16th February 2019
Our lifespan trajectory has many points of inflection, as mathematicians call them. Points where our path changes its direction. Instead of continuing in its current heading, it shifts, appearing to stay on course but gradually turning around. Until a new direction becomes obvious. Reached the inflection point a few years ago but now would seem to be the “minima”. That low point at the boundary between one season of our lives, and the next.
Words such as “disability”, “resignation”, and “depression”, become personal. “Faith” and “trust” become the air I breathe. Bringing my family on this change of life trajectory is the scariest thing I’ve ever done, more so even than changing gender. The biographies are written, by necessity, post these inflection points and season boundaries. Just as you know a key character in a television series will survive because the series continues tomorrow night. Coyote always survives being squashed by the boulder, and road runner lives to blaze another trail. Capturing the moment in our biography before we know things will turn out okay, is difficult. The moment when faith and trust are all we have as we negotiate medical appointments, paperwork, and dates.
Breathing deeply, preparing, self-care, step off the page and become critical activities. Holding on to my family becomes a lifeline in this season of change. My heroes, Cheryl Dumesnil, TwoBabyMamas, and Rebecca Allison, among others, show me that change can be experienced and walked through. My current therapist, Brooke, keeps showing me that I am stronger than I feel, and have a history of staring down challenges. This current change of path is no different. I’ve done this, my ancestors have done this before me; it’s in my blood as Hermoine says to Harry about becoming seeker on the Gryffindor quidditch team.
This afternoon I had a long bath, exfoliating my skin, and washing my hair. Walked into the mall, had a caramelatte, and did some grocery shopping for my girls. All felt good. Each day I try to do some housekeeping beyond the regular cycles of washing and cooking. Tossing paperwork, books, and nick-knacks that no longer serve me, as the self-care literature puts it. Or cleaning the bathtub a bit more, or putting clothes away, etc. Care for the environment begins at home, in our personal space.
Many days my health issues make it difficult to get started. Lack of sleep is chronic. My family, from puppies to people, contribute to this. Being an evening chronotype in a family of morning chronotypes does not help either. Depression leads me back to bed unless I make some effort. Effort saps my energy. I keep tending toward doing for my family, forgetting my own needs. A good neighbor says I’m definitely a chick, based on that comment – precious words for a transgender woman.
Smiles. I won’t say “still breathing” because sometimes I wish otherwise. Breathing is not a blessing, merely a means to keep on going.