Monday, March 5, 2012

Catching My Breath

Well, here we are – settling in to Beth’s home; our packing done, our things loaded into a container.  A welcome hiatus in our move back to Winnipeg.  It's a chance to catch our breath and enjoy our last few weeks on the island with our friends and family here.  The generosity of those who offered their homes to us warms my heart.  And the synchronicity between when Beth was planning to be away and our need for shelter seemed miraculous!

Interesting – living out of a suitcase.  With only a couple of bags that we’ll take with us when we leave, life has become much simpler.  The decisions about what to wear, for instance, are limited.  We have something for cool weather, something for warmer weather, and, of course, a water-proof jacket for the rain.  Our menu choices are determined by using up what we had left in our cupboards, and freezer.  I am experiencing in a very concrete way how much of our time is taken up with our “stuff”!   Never before have I realized quite so clearly just how much time I had spent looking after things.
Also, with our lives being a bit topsy-turvy I have found it necessary to curtail my personal interests and be here more consistently with Abe.  This may change as we settle in, but for now, most of my usual activities are on hold.  So, again, I have more time.  Of course, I knew that activities take time, but I love to be active, and don’t plan for a lot of “down time”.  But how precious time is!
As I open to this gift of time and allow myself to simply relax into the present reality, I am becoming much more aware of the subtle nuances of my day-to-day life.  For example, my relationship with Abe – of course it is my intent to be supportive of him in his journey.  But what does that mean?
Where is the boundary between support and interference?  Between helping and undermining?  When should I step in and provide a word or thought he can’t find and when should I allow him to find it himself?  And does it change with the circumstances?  What if there are others present?  What if they don’t understand how hard he is trying?

What is my motivation?  Am I speaking up to protect and support Abe or to avoid my own embarrassment?  And, after almost 50 years together, where is the difference?  When is it about my own frustration, impatience and pain?
Of course there is no simple answer to these questions.  But I’m finding it good simply to be present in the moment.  To just notice when I do step in and when I don’t.  To be aware of emotions – mine, Abe’s and others – as things unfold.  To just see what happens.  To consider my actions and the reactions that result in light of my intentions.

I know I have a tendency to “help out” and that’s not always “helpful”.  I also know that there is no way to get the right balance all the time.  But I hope as I become more present and open to Our Dance I will learn to be more supportive – in the most genuine and  helpful way possible.  Not just my intentions, but in my day-to-day actions. 


  1. Dearest Bonnie, your honesty is truly a treasure:"Am I speaking up to protect and support Abe or to avoid my own embarrassment? And, after almost 50 years together, where is the difference?" and the questions you ask are perfect for so many occassions. Thank you for sharing your journey with Abe. Thank you for sharing your journey with ... Self. thank you for being you.

  2. I really appreciate your thoughts on what is happening in your life. I can certainly understand the wish and the need to be helpful, and the challenge to find the balance between doing for and genuinely supporting someone. You have given me lots to think about if I find myself in a similar situation. Take care as you go through this transition.