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"So, how long HAS it been since you slept in your place without partner, kids, or dogs?" Was a question that a dear friend asked over a glass of wine one night. I found myself with the dogs still at the kennels, kids with my ex - and me, gloriously ALONE, for the first time in... Well, how long had it been?

I honestly could not remember such a moment in the last 20+ yrs - My bed, my house - No other heart beats... 20-25 yrs?! Up until that moment.

In the mayhem that is life with several teenagers -


rotating assortments of kids,

unexpected plans, need to be driven to ____,

need for FOOD, late night movies, debris left in their wake, awakening at 1 am to walk the house - make sure all are tucked in, turn off the rest of the lights.... In the midst of all THAT - it has been hard to realize the transition that I am undergoing. But that moment, that question, provided a jolt of recognition.

I am in a period of natural life transition. While attempting to embrace the drama, chaos, and privilege of this stage of life with my kids, I recognize this is a fleeting life phase. And yes, I appreciate that I will miss it when it is over. BUT, I also am realizing that I have not lived for ME in 20+ yrs. Now, I don't mean for that to sound terribly dramatic; I don't know if that's a parent thing, a mom thing, or just a me thing. Upon getting married - I became part of that partnership - to the point I even lost my name - we were a unit/ a thing - we were called "<insert his name> and Melissa". My identity, self became part of something else, something more. Then I became a parent. Their needs over mine; care, welfare, etc. And well - their needs were always >> more than I had time or energy to successfully meet.

I still have that mindset - their needs first...

my needs you say?!

uhhh. <insert cricket sounds>

That question was a clarion bell. There's a change afoot! Wake up! You can start to live for YOU again! Gone is the partner. Leaving are the kids. Seize it! Start today! You can do it!

So - I began to reflect on my 20 yr old self; 20+ yrs ago, before all this - who was I? What did I delight in? Who am I now? What do I delight in today?

And - I've started the search. I'm on the hunt!! I've made a few explicit changes this summer - for me. Things I enjoy, things I want to nurture, commitments I want to make. I'm just starting, but I'm sure I'll find her.

Awake Awhile

Awake awhile. It does not have to be Forever, Right now.
One step upon the Sky’s soft skirt Would be enough.
Hafiz, Awake awhile. Just one True moment of Love Will last for days.
Rest all your elaborate plans and tactics For Knowing Him, For they are all just frozen spring buds Far, So far from Summer’s Divine Gold.
Awake, my dear. Be kind to your sleeping heart. Take it out into the vast fields of Light And let it breathe.
Say, “Love, Give me back my wings. Lift me, Lift me nearer.”
Say to the sun and moon, Say to our dear Friend, “I will take You up now, Beloved, On that wonderful Dance You promised!”
~ Hafiz

As an aside- "I Heard God Laughing" by Hafiz, translated by Ladinsky is my goto. I LOVE this book of poems. I have probably bought 6 copies as I keep giving mine away to those searching, or in grief, or transition. LOVE his work.
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