Automated affirmation, Albany, CA.
My Pops always says he’s an optimist mainly because the alternative is so much more unattractive. He’s also always been convinced that it came down to a decision on his part. For decades I fought with him over this: could he really be saying that our outlook could simply be re-routed, that the force of our will could redirect the impact of events, as simply and decisively as a railroad switch? Well, yes: that is what he was saying. And though I think he left out a few helpful substantiating details, more and more I find myself in agreement with him. And not a moment too soon.
Everyday care of my kids has rapidly filled the breach the sudden loss of my job opened up a month ago (step aside, babysitter, Baba’s back in the driver’s seat!). And though this throws a roller skate or two in the path toward my next Right Livelihood, there’s no disputing that children are grounding in a way nothing else is. Per usual, I need them every iota as much as they need me. Match made in mama’s ovaries, and in heaven.
One by one, as they gently come floating back into my field of vision, I see the things I had lost sight of during my year-and-a-half of hyperemployment (neologism alert!). In addition to a daily, cellular knowledge of what’s going on with my kids and in my relationship, this past month I have gratefully become reminded of my connection to the rich weave of community around me: the co-housing “village” in which I live, my neighborhood, my kids’ school community, our local farmer’s markets, and finally my town. I stay at my brother-in-law’s and wash the dishes after Sunday night family dinner; I take my kids to school and linger on the playground a moment to talk with other parents; I go to the farmer’s market and sit with my kids to listen to the banjo player; and at night, after the kids are asleep, I listen until my beloved is done expressing what she wants to express. Jewels, all. Each day I have had the time to not just look at the community around me, but to see it, and finally to absorb and appreciate it. This time I have now–even if it’s on loan–is precious.
To the analog life, and the examined one, two old friends of late forgotten: I vote yes.