All I Want for TKD …

It’s the first frigid days of 2018. A new year. Where I’m sitting, the “real feel” temperature is -30. Yes, if I step outside, it will feel like 30 degrees below zero. There is so much wrong with that, I don’t have time or energy to describe it. But … where I’m sitting, it’s beautiful, and it’s quiet and calm, and I have a gorgeous space to myself for a few days of writing and dreaming and staring at the snowy landscape and organizing my brain.

This is a gift I’ve bought myself, these four days of contemplation and work. The drive up with my friends yesterday was lovely. The first moments of walking into this glorious space and seeing just how fabulous it is was lovely. Waking up to see sunlight creeping over the mountains out my window was lovely. Remembering that the only things I have to do are the things that I want to do was best of all.

These few days are the third DIY writing retreat I’ve made. Each retreat has been very different, and each has been just what I needed. In some version of a perfect world, all of my time would be like this. But I don’t live in a perfect world, so I have to create my moments of perfection when and where I can.

It’s Three Kings Day, the day Melchior, Balthsar, and Gaspar presented their gifts to Mary’s new baby. What gifts would I have of the Magi this year? Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are nice, but my needs run a little different from those of the newly-born Christ child.

  1. Energy. I have a lot of plans for myself this year. If I have any hope of getting through even half of them, I’m going to need lots of energy. Lots of it.

These plans I have for myself run in all kinds of directions. When I set my new-year intentions before my birthday (the official start of the new year for me is my birthday, so January is a time for me to review first quarter success and re-up for the rest of the year), the primary focus of all my goals was my health. I’ve had a few years of non-stop crap, and I’m more than tired of it. So I started working on the most pressing items and focusing on maintaining the gains I’d already made. Dealing with the healthcare system and with healthcare providers exhausts the mess out of me, however. That’s one place the need for energy comes in. Pushing back against a system that wants to blame all my ills on my weight, insisting that providers actually listen to the things I tell them are happening with my body, fighting with my insurance company so that care I need is paid for … it’s a job of work.

I need physical energy, too, however. I have some clear and intensive goals around strength training and getting my body ready for the trip I’m planning in the fall. I need to be stronger, need to be a little less fearful of injury and pain, need to have a little more trust in my physical capacity. So, speaking of jobs of work … yeah.

And there are some things that need to be done, that only I can do, that I have no desire to do. I need to find the will to power through them, day after day after day. If I can’t do them, most of the rest of my plans for the year will have to be set aside, and I’m not here for that possibility, so I have to step up and get those things done.

  1. Pigheadedness. If you know me, you know I can be annoyingly stubborn sometimes. That’s true enough as far as it goes. But I struggle with not being stubborn enough to hold onto things that are for myself, things that feel selfish because they are just about me. I let plans for myself fall by the wayside all the time. I regret those falls later, but that regret doesn’t bring opportunity back. So I want some selfish stubbornness, I want the ability to keep my needs as my primary focus and direction this year. That doesn’t mean I want to ignore other people and their needs. It means I want to stop putting other people and their needs ahead of myself every time. I want to be pigheaded in my belief that I am worth that focus, that my needs are important and deserve my time and attention.
  2. Confidence. This one may be the most important one of all, the one that gives me the ability to have the other two.

I struggle with Impostor Syndrome on the regular. There are times when La Impostora is my constant companion. She is far too good at keeping me down, keeping me back, keeping me in a box of self-doubt. And I’m sick unto death of her power over me.

I wanted to say that the third gift should be “Wakandan pride.” And maybe that’s still right. Wakandans know they are the shit. I have never had that fierce a sense of myself and my value … and I want some of that. I’m not getting any younger. What am I waiting for? Mother Toni said it right in Beloved. I am my best thing. Me. I am. And I need to see that and know it and believe it and live it. And I need to start right this instant.

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And so, Gaspar, Melchior, Balthasar. There are my wishes, my gift requests for this Three Kings Day: energy, pigheadedness, confidence. Work your magic, magi. Come through.

For whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name …

So today, there was a wedding out my windows and over my head.  Really.  I live in a house, and my landlords are my upstairs neighbors … and today they got married.  And I am an absolute sucker for weddings.  I get all misty and sappy and dreamy about weddings.  I get a little sad, too, as it seems less and less likely that I’ll ever have one of my own, but that doesn’t get in the way of the misty-sappy-dreaminess.  I woke up this morning with that Anne Murray song in my head, so I thought I’d share it:

The Wedding Song (There Is Love)
Paul Stookey

He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts
Rest assured this troubador is acting on his part.
The union of your spirits here has caused him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name
There is love.  There is love.

Well, a man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home
They shall travel on to where the two shall be as one.
As it was in the beginning, is now until the end
Woman draws her life from man and gives it back again.
And there is love.  There is love.

Well then what’s to be the reason for becoming man and wife?
Is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life?
If loving is the answer, then who’s the giving for?
Do you believe in something that you’ve never seen before?
There is love.  There is love.

The union of your spirits here has caused him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name
There is love.  There is love.

[sigh]   I loved that song when I was a kid.  I hardly know my landlords, of course.  We’ve only been living together for a couple of months.  I actually moved into the house before they did.  But living in a house creates a kind of intimacy that isn’t really avoidable … so I wondered what I should do about a wedding gift.  Once again with the help of Mopsy, I came up with the idea of knitting a throw.  So I found a pattern I liked and bought some yarn, and set about it.  I forgot to take a picture before wrapping it up, but I have an ‘in process’ one, so you can get an idea:

 

I’m happy enough with it.  I wish it was a bit wider, but I think it’s ok.  Now if only I could get Anne Murray’s voice out of my head!