Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tuesday / June Update

Poor abandoned little blog. Facelessbook has taken over.

OK, first a memorial mention, then a brief update of what I'm up to lately.

Memorial Mention
Today marks five years since my father passed. It's been hard not to go back in time and focus on where I was five years ago, and what I was doing. Difficult to not allow myself to think, "at this time five years ago, it was the last time the three of us (me, Mom, Dad) were together and alive". It's a challenge to avoid replaying those final moments in my mind, the moments when Dad, whose full dentures had been removed, kept hollering at me, and I heard "I'm trying, I'm trying", something he'd often bark at Mother when she got impatient but what he was saying now was "I'm dying, I'm dying". It's only after the fact that I came to understand my saying to him, "I know, Dad, I know you're trying, it's OK" was anything but encouraging.

It's so hard to avoid thinking of it that I came up with an exercise. Every time my brain brings me back to "five years ago today" thinking, I say, "Yes. And TEN years ago today, let's see, that was 2001, I was..." and I think about what I was doing 10 years ago, 15, 20, and so on. It took me all the way back to 1981 before my brain stopped thrusting it in my face. 1981—the year I graduated high school. Gah! Thirty years! Seriously?

So that's today. Five years ago, the world lost my Dad. Insignificant to most, but by far the most profound thing that ever happened in my life. There's something significant about the five-year mark, though. It feels like it's really time to let this go. It's time to let go of the legacy loyalties that I realized I've been carrying on behalf of them. What do I mean?

Legacy Loyalties and Playing the Wrong Roles
Take my Dad's University affiliation. The loyalty to it was HIS, not mine. I was a student there, and alumni, but I don't owe my entire livelihood and family's well-being to it. Not like Dad did. The U was his "career family", not mine. And I am under no obligation to follow in his footsteps, nor am I obligated to "fill in" for his absence and show up under his name. These entities don't require posthumous stand-ins. My parents fulfilled their obligations, all of which ended when they died.

So I do not need to join their church unless it's the church (and religion) that suits ME. I don't need to live in this house or neighborhood unless it's the house and neighborhood that suits ME. Nobody is expecting me to BE "Dad" (or "Mom")—not my family members, not the community; unless these are the life roles that suit ME.

This is a huge revelation for me. Because I have been sort of trying to carry on the traditions, roles, legacies and loyalties left to me by my parents, and trying to pick up MY life where I left off when the whole mess began back in December 2005.

The irony of that is, what I was debating doing in December 2005 CAME from legacy loyalty. It wasn't even a true path for me. ADD aside, I've been trying to play the wrong roles and ignoring my own. When I sat down and asked myself how I felt if I weren't doing a lot of these legacy things, I was shocked. I felt relief. I felt like an enormous weight had been lifted. And I realized that there are only two areas that really feel like they are "mine"—well, there are three but only the first two burn with profound passion within me.

Music is number one.

Horses are number two.

(The third is fibers, if anyone's asking. I love my fibery arts, but I don't burn with unrelenting passion for them, that "If I don't get to _____ I am going to have to take someone out!!!" feeling.)

Horses are a bit legacy, only because my Dad grew up around them; my Grandpa was a cowboy for awhile; and my niece was horse crazy in her teens and early adulthood. But my bent of horsemanship (the whole Parelli "communicate with your horse like you're a horse" thing) takes me in an entirely different direction than any of them. It alleviates the legacy. I'm also way more intense about it than any of them were.

Music, however, is all mine. Nobody in my family can or could really carry a tune in a bucket without help—except me.

So. It would seem that the five-year mark is a great point in time to just let go of the legacy roles, and streamline it down to MY roles. It's been long enough, this time of living in their shadows.

What I've Been Up To:
  • No good (hah, just kidding)
  • Did some temping; for a job, it wasn't half bad. Didn't evolve into permanent, though.
  • Helping a new horse brought in by a boarder who was so unmanageable that even the barn manager didn't want to deal with him. I diagnosed him as Right-Brained Extrovert, which is a very misunderstood horsenality, and spent several hours playing with him until I gained his trust and then I was able to communicate with him effectively. RBE's are scared, unconfident, non-trusting horses whose initial reaction is run first, think later. He also exhibits stallion behaviors (such as mounting everything equine in sight) though supposedly he's gelded; could be proud-cut (meaning the vet didn't get it all the first time) or it could be extreme dominance behavior that will go away once he's more confident. Time will tell, and I have my summer project.
  • Picking out a new hard drive for the big Mac so I can resume my recording endeavors (and be able to play FarmVille in real time without lag). It's been out of commission since December (I'm writing on my ancient but trusty 2002 Mac PowerBook G4), despite new memory chips it was giving "shared lib" errors, which means "hard drive failure". New hard drive = cheaper than new mac (which would also mean new operating system which means new software...) so, that's today's mission.
  • Other musical possibilities still in development, which I will fill in later once I know how it all pans out.
And that's the details. Have a lovely June.

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