Standing tall

I realize to be a successful blogger one must blog consistently. Or maybe not. Perhaps I can be successful in my own way.

I’ve been in a slump the past few weeks and haven’t been in the writing mood. I’m happy to report things are better. Thank God for time. Sometimes I want it to stop to enjoy a given moment longer. But overall, I’m glad it keeps ticking along.

I’m grateful I am running more consistently again. I’m still wearing the knee brace, but as long as it protects what ails me and allows me to make my way through the neighborhood, I’ll take it. March was unseasonably hot. April weather has been lovely with mild temperatures, low humidity and that sweet smell of spring unique to Arkansas. Perfect weather for laid-back runs, runs you don’t do for training purposes, but simply for the pleasure of the sport.

Yoga has been a life-saver lately. I’m opening up more, flowing through poses without judgment and competition. I’m more conscious of my breathing and my limits. I’m comfortable in the front of class. Not to show off, but because I’m so confident within my mat confines that I don’t even notice anyone else in the room and have no thought to what anyone is thinking about me. It’s a monumental breakthrough for someone who has been bogged down my whole life with assumptions of what others are thinking about me at all times. It’s high-time to break that cycle.

The past few weeks, I’ve grown more honest with myself and others. Possibly the biggest blessing from personal things I’ve been facing.

Last night, I completed my three-year commitment as an elder of the Presbyterian church I attend. When I agreed to the job, which is basically like serving on the City Council of the church, I was in a different place. I was married. We were talking children. About halfway through my service, I became a divorcee. No one judged me (at least to my face) or excluded me, but church activities felt different. It’s hard to sit solo in a pew after you’re used to having your life partner at your side. It’s hard going to functions with mostly young married couples, some with children, others expecting. It’s not their fault. I can’t blame them for always talking about children and family matters. That’s their life. My life suddenly became very different. I didn’t have much in common with my fellow churchgoers anymore, and my good single church friend at the time pretty much flaked on church altogether, opposing my pleas for her to attend with me.

I changed my name back to my maiden name since the ex and I didn’t have children. When the church representative called my name last night  to formally recognize my service, along with the other outgoing elders and deacons, she said my former married name. My heart sank and my faced turned red in embarrassment. I’ve been divorced for over a year now and my “new” (old) name has been clearly printed on lists and other church documents. I’m not sure how she made the slip. However, it brought relief over me. I’m relieved to have a break from my obligations. I can redefine myself and my place in the church without feeling like I’m disappointing people when I can’t attend events or feeling like I’m not doing enough.

It was an honor serving in the shadow of my late grandfather, who was such a strong pillar in the church. I think if he were alive today, he would pat me on the back for a job well done, hug me and give his full support and love in my next endeavors. He probably would have frowned upon the name mishap, too. He’s my maternal grandfather, so we didn’t have the same last name, but he took great pride in his family and offspring. He always made us feel like we were important. I still carry his stand-tall attitude in me, even if it shrinks from time to time. It’s still there. And I can stand tall and move on.


4 thoughts on “Standing tall

  1. Congratulations on your new role within your church. Also very awesome that you found a community (both in church and in yoga!) that doesn’t judge you.

  2. I am glad you are feeling back at it and posting more. sometimes we just need a break and a reset. I just learned so much about you reading this post! From one divorcee to another 🙂 The name change was so big for me, I feel such pride in my name now, I own it, and it sounds like you do too. As for your grandfather, sounds exactly like mine, very involved in the church we used to attend, and I respect that so very much. Nicely done.

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