This month marks the anniversary of my younger sister Denise's suicide. I stated last year that I would not publicly acknowledge the day she died anymore (last year was twenty years). Obviously, since I have written extensively about her death and the effects on my life and that of my family, it would be easy to find the date. Still, on the date itself I won't mention it. Instead, I will focus on her birthday in April.
Her death doesn't define me or my life path. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me because I have a great life and I know she is still with me. But I admit that when March hits, there are subtle reminders all around: signs of life as everything starts to green up and the upcoming NCAA basketball tournament, where I was when she died.
I have written in the past that I learned during my college experience how I didn't have to give something up for Lent (as I had been taught) but that I could do something good for myself. After years of not doing anything for Lent, three years ago I focused on learning to let go and this was my goal up until now. I didn't really know how I was going to do it but I knew I needed help in surrendering and probably what I got out of it most was the awareness of when I when I found myself needing to work on it. That in itself was huge because the first step to making change is that consciousness.
This year I have chosen something different, something more specific: letting go of outcomes in my life. I have realized there are a number of aspects of my life that I don't know how they will turn out. It's like I'm standing on a road with several roads in front of me and I am not sure which one I will choose.
It is this uncertainty that I have to live with because, despite my want to control everything in my life, I'm not supposed to. I can't count the times I've tried to control something only to have God snap it away from me or something happens to shows me I am trying too hard to make it happen my way.
My tulips are coming up. Each morning when I walk outside to run, I inspect them and this morning I noticed a few new bulbs emerging from the dirt. Last fall, Greg helped me plant a bunch of new bulbs and I was sure to water them this winter so they would bloom this spring (living in the desert this is important; in the Midwest I would have taken it for granted because of snow and rain that things would bloom in the spring without any effort on my part).
I am also working on a quilt for my bed and I hope that in the next few weekends this will be finished so I can move onto painting the canvases I have prepped.
These creative activities are not just important but crucial for me. I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop writing outside of the daily work that keeps my bills paid. I need creative outlets that don't involve my laptop, a way to use my hands differently and allow my brain to wander in ways it can't when I'm doing something like writing this blog.
And because I am taking more time for my creative endeavors, I'm finding that after the weekend, I'm more rested and ready to take on the new week in front me. There is something to be said for taking some time off from the activities in our routines and how it makes a difference in outlet and our energy.
And the necessity of creatitvity in our lives.