I feel like a fraud. I admit it. I am NOT “in the green.” Moving to a new town at the age of 61, even if it is temporary and you will eventually be returning to where you are from is sometimes just plain hard. And perhaps, I have a more difficult time than most with transitions.
A few weeks ago, I got upset about something and instead of hanging in there and talking myself into a better mood, I chose the dark-sad-depressed-for-three-days route. Jay finally begged me to “call Pat.” Pat is this truly amazing, wise and wonderful psychologist who has seen me through pretty much every troubling time since before I was married 36 years ago. Of course, whenever Jay throws up his hands and suggests I call her, I get mad at him. Can’t he listen? Can’t he give me wise counsel? Yes, he certainly can sometimes but not always and this was one of those times that required a professional. I actually think everyone should go for a psychological check-up every year. It is just as important as a yearly pap smear, surely.
It is kind of like prayer – sometimes I am just convinced I can handle something myself and I secretly either don’t want to bother God or think maybe He will be proud of me for taking care of it myself. When I stop to think about it, that is just dumb. God wants us to come to Him first not last! So it is with calling Pat, I kind of feel like I have to get my thoughts organized enough to tell her what’s going on, which can take me a while.
I finally call Pat on Day 4. I usually talk to her for an hour (she lives in another town). This session went on for an hour and forty-five minutes! Pat attentively listened and advised me on the specific upsetting incident. Then she said, “Ok, now let’s talk about you - how you are really doing.” I told her I was OK, not great. She said something strange, “You sound homeless.” I said that we actually have a pretty nice apartment here. She interrupted me to say that is not what she meant. She pointed out that I had followed Jay in two moves, Sarasota and now Charleston. My extended family was in Atlanta, so I pretty much would have stayed there but Jay wanted to move. The Charleston move was due to a calling Jay felt to serve in a ministry here. Pat suggested that although our family home is in Sarasota, that, even that is not “home” to me now because there is no family living there anymore. Pat said she thought that for me, “home” is not necessarily a house or a place but rather what I am doing that I find meaningful. This wise woman I so admire laid out the 37 years she has known me to show me where I have felt at “home” – raising our children, taking our niece in, nursing school. I later realized that this blog has been sort of a home to me as well – a portable one that could move around with me. As inevitably happens when I stop long enough to meet with Pat, I realized she had hit the nail on the head. I have indeed been feeling homeless.
I continue to struggle. I miss being an every-day, hands-on Mom. I miss my friends. I miss being a volunteer nurse at the homeless shelter. I miss Terry and Tom, who do my hair and nails at “home.” I miss “my” Publix. But understanding it and putting a name on it does actually help.
Yet….I love being around the corner from one of our sons and his girlfriend. Olivia is just up the road at college. We live in downtown Charleston, for heaven’s sake – it’s beautiful here, and fun and there is always a new restaurant to try. I even got a great lead on a homeless shelter that has a clinic yesterday. So, it may take a while, and I might have to be a little lonely, but I think I’m getting there.
Although being In the Green all the time would be fantastic, that is not a reasonable expectation for me. I’m just kind of on the moody side. I feel things deeply – happy and sad – and that is just the way I am wired. But the bottom line for me is that there are “In the Green” moments to be cherished and I am going to renew my efforts to be on the lookout for them. May this Easter weekend be chock full of In the Green experiences for you.