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Home is where the heart is . . .

Me with my baby grand-niece Mia.

I was interviewed yesterday by a freelance writer who is writing about the Walkabout Woman phenomena.

He noticed that I was traveling without a companion, except he used the word “boyfriend.” This gave me a chuckle. I hadn’t really thought about that.

But he’s right . . . there is no partner, boyfriend, husband, soul mate or best friend with me. I am on my own.

And of course, this level of self-reliance would have been unthinkable to my younger self – so I get the question.

For better or worse, and through no special effort on my part, I have become independent and fairly competent.  I am outgoing and like to meet new people, but I enjoy solitude and my own company a lot too. Part of it is that I was a single mother for years and I am used to doing everything myself.  Part of it is I am enjoying the freedom of not having to put the needs of young children first.

I also like not having to compromise to accommodate another person.

I was married for 20 years and have been divorced for 10, so I know — single or in a relationship — there are pluses and minuses to both. How I am choosing to live my life is not for everybody.

My marriage was a very significant part of my life. Until recently, I slept strictly on one (my) side of the bed. At night my nature sounds machine soothed me because ocean waves sounded like another person breathing.

I don’t believe you abruptly “get over” or “heal” from these significant relationships. Rather — inch by inch — the passage of time creates a distance. Drama seems silly, memories are re-framed, bitterness fades and you give up the certainty that you were right about everything. Real peace comes from grieving the losses and honoring what you had.

I am not completely there, but I know that is where I am heading.

And as I anticipated, my walkabout has stirred up my feelings about this relationship. While spending the first leg of this journey with my family of origin, (and holding my baby grand-niece), I have had strong, but short-lived, attacks of homesickness — not for my childhood home, or the home I recently left in Ashland — but for the home I had with my husband when our children were small. They say “home is where the heart is,” and it appears there is a huge part of my heart still there.

During the summer, as I prepared for my walkabout, I purchased a painting from my friend, artist Cynthia Gott.  When I saw it in her studio, I knew I had to have it. It is a Day of the Dead piece featuring a skeleton with a top hat and a flower in his heart.

I carried the painting into my house, along with the mail and some groceries, and set it all down while I did other things. Later, when I went into my bedroom, I was surprised. There at the head of the bed was the skelly painting — in what had been my Ex’s place when we were married!

The subconscious works in interesting ways!

As of now, I am sleeping almost in the center of the bed . . . but not quite.


6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Betsy, here is one of my blog entries that you may enjoy.

    September 9, 2012
    • Love it Jacquelene! I am entranced by the mirror and slow dance with self too! Warmly Betsy

      September 10, 2012
  2. tarrilucier #

    So many chords were struck here that resonated.
    Homesickness. For what? For that place within us that tells us we are home. Nothing ever remains the same, our environments are continually shifting, even if they appear to remain the same. But the inner home base becomes something we can rely on. “I am sitting here, a point of peace.” You hold that space, and it becomes your center, your home. You can go stay with people and blend into their environment and be home, and then when it’s time, pack up your few belongings and move on.
    Not having to compromise or accommodate another person is a great blessing of freedom, as well as not being required to put the needs of small children ahead of yours. It’s the blessing of our time of life. Now it is our time to go within, and find the treasures there, so that we can share them when we return to the world. These are gifts the world sorely needs.

    September 7, 2012
    • Hi Tarri – I see that you are right! The inner home is what we can rely on. There will always be new lives,new beginnings and new endings,new losses. I am working on coming home to myself and I see that being present in the moment is what works best for me. Thanks for you comment!

      September 7, 2012
  3. Jacquelene Ambrose #

    You tell the tale I am familar with.
    I now sleep all over my bed, sideways, the right, the left, letting myself feel the spaciousness of being solo. I like it.
    and then… no so much.

    It’s quite an interesting paradox to become comfortable with.

    As I reach out to myself and say, may I have this dance, a smile comes to the face I see in the mirror.
    Truth is I never learned how to slow dance, so this dance will be strange new territory..
    and away we go.

    September 7, 2012
    • Hi Jacquelene – I think it is time for me to consciously attempt to sleep all over the bed! I love the idea of a slow dance with self. That will stay with me for awhile. Thanks for planting that image scenario in my brain. All these things are helping me along my way. Thanks so much for reading and your thoughtful comments.

      September 7, 2012

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