Monday, March 5, 2012
White picket fences and the doldrums
I must apologize for not posting in almost two weeks. A case of the doldrums have hit me, rather hard.
Doldrums is an interesting word. It has two meanings:
1- a depressed or bored state of mind, a state of inactivity or stagnation
2- a belt of light winds along the equator, formerly hazard to sailing vessels
My doldrums is in the form of the first definition; depressed and stagnate.
What brought it on? Well, I would love to say it was the weather. It lulled us into thinking spring was around the corner, then proceeded to dump snow, cold winds and frigid temps on us again. The weather didn't help, but that was not the cause. A white picket fence was the cause.
When growing up, I always knew that I would marry, have children, a house and a white picket fence. Never a doubt in my mind this wouldn't happen. From birth, I was a romantic, a dreamer and most of all, I knew I would always be a helper to everyone. When I was young, I thought of going into nursing or to be a doctor, both of which help people. As I grew older, though, I knew I wanted to be a wife and mom.
I became a wife and mom by the time I was 19. Even though I was young, I knew I could do that job. I knew that I would give it everything in me, that it was my calling. I knew that my dreams would come true. I would have all I ever wanted, my white picket fence dream.
I went on to have children, live in foreign countries, watch my girls grow up and even have grandchildren. What more could I ask for? It was a dream come true. It is amazing how fast a dream can come crashing down on you.
Last July, after 33 years, my dream stopped. Halted forever and, for a while, I felt like I was in a nightmare and couldn't wake up. Since July, I have found out a lot of lessons the hard way. Some have made me feel bitter at times, some have just opened my eyes and let me know that I had been living in denial a very long time. But, most of all, I thought my white picket fence was gone for ever. I would never dream of anything again. I have since learned that is not true.
I had always thought that a white picket fence was the object that went around your home, keeping the yard and home safe from harm. While that is true, a white picket fence can be invisible. It can be something that holds all of the goodness that is there for you to keep, it protects it from harm and keeps it safe.
You see, I have realized that my girls, my grandkids, are my picket fence. My love of music, of reading a good book, creating something new out of fabric or yarn, those are what my life savers, my picket fences are. I have realized that even though my dreams of the past will never be able to come true, I can have new dreams. Dreams that may be very different of those past ones. New dreams with new people, new directions, new goals.
Is this easy for me? Not at all. I will forever remember those old dreams, those old fences. I have realized that I have a new palette to paint from, new colors to work with. Sometimes, I will grieve for the old colors, for the way they blended together, for the old paintings they were on. I will just look at them at a distance and study them and keep with me what it meant to me at the time. But, I will realize that if I take this new color, this new shade, I can make that old picket fence look brand new. Put a new hinge on the gate and let it protect a new home.
I hope you haven't minded this long post. I felt like it was what I needed to write. I promise not to be so 'deep' next time!
Have a wonderful warm and safe day!