Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, October 12, 2014


That is how I am feeling lately.  Stepping back here feels risky, and not in the sense of that old life danger, it is more about needing to make choices that are more than risk related, they are perilous.

I have been ill for a long time.  I recover a bit, and crash in slow motion.  Repeat.  And, again.  There is the possibility that it is connected to stalling and avoiding decisions, at least I hope so.  Deteriorating health at my age is often a continuous process.  I want to be healthy.  I want to be alive and feel well enough to enjoy it.    

So, anyway, I have been thinking about where I want to be, both in the whole personal, internal-process way, as well as geographically.  After several months of being open to where to my life is supposed to be going, two Tuesdays ago I made the decision to move north to be closer to my daughter and her guys.  Three Saturdays ago I was there, just for the day and was sharing some of the funnier and more tender experiences from my work and she said, as she has many times, that I can do my work anywhere, which is true.

The following two weeks were an opportunity to just settle back and see what was happening in my life, day to day stuff.  After a shelter weekend with a couple of particularly challenging residents, and a long conversation with another advocate and one of the program administrators about what they had been experiencing that same weekend, it was interesting to learn that I was not the only person who was struggling with those residents.  The place is so busy and our population is exceeding capacity, leaving scant time to share like that.  Interesting, and more than a little amazing, to be honest.

The admin woman said something about revisiting those and other issues in six months, that things could be vastly different, with more support from upstairs and I was thinking that we had, with the addition of two other advocates, nearly the same conversation seven months ago.  I said that and shared that I could not imagine that anything would have a chance of changing anytime soon, much less in six months.

So, given all of that, it certainly was not a decider, but it was that one more bit of information that supported what I had been thinking of doing.  I sat down and wrote resignation letters to our director and my direct supervisor.  The next day I gave a verbal resignation notice at the other job, and took care of that the following Monday at the third.

I was so sure that I would be broken-hearted and weepy in the following days as I continued to share the information with my clients, but that did not happen.

You know, that feeling you get of settlement, foundation and rightness that you have when you have made the right decision at the right time and for the right reasons?  That is what it has been like for the past thirteen days.  When I called my daughter to make arrangements for the weekend, a pajama party with the boys and a couple of days for the two grownups to have time together, I told her that I had another thing to tell her.

She gave me a funny and cautious yessssss? and I told her that I had decided to move.  She asked if I was moving to her town and I could hear my son-in-law whoop hooray.  By the time I arrived four days later, he had driven around town looking for places for me to rent or buy.  He is such an optimist, thinking that I could buy more than a couple of weeks of groceries, but it is the icing on all of this, that they want me there so much.  I am not telling the littles until I find a place to live, or they will talk of little else.

I have four months notice to every gig, mostly because it might take that long for replacements to be found for two of the jobs.  Last evening, when I was taking care of my Wednesday friend, we were at the grocery store and I was hugged from behind by one of my library gig clients.  And, I realized that these months are going to be important to me, more so than my jobs people, because I will need this time to say goodbye to more people than I ever thought possible.

This past two and a half years have been just what they needed to be.  To heal and find my way back, to craft the now new life.  To make friends, something that was nearly impossible in that other life.  To learn and develop skills.  To take and achieve that certification last year.  To do so many things in order to, well, do so many things.

I am strong and confident enough to move forward.  Amazing and more than a little exciting.  There is one catch, one thing that could hold me here, but I am not ready to write about that.

So, I am pretty sure that I will be all over the place during the next few months.  Yep.


  1. J, that is wonderful that you are 'probably' going to move closer to your girl. She must be so excited and your son in law sounds great too. All the best with the decision making and it is so good to see you here again as you have been missed big-time!

    1. Thanks. I am hoping to find replacements to train soon, so that I can move and at least be in some place before the winter holidays. I would love to celebrate Yule up there. I do not care if nothing more than my bed is set up. Besides, that will leave more room for a tree, something I have not had for many years. As well as sufficient excuse to have lots of carry-out and frozen dinners.