Just back from dinner with the Crones. (The three aspects of a woman's life: Maiden, Mother and Crone) These sisters are precious women not so much for their wisdom, although they are wise, but because of their faithfulness. We have been together for a very long time. Sometimes more intensely than others, but I have always known that they love me and I love them. That's a rare and precious thing.
Deb was talking about her less than enjoyable job and Anthea said something like we should only do those things in our lives which we love. This is one of those things that sounds simple but is really very hard. Doing what you love requires sacrifice and hard work and saying no. Sometimes it means saying no to people you love. It also means giving up your addictions - and we all seem to have addictions of one kind or another.
Deb is a very wise woman, but she isn't quite a Crone yet. She is still in the Mother phase. She pointed this out and I didn't really pick up on the truth of her statement until I was in the car coming home. Doing what you love is often the privilege of a Crone. The way I have always heard it was the Maiden does what she is told, the Mother tells others what to do and the Crone finally gets to do what she wants.
Deb said she wished she could live any one of our lives and I countered with, "oh no. You do NOT want to live my life." Meaning, of course, Sam who was sitting right there slowly going ballistic about something. It was a very noisy restaurant and I manage Sam quite well, so none of the other Crones noticed a thing when he started having one of his strange fits where he gets very stiff, shaky and angry and cannot control himself and scares us both. I held him on my lap until it was over and he sank into me exhausted.
On the way home I thought about my life. I have been struggling to come to terms with Sam's delicate medical conditions and the probability that I will have to stand by him as he dies. But the bigger challenge, or the one I have to face up to each day, is how to live with the reality of how he is right now. Being his primary caregiver makes it impossible to do many things. Being his primary caregiver means to live in constant fear and to be always on the alert for subtle signs of distress. Being his primary caregiver means being tired all the time and feeling cut off from the world.
On the other hand, I have the luxury of being able to knit and make lace and do many creative things I wouldn't be able to do if I had a more "regular" life. I do live pretty much exactly the way I want to and I do put the things I love first in my life.
So I guess the moral is this: It is important to spend your life doing what you love, even if it breaks your heart.
Yeah. I can do that. I can't think of any way I'd rather live this life I have been given.