writing

My month of extraordinary goals, at the halfway point

So here is why I believe self-care is vital to being able to keep doing the work we’re here to do.

I choose to embrace life after losing my mom. I need to make some changes to sustain me. Time to focus on my health now.

Taking care of mom in her last years, these past 20, gave me the opportunity to experience a form of parenting, many of its joys and some of its frustrations. My care and love helped my mom believe that she had led a life worth living.

Here is what I must do to make my life matter now that she’s gone:

I need to flex my journalism muscles and start reporting on how real and virtual communities are helping each other to stay physically and emotionally healthy in these times.

What got in the way last week? (besides work, which I am grateful to have)

Animal Crossing. A game I play as an act of deliberate self-care.

And why is my life worth caring for? Cause my mom raised me and she didn’t raise no bad kid. We were a family of deeply felt philosophers and utopians and rabble-rousers. Irish American storyteller poets, famine survivors made bootleggers made construction companies, made teachers and bankers and actuaries, artists and art dealers, made good. Like philanthropist good.

Why is that important to me?

Because otherwise, why am I here? I guess I just don’t want to waste my time. Or my gifts. Taking care of my mom was like raising a child in many ways. I succeeded. I did a good job at that. So I’m ready do go out and do more good. I just bring a mask. The one I put on before helping someone else with theirs.

 

writing

Heavy

I’ve decided to use my mom’s unfinished poetry journal for the memory book I started today. It’s the same faded old book, with a cover that looks like an offset print version of italian marbled paper, that I used for a last minute makeshift guest list at her service and memorial.

This is grief in the age of pandemic.

Mom bought the journal maybe 25 years ago, to celebrate landing an awesome job in the city. I found my dad’s journal today from that time period. He wrote, “Catherine’s going to work for the CFO of Fabrik Communications. We have health insurance again for the first time in 3 years.”

Now that made me cry. Did I know they were uninsured? I didn’t start taking care of them til the year 2000 or so.

Use what you have, I told myself the morning of her funeral. There’s no time now, to shop for the quote-unquote “right thing.”

Anyway, such a relief not to have to go out. And go where, exactly? That’s right, everything’s closed. This was before Books, Inc opened back up. She died at the start of Memorial Day weekend, 2020.

But in letting myself not over-plan anything, I was able to accept and even be grateful for, all the constraints placed upon me during the process.

I found the perfect notebook to upcycle.