Category Archives: Independence

Solo

My first solo trip, I am in the Bay, San Francisco and Berkeley to be exact, and I’ll be honest, I am not totally alone, staying with my cousin and visiting my daughter, but I flew here and am navigating the cities myself. I have used Lyft, Uber and BART. What started out, as a scary unknown has become a familiar luxury, and an interesting adventure.

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These amazing sunflowers were taller than me!

 

The Lyft and Uber drivers have been pleasant for the most part and some have been really interesting. I have been able to view the city without worrying about navigating it myself so I have seen amazing architecture, bustling streets, people walking, biking, taking dogs for a stroll and the many homeless people here.

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BART is like a ride at Disneyland complete with the voice announcing incoming trains and the stops along the way. Interacting with the other riders is pleasant and people aren’t afraid to strike up a conversation. It is so different from the solitude car culture of L.A. that I am used to.

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Walking around Berkeley is relaxing and the homes and gardens charming. The climate brings out the best in both vegetables and flowers. The front gardens are sometimes tame but usually haphazard, with a variety of flowers and whimsical decorations. Walking gives me time to think and I don’t distract myself by talking on the phone, or listening to music. I want to hear the world around me and notice everything.

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This first solo trip gave me a lot of anxiety as it was approaching, but I feel like I have crossed a hurdle and can relax a little, at least in this one new experience, and hopefully in the other new solo areas of my life.

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Filed under change, hurdles, Independence, Life thoughts, Walking

Independence

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It’s Independence Day and I am practicing. I started the day with family in my nest and as they flew off in different directions, I found myself sitting alone in the moment. The day loomed before me, hours of nothing and my mind filled with lists of things to get done. The tasks are really mine alone and though I can ask for opinions and assistance I am draining my resources.

Today’s theme reminds me to try to think of things I can do by myself so I start with laundry, my old standby. I tidy up from a weekend of the hustle and bustle of busy family to the sound of the old Kit Cat Clock, getting everything restored to its original status. Beds made, bathrooms restocked with fresh towels, leftovers disposed of and those hours are still there.

I decide to take care of business so I log on and file a luckily purchased insurance claim to get a refund for the tickets to a concert hopefully purchased back in March. The claim requires documentation to support the needed refund so I attach the death certificate. That should suffice and I am notified by email that I should hear something within 10 days.

I’ve been Independent for a couple of hours when I hear the familiar ring tone of my sister calling. She provides a much-needed pep talk filled with good suggestions and experienced advice, the kind sisters know how to dose out, with measured understanding and sympathy. There is no time limit and I relax into the comfort of our conversation, the kind you can have with someone you’ve known for almost your entire life and have shared parents, childhood bedrooms and the majority of the firsts in your life with.

I hang up and feel better, ready to step into Independence again and take a hard look at the living room bookcase. I am kind, but ruthless to the departing companions. They have been read, pages turned and information absorbed. It’s time for them to be shared and knowing they will have a new life allows me to feel less sad filling the bag, as long as I repeat that over and over in my head. New life, new life, new life…

It occurs to me that is what I wish for myself as I practice my Independence, a new life, a chance to feel some peace and some calm without waiting for shoes to drop. A life with some hopefulness, healthy habits, creative hobbies, a family circle with a different configuration but love as strong as always and friendships old and new.

With planes flying love overhead and the promise of fireworks approaching, the sky seems filled with celebration, recognition of hard-fought freedoms. I look up at the pink tinged turquoise sky (my mom used to call it sky-blue-pink) and look for a sign of Gary; birds resting on the wires, hawks circling, bats coming out to feast, the first stars twinkling but like the new moon, almost invisible, he hides somewhere, making my Independence the only thing to hold on to tonight.

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Filed under choice, Family, Focus, Independence, Life thoughts