My mom died at age 46. I have been 46 for longer than she was, and soon I will be 47. I think I get her inability to handle being here—not because I don’t want to be, but because of all that is going on out there in the world.
She was a sensitive soul who had experienced her share of tragedy in her younger years, and I choose to rewrite her story in such a way that she simply wasn’t equipped to handle all the ick. She simply didn’t understand her own sensitivities.
As a sensitive soul myself, I would like to think that I have ways to cope with the ick most of the time. I give back, I pay it forward, I reach out instead of withdrawing, and I express my needs, thoughts and feelings–granted sometimes a little bit too much.
As my birth year surpasses my mom’s living years, I find myself even more driven to make a difference in the lives of as many as I can, while I can. My stats at work don’t necessarily show the reach or the quality of the reach, so outside of work, I am still driven to be that change we all wish to see in the world.
When you have a December birthday, it gets lost in the mix between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I have had to find my own way to make it more special. Some years, I play, or do whatever I want to do, and just that. Some years, I spend some quality time alone and others I spend it with friends and family I love.
This year, it seems I want to spend my time making a difference. I have two primary charities of choice and five thousand others (maybe not that many) that speak to me and with which I would love to do something to help. The two primary ones are the ones I spend the majority of the year pouring my extra energy outside of work supporting with those efforts, so for my birthday, I would seem to be setting up time helping several of the others that pull at my heart.
On the day I actually turn 47, I plan to be at Horsepower for Kids volunteering to do whatever they need me to do. Last weekend, I spent with dogs that were being screened to be potential therapy dogs and it was a lab-a-palooza—mostly yellow labs– but one special black one whose “special” was obvious when he walked in the door with his humans. Next weekend, I will be doing nothing very important for the rescue from which my last Hope Fiona found me. I miss animal rescue and two of these at least have me near it.
There is one weekend in-between where I will likely work on promoting my book Detour because I feel like the story is worth sharing. And 20% of course anything I make selling it goes back to a charity.
In the midst of all the mass shootings, the nuclear warhead testing, the discord among each other, I think we just need inspired to make a difference in our own little area of the universe where each of us can make a difference. Stats might not show it wholly, but the impact is still making a ripple in this life.
Mom didn’t get the ripple effect. She didn’t get the butterfly effect. She couldn’t adjust her expectation of success to be an interaction that rippled out into the universe to be an even bigger impact. I appreciate that she didn’t—not because I don’t wish she was here to get it—but because of her, I think I do get it. I wouldn’t likely have gotten it otherwise.