9 years ending
What a year 2016 has been..all those deaths; Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Richard Adams, and 2 old friends…and on and on.
Then Brexit, Trump, Syria, the lorry in Marseilles, the lorry in Berlin.
So many endings.
One of the main things that P and I argue about is that I am curious about things which he thinks are bollocks. And I am curious about the fact that 2016 numerologically is a 9 year (2+0+1+6 = 9), which according to numerological system, is the last year of the cycle with 2017 being the first of the new cycle (2+0+1+7 = 10, 1+0 = 1).
Who knows if it’s ‘true’ or not, but it certainly has felt like a year of ending for me. It hasn’t just been the endings in the world, all the deaths, all the killing, all the divisions. It also feels like things have been ending in me.
Since I hibernated in October I’ve been writing loads, but just not here..I’ve been reading and reflecting and getting coaching and the process has been intense.
I started off feeling really restless in September to the point where in October when I met friends during half term, one of them commented on how I kept pacing, and couldn’t settle. I wanted to run away, change my life, leave and travel as I have done at pivotal times in my life before. I wanted freedom from obligations and freedom to do what I wanted, alone.
However, during that week, I painted and read and walked and talked and settled.
The settling turned me inwards. I went to work, I looked after the kids but then I wanted to be alone, totally alone, in silence. Not easy when I’m in a relationship..not easy to get that time and not easy for P to not take it personally. It wasn’t personal..I just wanted to be entirely alone, in silence, in stillness to think, read and write.
Then I went through a crying phase. I couldn’t stop. ‘I don’t know who I am anymore’ I wailed to the confused P. I felt like I had totally lost all sense of who I am, who I wanted to be. All my get up and go had gone. I was going to bed with the kids and was utterly exhausted. I couldn’t be bothered to do anything, go anywhere or see anyone. Not like me at all. And it was this ‘not like me’ that was so scary. Where had that ‘me’ gone?
Then the crying stopped and I went into reading overdrive. I’ve been eating a book a day all through the holidays which I’ll tell you about another time. Books on the menopause, on forgiveness, on money, on depression and now on being a shepherd!
As I write my private journal/reflections I feel that part of me has come to an end. The bit of me that wants to achieve, and be visible, and be busy and be doing seems to have gone which is why it has been harder to write this because I don’t know what I have to say!
My last 9 years
I’ve been curious about, what the last 9 years of my life have included and I see:
- raising the kids
- Ended my marriage and recovered from it
- set up Love Being Me
- trained to be a coach
- had time off work with stress for 7 weeks
- worked for universities
- worked nationally and locally as a consultant
- learned about domestic abuse
- set up loads of websites and learned social media
- saw the kids through primary and nearly junior school
- buried one dog and got 2 more
- started teaching psychology
- started writing
- self-published stuff
- went part time
- met P
- traveled with the kids and P
- built 2 extensions on the house.
And when I step back and look at those things and more, I see a life focused on trying and doing and achieving on being busy, and doing the right thing, and looking after other people and trying to be someone. It is all focused on the external world: success, work, ambition, and of course parenthood. I’ve had less and less time for friends the more I’ve been off setting up websites and working on projects.
My next 9 years
So then I asked myself; ‘What would I like the next 9 years to look like?’ But before I answered; I did the sums: my kids would be 19 and 23, my dad would be in his late 80s and many friends would be in their sixties and seventies.
I can see that the next 9 years are going to bring losses. I will have gone through the menopause and the kids will have gone through puberty and probably have left home. People who I love might have died or got frailer, I would be nearly at pension drawing age. My role as a hands on mother would be over.
So, I read back through what I have been journalling over the last few months and I can see that I have been going through an internal process of death. The old ‘me’ of the last 9 years has weakened and doesn’t seem to be around.
What has emerged instead, is not a set of goals or achievements, but a set of values and relationships:
- Time with the kids
- Time with friends
- Time for fun and play
- Time outside in nature
- Time with P
- Time with family
- Inward work
- Freedom from obligation and expectation
- Freedom from social expectations
- Time alone
- Health and radiance
- Being outside in nature
- Money as an expression of my values
- Fun and laugher
- Authenticity, integrity
- Compassion and kindness
- Self awareness and listening to my own needs
Values and connections
So I feel that I’m moving into a phase of being more than doing. Of connection and relationships, of simplicity rather than complexity, of health rather than stress. Instead of wanting other people to recognise and ‘see’ me, I want to recognise and ‘see’ myself and pay attention to my own needs and to recognise and see others as they are.
I want the next 9 years to be filled with fun and love and laughter and the people I love. I want money to be an expression of my values rather than a sign of my value. I want to have time for doing nothing, for listening, for play and for being outside in nature.
Because when I look ahead 9 years I do not want to spend it chasing work, chasing success, chasing something in the future because the future is looking shorter than it did 9 years ago. I wish for myself 9 years of creating memories, of being in the moment, of connecting with nature, with myself and with people I love.
I wish that for you too.
- What have the last 9 years looked like for you?
- What would you like the next 9 to look like?