Monday, March 18, 2013

The Sara Canvas

After last week’s reality check and what I now call the “fully functioning adult” session with Debra, I decided to take a deeper look into my past and present behaviors to reexamine who I want to be, say when I turn 50 (in a year and a half). After all, 50 is a rather significant milestone, and I can pretty much guarantee you that I will be mentioning this more than a few times between now and then.  I have been focusing on this for nearly 3 years already. After the wonder child, Will, graduated high school, I knew it was time to focus on my health, my life, and getting my act together.  I was 45 and I decided to give myself until 50 to reach those initial goals.  Little did I know how significant the changes would be! I had no thought of divorce or the recovery journey that I am now on.But I am so thankful for the life crash because I am now looking at a blank canvas of Sara.  Most of my life – perhaps all of my life – has been about me in relation to someone else: a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, an employee. I remain most of those things, but a part from all of my roles, there is a me - a blank Sara canvas. 

The background should be colorful. I like variety and discovery; routine has not been my norm, let me acknowledge, and so this canvas should not be boring. Perhaps it is a mixed-media piece. I enjoy music and art, reading and writing, teaching and learning, collecting vintage stuff, and conversation. Yes, I love to talk,or as we call it in Iowa, “visit”. When we “visit” in Iowa, we have spent an extended period of time, likely over coffee, talking and reconnecting and discussing the important issues of the day. Yes, I would do some visiting everyday.  There is an art to it, and I think I have it. I am drawn to people; people from all walks of life with differing backgrounds, ages, interests, and personalities and there is no better delight for me to share an experience with someone.

I’m also learning that I like to do some things that actually require my body to move. I discovered weight lifting a couple of years ago, and who knew I’d like that? Not I!! I also love my morning walks with my friend as we venture into Sabino Canyon. Did I mention early morning walks –say 5 am? It’s dark and I see the beautiful starlit sky and hear the hoo-hooing of owls!  It is absolutely grand.

This Sara canvas will have some richness to it. I see the woman who has overcome a lot,but the overriding victory is the absence of addictive behaviors. I have been imagining what it is like to live in contentment and to not be drawn to eating or smoking to fill a void or to avoid feeling pain. This contrasts previous dreams of being thin or being “happy”. This canvas has more depth because it is about an inside job. I believe I will be thin, too, but the real transformation is within. This is because this Sara has grown up and is now a FFA (my short for fully functioning adult), and enjoys the benefits of healthy adulthood. She relates from a place of worthiness; she makes decisions from a place of wholeness and maturity; she exhibits appropriate vulnerability. Her emotions are freely shared, but contained for her sake and others. She is ok with herself and being single, but is an excellent companion as well.

There are tough times and calmer, smoother stages through this journey. Today, I pause to look to the future – to give it some details, to enhance the vision and to give my heart room to dream. It is a blank canvas, and I am starting to mix my paints.

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