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“Why, if it was an illusion, not praise the catastrophe, whatever it was, that destroyed illusion and put truth in its place?”

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Major life events are like tectonic plates leading to seismic shifts. We tend to look back on our lives in a pre- and post-mindset. Life before The Big Thing That Happened. Life after it.

Looking back, there were times in my life in which I was obviously in the wrong… fill in the blank. Job. Relationship. Part of town. State of mind. Size pants.

After all, just because you can squeeze your tuchus into a pair of pants that are actually a size too small… well, that doesn’t mean that they fit. It means you’re squishing yourself into a cage for reasons other than personal comfort.

I’ve come to regard those endings in life as being off-ramps to the place I really wanted to be anyway. That wasn’t home. Those weren’t true friends. I wasn’t myself.

So any time I feel a twinge of regret or nostalgia, I remind myself that I’m not one to pine for what wasn’t mine. That wasn’t for me. I’m better off without it. Now I’m free of what didn’t serve me. Free to find what really works for me. This makes change feel less like a wound and more like a gift.

Having gone through a few things, it made me realize that others are going through things, too, and it might make them cranky. I’m going to remind myself not to take other people’s problems personally.

I can’t imagine what your backstory is, so I’m going to give you a free gift of your own: the benefit of the doubt.

Compassion, not pity.

Understanding, not judgment.

In a nutshell, when I assume everyone is doing their best, things are put into proper perspective.

As for the Big Things That Happened? Well, abrupt endings become another way of saying, Okay, Lord. I’m ready. What’s next?

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ”

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

As a mother, it’s rare to find time for yourself. When my son was a toddler, I was, um, indisposed, shall we say, and had left the bathroom door slightly ajar. Suddenly, poking through the door, there was a prominent proboscis, covered in black and white fur and sprout-like whiskers.

It was my Black Labrador/Border Collie Mix, Sheena, barging into the bathroom, followed closely by one wobbly toddler with blanket in hand. My son and my dog ambled in, sat down, and watched me as if I was a television show.

Life has certainly changed, I said to them, as if they understood. Both just looked at me and smiled. (Believe me, dogs can smile, too!)

That was fifteen years ago, and since that time, I’ve learned the importance of what Virginia Woolf referred to as “a room of one’s own.” Back then, I didn’t have a dedicated space in which to write, so I developed a habit of creating a “sacred space.”

I’d spread my purple blanket on the couch or comfy chair, or even on the floor if the spirit moved me, and I’d write, even if there was chaos – or worse still, crumbs! – all around me.

For many of us, the blogosphere has become a sacred space. Climbing into cyberspace, you can read and produce poetry, art, music, rants about politics – even ideas about changing the world.

For people of faith, there’s a treasure trove of spiritual blogs, great books of truth and ministries online.

If it moves you, move with it. A room of one’s own can be built from within, but you don’t have to live there alone. You’ll find your kinfolk. If you build it, they will come.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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