I am encouraged to stay in the murkiness of being alien by my writers. Anne Lamott says, “Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
Romantic getaways are a bit different for us. We are seekers at our cores, Mike intellectually and me spiritually. We like to learn new things together. I'm sure I married the right man because who else would agree to go to a mindfulness retreat with me for our one weekend away from the kids?
Feeling it is what we don't do as a culture. In fact, we do anything to avoid feeling it that we can think of - numbing, avoiding, scrolling, controlling are our preferences. One of the books we used this weekend was The Mindful Way Through Anxiety by Susan M. Orsillo and Lizabeth Roemer. In it there is a poem by Rumi that we closed with:
Is there a solution to something that seems as inherent in humans as it is in flocks of chickens? Is it possible to deny our nature and choose something harder and often unrewarded? I suppose I believe it is. It is why I take my children to church every Sunday. It is why their father, who does not go to church, passes onto them a moral code that is stronger than those of many religious people.
Is there anything as hopeful as new beginnings? The notion of starting over, but with the wisdom of experience? I don't know it if there is. I LOVE New Year's and Easter because I feel like I get another shot at the thing.
This past fall has been full of some of the best workshops and retreats The Homestead has offered yet. Marion Sansing packed the kitchen with her Whole Foods Retreats in September. Glennon Doyle Melton made us yearn for our authentic selves in the Breaking Open Retreat in October. And in November fifty folks came out and looked at the night sky in Backyard Astronomy, and Mike and I enjoyed fifteen couples who were ready to put sincere efforts into their most precious possession - each other.
Mike and I moved off and finished graduate school, had two kids, moved home, and had another child. Profession took over Mike's life and motherhood took over mine. Did we still love each other? Yes. After three kids' worth of dirty diapers, stressful work, and a few life crises later, were we in love? Not so much.