As many of you know, I've been cleaning up my act. My backyard no longer has the unused, difficult-to-use hot tub that came with the house; the stack of old wood, empty plastic plant holders, and broken patio furniture has been moved to the local dump and no longer attracts spiders and termites at the side of my garage; and my home office has had a transformation from a dumping ground to a relatively organized, pleasant library/workroom.
I think I'm working up to something. I no longer have any STC duties and although work responsibilities are growing and taking more time (my work weeks are closer to 50 hours than 40 these days), I still have a desire to do something more. Yesterday, my dear friend Jean-Marie Cercley (he calls himself J.M. these days) called me to say that he was "stuck" in San Diego (poor boy). He was finishing up a road trip to Sturgis on his Vulcan and decided to stop to see his daughter Emily (who lives about 8 miles from me). Anyway, he managed to drop his bike in a move that he's quite embarrassed and pissed at himself about, and had to wait for it to be repaired before he could return home to Santa Rosa. I took it as a blessing! If he hadn't done that, he would have come and gone without time to call me for a visit. So, even though I had planned to do something practical at home last night, instead I left work a little early, picked up J.M., and brought him over here to look at some pix of our parents from their days in Morocco in the 50s.
Then, the two of us went to Lido's, the local Italian joint, for dinner and chianti. In the above picture, his parents are at the left, mine are at the right (his aunt and uncle are the couple in the middle). He is the little boy at the very left front, and, of course, I am the only little girl in the picture. His twin, Claude, has his head down, and his older brother, Guy is in the middle. Some of you might remember that I stayed with Guy and Noelle, his wife, when I visited Paris in 2007.
ANYWAY, our conversation was all over the place. We spoke of our parents, our siblings, our children, and our work. We discussed the amazing fact that we were still friends after more than 50 years and across continents. And we discussed the future. J.M. asked me what I had planned. And, at first, I had nothing. I have toyed with returning to teaching or with once again taking music lessons. I've considered going back to school and completing a master's in something.
But, after tossing around a few ideas, I realized that I know exactly what I want.
I want ME time. I want to quit complaining about my weight and my inactivity and do something about it. I want, basically, to focus on me. I want to put me first in a way that will actually do me good. And, if it takes me another year of saying it before I do it, so be it. All I know for sure is that I am my new project. Not my siblings, not STC, not my friends, not my kid, and not my job. All of those things are important to me in varying amounts. All of them will continue to be in my life in some manner and will require varying levels of attention. And, all of them are part of what make me me, so I will certainly continue to interact and share life with them. BUT, they will not bubble up to consume me. Nothing will consume me but me. And, maybe, if I say it often enough and write about it long enough, I'll actually take action and DO something about it!
It's ME time. J.M. and I toasted to it often last night. He to his; me to mine. What better way to christen a new journey?