I am another year older, having celebrated a birthday during my blogging absence.
I apologize for temporarily shutting down both blogs for a period of time. It was not my intention to cause alarm or concern. I simply needed a time to hibernate. I needed a time of quiet reflection. I suppose I needed solitude.
The holidays were filled at times with deep sadness while other moments were shining with a kind of joy that I have not allowed myself to experience fully in a very long time.
I had ten days of no work, time with all four kids home, happy and getting along well. I ate too much. At times, I drank too much.
T and I rang in the New Year with old friends. For the first time in years, I was not on stage playing music, but I was one of the crowd enjoying the entertainment. That made me sad, and it felt odd at first. Eventually, though, I was out on the floor dancing up a storm. That night, I belly laughed for the first time in over two years. The sensation caught me by surprise. At first, I didn’t recognize what was happening, and it made me laugh even harder in wonder at the privilege of having the experience of happiness and joy flash into my life for a brief moment once again.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Those were words I heard my dad repeat hundreds of times. My dad lived those words. They were written and framed in a variety of places in his home so he would never forget. He was reminded over and over to accept with courage whatever life sent his way.
I have never had a problem with courage. Many times, I have faced down my fears. The word CAN’T, the word NO, those were words that offered a challenge to me. Being told that something was not possible only spurred me to try harder to prove the possibility. Fighting for what I wanted or what I believed in was never the problem. It has taken me two years to learn an important lesson. There are some things in life that I cannot change. Can’t. No. Some things are beyond my power to control. I know that concept may seem like a no-brainer to some, but not to me. I thought if I fought hard enough, tried hard enough, I could make practically anything go MY WAY. Of course, I have always understood that there were things, like death, that were beyond my control, but beyond that, I stubbornly, bull-headedly believed that there was very little else that I could not sway, or fix, or influence. I was wrong.
While I may have not lacked courage and conviction, something else has been lacking. A great, gaping hole stood in the middle between me and acceptance. That gaping hole was wisdom. “…the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” Two years of struggle, and an unwillingness to admit acceptance into my life, has taught me that WISDOM does not come easily.
Along with wisdom comes acceptance, and acceptance brings with it a sense of calm. For the first time in so very long, I have had moments of calm and peace. I have had moments that have allowed me once again to recognize myself, the woman I once was, the woman I hope to be again someday. Acceptance does not take away sadness or loss, but it has allowed me to occasionally step off of the hamster wheel. This wisdom has allowed me to stop punishing myself. Yes, some things are beyond my control.
I now understand why my dad found it necessary to keep the words of the Serenity Prayer near to him. Like me, he needed to be reminded. It was a lesson that had not come easily to him, but once learned, he never forgot the value of that lesson.