This last couple of weeks has been interesting and apologies for the lag between posts. I have been getting to know a new workplace and a new group of people to interact with. If you’ve been following the adventures of #consultantlife you will have some inkling of how much I thrive on this.
This sense of newness is something I have actively sought for much of my life – the freshness of new faces, the variety of different locations and unknown situations. That may explain the craving for travel that I have indulged these last few years now that the kidlets are grown. I have embraced the challenges of change, despite the innate human resistance that rears its head sometimes.
As I turn to face the change, I have learned that having a solid foundation is key to success. Some of us build these foundations on our experience and learn as we go. Many of us are lucky to have had a solid foundation in our youth and role models in our families and within our friendship groups on which to base our actions and behaviours.
There is nothing quite like a funeral to bring some of these truths to light. Last week I sat amongst the congregation in a large Catholic church, praying that the ceiling joists were made of stern stuff, as I attended the final farewell for the father of one of my dear friends. This mate is part of a group of friends I have known for over 30 years and, as one of them said to me, “there is nothing quite like old friendships”. This rang true for me, blessed as I am with a large tribe of genuinely kind people surrounding me.
These friends have been part of my life for a long time; from our glorious misspent youth, through engagements, marriage, children, relationship trauma, divorce, and now, as we ourselves age, we face the loss of our parents, our earliest role models.
Despite the knowledge that they have hopefully lived a good life and, at the end of their time on planet Earth, have left behind a rich legacy, it’s still a challenge. The platitudes are valuable but there is no denying that losing a parent is hard.
I miss my Mum. She was as stubborn as she was kind, as feisty as she was generous, as challenging as she was wise and not a day goes by when I don’t think of her. Likewise my Dad. They were made of stern stuff that generation. They lived through The Great Depression, World War 2, the post-war era, the evolving 60s and 70s, the greedy 80s. All with limited resources and a frugality that puts most of us to shame.
I miss a few people on a regular basis actually. I miss those who have gone too soon, something I’m reminded of when I attend a farewell like last week. I miss some of those friends that I don’t see as often as I’d like. I miss my #2 daughter who is “adulting” interstate. I even miss #1 daughter at times and she lives 20 minutes away!
Tonight as I type, I ponder if missing someone is a bad thing? Yearning for someone is a measure of the love you feel for that person isn’t it? In this era of instant gratification, I wonder if missing someone is something to be savoured. Perhaps not to the point that it becomes dysfunctional. But surely that longing to see someone makes the reunion all the sweeter.
Missing someone is one thing. There are things I miss too.
I miss being able to get up off the floor without groaning.
I miss the days when I could stay up past 10.00pm and not feel like a I needed to take a nana nap at 3.00pm the next day.
I miss being able to go dancing for hours like I did during my uni days, (usually sans alcohol as we couldn’t afford it and besides I didn’t seem to need it to have fun) and not need to take a packet of Nurofen the next day.
At the funeral I saw an elderly man hold his wife’s hand as he walked her up to receive communion and I realised I missed holding hands with someone. I miss the feeling that tried and true love brings and I may never experience that again.
Please don’t be sad, dear reader. My intent is not to provoke sympathy. Indeed, one of Mum’s favourite expressions was “it is what it is”.
I will however confess to a little indulgent missing that evening.