Monday, November 23, 2009

Tic Tac Toe

For twenty years we've been having big gingerbread house decorating parties the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It has become a tradition we have skipped only once; last year, simply from being disheartened.

This year I decided to get up and try again, within a new context. A different group. It was mildly uncomfortable, vulnerable and a bit of a risk. After 3 weeks, only 2 moms replied - a total headcount of 4.

This afternoon, with Thanksgiving coming soon, and needing to prepare for both events, I had to call and tell the 2 moms it was cancelled due to lack of interest. I needed to release myself from trying to make something happen. Freedom. Seeing reality as a friend.

I cried a bit. Yet, since it is a big undertaking, makes a huge mess, is a lot of work and we spend lavishly and generously, I felt OK about it after processing it. Persuaded myself it was a good thing.

I keep trying to do the same thing, the familiar, the comfortable, the traditional, the thing we've always done.

It isn't working.

Tic Tac Toe.

It must be time to start playing a different life game, figuratively speaking. A new normal is needed and I can't figure out what that looks like or feels like.

Maybe it'll be something uncomfortable, unfamiliar, nontraditional, scary, different, radical, and wild. Or invisible, careful, quiet, common and ordinary. In secret? More Public? Joining a team, partnering with someone else's effort or cause? A completely new thing.

What? If only I knew the answer to that.

I do know that the important thing is movement, for you can't steer a parked car.

Will someone shove me, so I won't get stuck.......and paralyzed? Frozen forever in neutral.

Maybe we'll tackle cleaning out the garage Saturday instead. That would be a good thing. :)

Does that count as movement? Yes, but more like a bowel movement...........


Kandi said...

awww...Kathleen, I am so sorry! I know like you do that God has something else for you - s-t-r-e-t-c-h...I can't wait to find out what it is? Blessings to you my friend :)

nAncY said...

maybe you will be led in an instant, like a lightbulb turning on in your head, or a little whisper in your ear, or maybe a gentle tug at your heart.

Grandma Pam said...

Oh, I do know how this feels - tonight, we had "new" company over for dinner - some uncomfortable quiet, some lulls in conversation, but overall a really good time - knoephla soup and a night of playing "Bananagram" around the dining room table - stepping out of my box, (or my circle?) is getting harder and harder for me, I always want "it" to be returned to me - the hard part is giving without expecting anything in return< Maybe the something is return is the acceptance of the invitation and the smiles and the good conversation. And maybe, just maybe we will have generated the need for friends to visit back and forth in each other's homes, like the "good old days"

Anonymous said...

I think defining a 'new normal' is a rite of passage into the 2nd half of life. I, too, am wondering & waiting eagerly for some direction as to where I go/what I do from here.

Bring it on!

Kathleen said...

Sue, Nancy, Pam, Kandi ~ you are all ahead of me, so you do understand the empty nest thing. Thanks for the comfort.

Anonymous said...

I too have been where you are, you are about the same age I was when I locked my door and went to live with Grandma for two years in Calif. only I didn't have a husband at home to talk to and share with. Really I think all women go through this phase in life when the last child is ready to leave the nest.