Saturday, April 14, 2012

Update + Beach Week Recap

We've been home for over a week, and I'm only now feeling settled in. I am working four hours a day now. It's so different, and wonderful, and I'm running scared a bit since, for a while, I am handling tasks for which I'm not yet qualified. I just keep doing my best and then I go back later, in a quieter moment, to have the appointments I made or phone calls I answered checked or critiqued. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right, and, if not, that I can fix it somehow. For me, a trial by fire seems to be the best way to learn, though, so it's all good. After twenty years of being a stay-at-home mom, I was unsure of what I would be capable, but it seems to be fine, and I've been surprised to find that the atmosphere in the office is actually energizing and helps me to focus. At the end of my shift, I'm never in a hurry to leave, and that's got to be a good thing. Finally, because of the funky timing of my job offer -- in the car driving home from my mother's funeral, and six months after I applied -- I knew I needed to at least walk through the open door to see what the universe had in store for me. At work, though I do think of Mom, I am truly in another emotional box, and am able to completely set my grief aside. This has been an unexpected blessing.

At home, sometimes I feel my Mom around me. It's a feeling that's hard to describe, but it is more than the wishful-thinking jumping at everything in my peripheral vision that I've been doing up 'til now. As I notice the familiarity of her embrace, I begin to cry and then the spell is broken. This has happened a couple of times. It sounds upsetting, but really, it is the beginning of my regaining a faith that's been missing over the last month, so I see it for what it is:  part of the process.

Now: back to the beach!

Longtime AMLV+ readers will recognize our beach from last year. the horseshoe configuration of the chairs and umbrellas is for us -- the five families from our neighborhood who descend upon the shores of Destin year after year. The weather was lovely and the beach was even cleaner than last year. I was astonished at nature's ability to recover after the oil spill a couple of years ago. Regretfully, I didn't catch the local wildlife on film: bottle nose dolphins just offshore every day we were there, sandpipers, gulls, pterodactyls pelicans. But I did get a few pretty shots.

Even rainy days at the beach are great -- so dramatic!

Here I am with wonderful friends, Sandy Kapish and Jackie Leddy, on our way out to celebrate Jackie's birthday. The lovely Lisa Wofford and Gretchen Mitchell had not yet gathered with us in Jackie's condo at this point, but we all went out together, along with our husbands, of course.

My nutritional needs on the beach were simple: a grain, a green and a bean. Here is a spinach salad topped with a brown rice salad with white beans. Wynne loved the rice salad all week too.

More beach-condo fare: amaranth (current fave-crave) with earth balance, alongside a stirfry of savoy cabbage, garlic, chick peas and shoyu. This was so delicious my mouth's watering just looking at it.

The week at the beach was beautiful, and was a good way to put another week between the shock of losing my Mom and life going forward. Now I am looking forward to finding a routine.

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