I’m not sending them flowers, though (sorry, guys!). I believe a more fitting gift on this day, for anyone who has or loves a gay uncle (or LGBQT aunt for that matter) is a donation to an organization working to ensure and protect civil rights of all LGBQT people. And votes. And every day conversations in our community.
Astrologers say that today is the Lions Gate: August 8. Apparently it's August 8 every year. Something about it being a day where we are more open to guidance from angels and other beings. I just know that I woke up to a howling aged pug who had thrown up and had, well, bloody stools, and I was trying to figure out how, during lunch I could be in three places at once:
Vet, meet-the-teacher day (aka writer 5,678 check days) and to meet not one but two windshield repair men. A rock had flown through the windshield of our new car, the one we'd bought seven days before, and in addition to a new piece of glass the whole system needed to be re-calibrated. The re-calibration will make sure that the digital maps and the parking cameras are aligned, which will be helpful as I tend to drive into things and need all the help I can get.
Re-calibration is about where I am too.
After a day of work and the handling of the things, and before the meet-the-teacher night (yes, two separate sessions), I immersed myself into a very hot bath. At this point I'm just pouring containers of Epsom salts into the water, layering on face masks, and looking for a suitable meditation to calm my central nervous system.
These are the things I do to calm my nervous system:
- Essential oils (I feel like I'm supposed to say this but other than smelling nice they don't radically change my life but maybe that's because I have the TJ Maxx versions)
- Talking to my friends
- Dancing to George Michael
I used to have shortcuts to turn off my central nervous system, but I don't anymore. So instead I sit with this central nervous system, listen to it to discern if there's really something I must be aware of. Then I and say to it, "Hey there, I see what you're trying to do. You're trying to protect me. But I'm good. I'm really really good. So go on now, relax."
Earlier, I'd wrapped the dog in blankets so she wouldn't poop on the seats of the new car. It was a big deal, this new car, one we'd waited and planned for. The rock through the windshield had happened on the way to the beach, and though it was a pain to replace, that's what insurance for. I couldn't deal with another mess though, and the vet tech swaddled the pug like a baby. We made it home safe.
In the bath I flipped through meditations on YouTube, settling on one about this Lions Gate Day. I noticed the symmetry in the 8/8 when I wrote yet another check to the school during meet-the-teacher day. The meditation said this was the day I was supposed to turn my heart chakra toward the pyramids and let go what was no longer serving my higher good.
There was also something in there about whales, and receiving messages from them, which is right about the part they lost me. Instead I thought about the names of the saints painted on the steps of my son's school:
"St. Francis, Pray for us. St. Thomas, Pray for us." Today I needed saints and whales.
Pretty much every meditation involves "letting go what no longer serves." Because that's also what happens again and again in life.
Standing in line for a spirit shirt at the school, my seventh grader no longer wanting to take obligatory back to school photos, I feel that sense of time slip by. No longer does the meet-the-teacher day hold promise back when I was a younger mom. His school is fine; there's much we need to supplement, and I'll never be a PTO mom. I'm thankful for the police officer at the door and also sad for the reasons why.
At the end of the day I have a new car windshield. The dog has pancreatitis and will live another day, though the vet says we need to be prepared. Now she is wagging her tail and taking probiotics. My son's uniform is pressed and he is squeezing the very last hours of video games before he walks through the school doors.
I am growing by leaps and bounds. I handle all of the things and eat a bowl of ice cream and will wake up to make a gratitude list. I mean it, the things I will write down. Saints and whales.
Can I tell you a funny story?
It’s a story about a magazine editor who had it all together but sometimes had to have an extra glass, or seven, of wine.
One who was reasonably blonde and reasonably successful, and who helped manage a big job and a family. How did she do it? The way millions of others of women do it: willpower, caffeine, and chardonnay. Then one day that magazine editor had a spectacular fall — literally fell over and collapsed, torn apart from the two lives she was leading.
For months I’d struggled with how I would cope with this wedding in the heart of wine country, in a place where every single trigger would be triggered. Long, physically taxing days, family dynamics, wine at every single meal. Climbing up the hill to the country house in the car, my back screamed. “I can’t do this,” I thought.
But I did. And here was my brother, and his groom, and my parents. And my aunt, a Cuban refugee who had survived so much -- oppression by a dictator, her own cancer, an the cancer that took the life of her husband. This broken, brutal world.