The weekend is here and Friday shows up as our prelude to all good things that await for us. What’s on your agenda for the weekend? As most of you know I am leaving on a sabbatical of sorts next week. It is a much needed spiritual quest that I announced a few days ago. The members of my household seem to have mixed feelings about my departure. I can feel a sense of relief from some with a hint of melancholy. My husband, the ever busy, multi-project professional that he is, has found the time to share in a few walks with me, and in some light planning for my absence. Still, I know the rest of the family hasn’t quite grasped the implications of me leaving.
In an effort to lock in our commitment to move forward with our plans and enjoy the last few warm days, my husband and I have booked a day at South Coast Wineries in Temecula. We look forward to their Grapeseed Spa, massages, champagne, and making a connection that will hopefully hold us through the next few months. For those who don’t wish to drive, San Antonio Winery in Ontario offers one of the best selections in San Bernardino. Like my spiritual quest, mothers or rather couples need to reiterate their commitment to each other. They need their private and separate time.
Recently, a family member posted the question on Facebook, “what is marriage”. Since even our higher courts struggle with that question, it is difficult to find words that would define marriage in terms on which everyone agrees. However, when motherhood has extended beyond “grandmotherhood” the marriage is affected and can suffer long term consequences. This is because motherhood, the great blessing and burden that it is, comes to a natural slower period about 18 to 22 years into it, and then has time to adjust during the next 3 to 10 years, before it’s time to morph into “grandmotherhood”. This adjustment time allows the couple to reconnect and redefine their roles.
My definition of marriage is: “A partnership in which two human beings come together in a public forum and vow to spend their lives in mutual support of their physical and psychological wellness while striving to improve society through the love and support of each other and any children they parent as a couple.” That having been said, motherhood and marriage are not mutually exclusive or inclusive. Mothers are a completely separate story.
While once a mother, always a mother, grandmothers have a sense of peace about the title and responsibilities, as grandmothers we only parent priorities. By this I mean, we ask ourselves 1.) Is our grandchild feeling loved? 2.) Does our grandchild have food and clothing? 3.) Is our grandchild receiving an education? 4.) Is our grandchild safe from physical and psychological harm? If the answers to all these questions is “yes”. We have peace, and enjoy every minute we have with them. On the other hand, if the responsibilities of motherhood don’t come to a natural “slower” period, then our relationship with the world suffers. Our careers suffer, our relationship with our spouse suffers, our relationship with our grandchildren suffers, and most importantly our relationship with ourselves is jeopardized. We fail to “pass” on to the next grade, and feel stagnant and stifled.
So it is that I have packed more than I should have. I wanted to pack the essentials, but since I expect to work to fund my journey, things somehow are getting out of control. I have set a limit of two suitcases and one carry-on. But something tells me a part of me wants to pack something I am leaving behind. I have to remind myself Costa Rica has anything and everything I could possible “need”. The truth is that I can’t take everything with me. I am leaving something crucial here, something I have not yet been able to pinpoint, but then again that is the whole point of starting a new chapter in my life. I am about to see what it is I can and can not live with or without. I am setting out to find my truth.
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