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Daily practice, number 1

December 29, 2011

Beyond my hotel window, the sky is lightening from pink to pale blue. Our last day in Scottsdale has dawned, and the kids are all still sleeping.

We came here for a family reunion and belated 90th birthday celebration for my grandmother. I saw people I hadn’t seen in years, including an older cousin who immediately reminded me of the day we almost sank a sailboat in a murky Canadian lake. We laughed with the memory. We were both teenagers then. I hadn’t seen him since then and it was strange thinking about those years between. Thinking about how he’s in his 40s now and I’m on the cusp.

Now that portion of this trip has drawn to a close. We said goodbye to everyone yesterday and will be driving down south to stay with my dad and stepmother for a few days. In light of this, I am contemplating my strengths–what they are and what they need to be. The last time we spent several days at my dad’s we left vowing never to do so again. The dynamic was that dysfunctional.

I won’t go into the gory details of the dysfunction because that’s not where the focus should be. Rather, I’ll say this: Every challenge and every difficult situation offers a chance to learn, grow, and come closer to being the person you want to be.

Perhaps this should be my mantra for the coming few days.

Regardless of how things go during our visit, there is something I need to work on. It’s something that needs to be my daily practice as I head into 2012. That something is simple, but it has complex and life-changing implications.

I need to be the advocate for my own dreams, my own self, my own life.

This is not to say that I have abdicated this obligation. It’s that I’ve spent many years being so sensitive that I lose my words, my voice.

And that, for me, is the crux of the dysfunctional dynamic that happens when I spend extended time with my dad and my stepmother.

So, I’m about to dive into another opportunity to practice my self-advocacy, and when I frame it like that…it sounds almost fun! Let this be, then, my first daily practice as a new year and new opportunities begin to unfold. There will be more, I know (like, quit neglecting this blog!) but for now, this should suffice.

What about you? What daily practice do you want to hone in this new year?

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 29, 2011 9:33 am

    Teachers abound, whether they be at university, your own difficult parent, or that jackass that took the parking space you were waiting for ~ it’s been interesting for me to reconceptualize this meaning. Reading “I’ve spent many years being so sensitive that i lose. . .my voice” resonates deeply in my heart. What a wonderful and soulful woman you are, and that’s only going to grow exponentially now that you are finally 40! Women don’t get really intersting until then, anyway! I will ALWAYS be your admiring advocate, Ana June. XO

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