I have written that introspection is your examination of private thoughts or feelings but what I did not say is that the distance between ‘the event’ which necessitated the introspection (i.e.: an honest reality check of the situation) and the ‘pillow on the floor time taken for your navel-gazing time’ needs to be separated by some distance (of time). Distance works to clear our heads so we can hear and accept a solution (or understanding) to the situation at hand. The time of this distance between the act(s) and the solution gleaned via navel-gazing is up to you to decide. How short is too short a period of time? Only you can decide this. We all heal differently. If you get to the point where you know the pain or confusion will never end unless you take charge of it, then it is time for some introspection on the matter.
On the subject of Ex’s (husbands & lovers) I have gotten to the place in my head (and heart) to know the difference between fond memories and hanging onto a relationship that just did not work out well for me. I’ve learned how to let go. Fond memories are one of life’s joys and even if that memory is of Bobby or another, these days it brings a smile and a cheerfulness to my heart. Even a chuckle. I deeply love when I love. I suffer deeply when it ends. I want to hang on with both fists but this means I do not move forward, too. Being able to have some introspection to move forward is a good thing. Life should not be lived in the past but in the here and now and with an eye on the future. This is why we walk forward most of the time instead of backward!
It would be weird to see all of Manhattan walking backward to their destinations? No, we walk forward for a forward moving life. If you don’t know this …. you should.
The day I walked into my bedroom and saw my granddaughter Alexia Jo setting in my desk chair with my glasses on (upside down at that) with my Daddy’s magnifying glass in her hand telling me she was “writing too” just like me and refusing to get down from my chair and go to bed I realized that I was spending too much time writing and to little time with my lovely Lexi-bug. The fact that she was in her pajamas and ready for bed meant nothing to her! Like her Nana she was going to write something good on that computer! Or die trying. (she’d heard me say that to many times not to take the saying seriously) “I’m writing, go away!” she exclaimed. At which time I simply called for her father. One of the perks of being the Nana is handing off situations to the parents >>> which I did.
The incident of Lexi-bug writing an éclat first novel ended. I sat down and thought of why she was so intent and (frankly) ugly about not getting down to go to bed. (of course, camera snapped a photo first, I document events like this for later negotiations to be used around the age of -say- sixteen when the young man with baggy jeans and dirty shoes shows up for a date) I realized something ::: I put writing before everything else in my life; even before my relationship with the family I dearly love. And, although my door was always open for my family to wonder in they could tell I was not all that pleased they had wandered in. So . . .
that evening (in retrospect) thoughts of past husbands and others I had not married came to mind and the reasons the marriages failed. (I’ve had three marriages and at least three (or more–not telling) lovers in my life) The thoughts wiggled into my bones! Deep inside to the marrow. No escaping. I needed some pillow toss time . . . some introspection via navel-gazing.
I will not share my findings here but surmise to say that I found some answers (over time) with some hard questions asked of myself and lots of plunking down on that over-sized light yellow square pillow. The distance proved to be valuable this time. Enough time had lapsed. Years in some cases. I found one simple truth. I adjusted. I thoughtfully and with purpose changed my behavior. Lexi-bug with her attempt to be her Nana turned around to make me a better person. A better woman. A better friend. A better mother and grandmother. A better future spouse. Future spouse, now that’s something I quite fear . . . I’ve failed so miserably at marriage . . . still I wish it for myself. And I think, now, I would do it well. Mainly I think this ’cause time with Steve proved it to me. Of course, the time with my best-friend turned lover, needs a tossing of that pillow! And soon. But, not now. His issues, not mine (for a change) ruined it all for the two of us. Life evolving? I say life not lived! (and again I brought him up . . . like I said I love too deeply and letting to is an issue although experience tells me letting go is the healthy thing to do . . . in this case, it is not all that easy to do) At some point, when I figure out a good question to ask I’ll plunk down on that over-sized light yellow square pillow and ponder my navel but for now I just don’t feel like it. I feel like being sad and forgetful! and not remembering what I just said a few minutes ago. I feel like wadding through the days in a foggy mess, I guess because I can’t think of a good question to ask myself to end this state I’m in. But, I will! I always do. Why will this happen? Because . . .
I am among the woman of a certain age who know best what is best for them. Not because we are of a certain age but because we have journeyed through a life filled with lots of navel-gazing and have come to know ourselves, who we actually are, what we are willing to do, what we are not willing to do, etc. This, in reality, benefits every single person we love, have loved, and every will love. Lucky they are! More importantly, lucky we are :)