Mother’s Day always makes me melancholy. My mother died in 2003 and since then this holiday has become a reminder of what was lost. Oh, I know that we are always told to celebrate the memory and to focus on the good times we had. That sound lovely in theory, right?
It’s not the same thing as having someone here and alive. My mother died quite suddenly and unexpectedly, so there were so many things left unsaid, left undone. Things I wish I had been able to say to her when she was still alive.
Since then, I cannot count the number of times I have thought to myself, “Mom would have loved this” or “I wish I could share this with her.” Equally, so many times when I was deep into the depths of sadness or depression and wished nothing more than to be able to pick up the phone and hear her voice.
This time of quarantine has elevated these feelings of loneliness for me, and today those feelings have been strong. I had every intention of being super productive – working on my novel, cleaning the house, taking a walk outside, etc. Sometimes, I just need to allow myself the luxury of doing nothing at all – of sitting still and quiet, of weeping when I need to weep, of napping, of binge watching mindless drivel on Netflix.
As I moved through the day, I started to think about that awful day in 2003 when I got the phone call about my mother. So much of that time is a blur, but I do recall vividly how I felt when I returned from the funeral and was back in my own house alone. I started to think about just how fleeting life is. Here one moment, gone the next. I went through a profound readjustment where I truly did – for a time – focus more clearly on what brought me joy, what made me feel passionate, what was best for me regardless of societal pressures.
Sadly, that energy has faded over time and now all these years later I found myself today facing some difficult facts. I have strayed far from the understanding of truly following my passions. I have made choices frequently based on what others will think or say or do. I have made career decisions based on money and not on passion. I continue to live my life, nearly every day, with a huge chunk of my energy focused on what I am “supposed” to do or say or be.
I keep silencing the voices in my head that are telling me to follow my dreams, to follow my passions. After all, I can’t disappoint people who expect me to be a certain way or do certain things, can I? What kind of horrible person would they say I was if I actually took care of myself instead of spending every waking moment worrying how to make everyone else in the world happy?
When the still, small voice of passion and creativity in my soul tries to prod me towards something, I seem to say things like “I will get to that eventually” or “Soon” or “Maybe after I pay off more debt” or any of a number of equally logical reasons for procrastination.
Today, I am having a quiet, introspective meltdown but a necessary one. Not only the memories of my mother, but also the entire world situation right now has pushed me to this moment. Look how quickly everything changed, practically overnight.
We are all seeing, first hand, just how fleeting life can be and how quickly things can change. It has become crystal clear to me during this time of quarantine that I must find a way to break out of these old habits of procrastination and of living based on the expectations of other people. I must remember that energy that came so strongly to me after my mother’s death – that energy of “Don’t waste time – do it now!” The energy of “No regrets.”
Today’s post was inspired by a song – one that touches me deeply and speaks to this idea about always putting off what’s important. The song is by Donovan Woods and is titled “Next Year.” When I went to YouTube to find a version to post, I found his official version. This is the simplest yet most honest music video I have ever seen. It’s also almost painful to watch because it’s like he is staring you in the eye and singing directly to you alone. I could not look away, and I wept as I watched it.
When is it next year?
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.