Like the trees, I'm letting some things leave.
I'm pretty sure that's an original quote by moi. But if someone else said it, let's chalk it up as "great minds?" That said, living seasonally and allowing the trees to be our visual guides (of letting things go) in the fall isn't as original. This fall, I want to "up" the creation of a truly cozy, hygge, fall, and winter season without buying a thing. My boys are old enough to have memories of their feelings (moments that will give them nostalgia in 20 years). I don't take that lightly.
So to prepare for the fall, I've been digitally detoxing. For me, this means that if it didn't exist before 1995, I'm sparingly (if at all) using the tool. I will be giving you all the details in the coming months. But as of now, I've reduced a significant amount of my smartphone, streaming, internet time.
One of my motivations was randomly hearing an NPR story that said that 60 plus -year-olds account for the highest percentage of voters and poll workers. I found an article that discusses what this means with Corona. That said, I thought about how this generation 60+ holds so many of us down. While we write a snazzy caption about the importance of voting, they actually vote AND work the polls. They are these dope humans that rarely announce all their extraordinary greatness. And in this nation, we don't always do a great job appreciating or acknowledging them. Ageism is real, and it's folly. I live in a fairly "young community," yet every day I see an older woman planting beautiful flowers in the most random community spaces. I also usually pass by 70/80 plus-year-olds (usually about 5-10 of them) standing on the corners with "Black Lives Matter" signs, "voting" signs, or "God loves us all" signs. It doesn't matter the weather. They are primarily white-presenting women outside chanting and giving the word on the nearest safe space, voting poll, or rally. They typically have at least two communal chairs, where they take turns sitting and having some water - chat, and then keep the momentum.
We lean towards young "experts" vs. seeking guidance from real-life experience and results. But who can blame us? We are constantly bombarded with subtle messaging and easy answers. We no longer need to seek advice by relying on the in-depth, face-to-face conversations of the years past. I don't need to go to the coffee & chat community meeting to get schooled. With the click of a button, I can get advice from the loudest, most popular, or most applauded voices (or simply the people/firm that figured out the algorithm).
Here's the thing, though, I was born to be 50. Some people will always yearn for 23 years old - they can be 12 or 60, and 23 is their dream or best memories. Now I loved, loved, loved me some 23, but since college, I've had this strong pull towards 50. I've always been able to envision the 50-year-old woman that I want to be. God willing, she will be full of wisdom, experience, grit & grace, and pure, authentic energy. I want to bring the coffee & muffins to the in-person community meetings, I want to randomly plant the flowers, I want to rebuild what's broken, create a magical meal from scraps, perfect the souffle and I want to be a poll worker.
That said, to cancel out the added noise, increase my depth, and perhaps return to some of my deep creative/academic longings, I need time to live a life similar to the 50,60, 70+ year-olds that I so long to be: reduce the distractions, just pure old school living.
So far, I've been:
Playing with recipes found a few fantastic recipes. I have to update Shelby's Menu
Fixing our Kenmore sewing machine - found and used the owner's manual
Slowly learning how to sew with it (thread the needle, load the bobbin, and create a straight line).
Reading tons of hardback books. I finished a nonfiction book in two [week]days (I haven't done that as a mama of two).
Driving the scenic route in my hood because I didn't have google maps to lead the way.
Listening to BBC News in the car and learning that George Hood held a plank for eight hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds at the age of 62. Seniors are magical humans, I tell you...
Not knowing the answer, at that moment, to the random google-able questions in my head.
Not having instant access to others' opinions about all the things.
Enjoying long walks in silence & solitude. Can't quite run, yet, without a little music.
Drew & designed my best hand-written cards yet! Seriously, so cute. It was rainy, we had hot drinks, & we were in our "art block" - so the art energy permeated the room - it was perfection.
But the most meaningful change is in the way that I listen to my boys. I am feeling my attention span increasing. Slowly but surely, I am finding my equilibrium changing. Everything is taking longer but feels so intentional and genuine to me. I'm surprised at what a change I see in my movements so early, may make this a lifetime change. We will see.
Here's to taking a note from the trees and allowing change to happen while also letting things go....leave...
Shalom, beautiful people.
PS There may be a little lag time in my responses, but I will ALWAYS respond. Just don't be mad if you text and get a call request lol.