Blog, Dreams, Family, Life, Love, Memoir, Writers, Writing

Reflectionology

It has become somewhat painfully apparent that time truly stands still for no one. I had recommended that it slow down. It did not comply.

Truro2

I must accept that life goes on and things change, of course. Yet although it’s incredibly exciting, it’s also overwhelming some days.

And it’s not that I’m in the twilight of my life or anything. Some would say I’m in the prime of my life. Or maybe I’m having a midlife crisis?

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflecting. But I don’t want to hole up in the past too much. What’s amazing to me is how it all seems to tie in together.

Very recently I had the most phenomenal dream. It was one of those dreams that are so vivid it was alive. It was so real. There were colors, smells and fine details that blew me away. I remember seeing freckles, making out the texture of clothing, feeling feelings and emotions.

It was all so content. I was so content.

Just a very ordinary smidgen of a day. It was simply a few minutes of an ordinary day. Except that I was asleep…

My dream

As soon as I remembered, within a minute or two upon waking, I entered that dream description and info into my iPhone’s notepad so that I could remember as much as possible. Otherwise the details would as per usual, fade away.

I mentioned my older son’s coat because it was this little green one that I bought for him when he was three years old. I’d found it at a booth at Christmas at the Forum, a holiday craft fair and it was one of my all-time favorite purchases.

And there it was in my dream as clear as day. I could see and feel the fleece.

Green jacket

We’ve actually lived in a lot more than three places, so this got me to thinking that maybe it wasn’t specifically about the word places, it was more to do with the word phases. As in Life Phases.

If I was to divide my life into three phases the first would be before I had kids, and the second would be after they were born and subsequently raising them.

Crooked or Cowlicked

As our youngest leaves home in just four short months we will begin the third phase, the after kids phase. The empty nest phase…


Now I must learn to reflect back over phase two, the child rearing years, without dwelling there (or falling apart). I can’t reside in those memories. I must learn not to do that.

Kids do not like it when you fall apart over them growing up. Apparently that’s frowned upon.

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in doing it, take photographs perhaps. Like most people I have collected many, many photos over the last nearly twenty-four years.

I get them out and sit them in front of me; there are albums and now three photo boxes I picked up at Jo-Ann Fabric. Plus one small, and one medium sized Rubbermaid container.

Hours can just zoom passed as I dig through them all. Scanning them takes forever, but I’ve been trying to get as many onto my laptop as possible. When I can find the time that is.

1991 babyshower1991 shower gifts1996 babyshower1996 babyshower2

Nowadays there are several ways to have some fun with them, like posting oldies onto Facebook or Instagram; #ThrowBackThursday, birthdays, pic collages and whatnot. I really enjoy seeing people’s old pics. Especially for those of us who didn’t have Facebook or other social media when our kids were little.

Birds


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
– Steve Jobs

The Art of Reflection is usually considered more about reflecting back on your life to learn something, hopefully many things, from all you’ve been through. And I am certain that I am able to say that I learned a LOT from Phase 2 and being a mom.

Before I had kids I only had myself to think about and look after. Once I became their mom I would never be able to say that…well, until they grew up.

Now I can look back and see that, in a sense, I grew up with them. I learned to manage my time like I never probably would have had to otherwise, because my time became not just my own.

Moncton 2nd

I can remember when my husband and I decided we needed to make a big change, so we moved the four of us to a new city…with nothing, I mean nothing, figured out, except for renting an apartment and where our older son would go to school. Next we got jobs and daycare for our younger son, and we struggled along wondering if we’d made a huge mistake.

Then that thing happened that changed our lives forever and it taught us that we were right to have trusted our instincts and taken a leap of faith. The struggle was worth it; even the parts that really tested us. Those moments that made us feel so raw and battered that we questioned each other and ourselves, we learned we’d be okay.

So the next time that thing happened we didn’t just leap, we jumped and went for what we wanted. It’s astounding for me to look back now, to educe the junctures and to be able to connect those dots.


Reflectionology is simply a made-up word to denote learning to reflect back on our time, our lives, with a sense of nostalgia that does not cripple us. Yes, we can shed a few tears once in a while. Plus, there are melancholic tears AND there are mirthful tears, like the ones that briefly overtook me after my dream.

It’s the ability to use photos and video to reminisce wistfully, as well as, and hopefully more often, contentedly. It’s also the ability to keep it (mostly) together when we come across our child’s first baseball glove or ballet shoes (gosh, I still have mine, Mom!). Or their macaroni-tin can vases, and old, faded child-made Mother’s Day cards, and everything else we may have held onto.

Christmas MorningHalifax2Halifax WaterfrontHalifax Historic Properties

Look, scour, remember…and then come back to the present to reside and revel in wherever and whatever life is right now. Be present. The present is all we really have…

 

Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.
– Bil Keane {Family Circle cartoonist}

But the memories are impressive, too.

Halifax Truro PerthAndover

Raina Morton   April 14 2015

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