Since the beginning, motherhood has been the source of my bold, outrageous courage. The courage to leave an unhealthy marriage of 15 years. The courage required to enter into a contractual relationship with one of the most polarizing companies in corporate America and the even greater courage required to leave behind the financial security of that company and step into the unknown. With each leap, I committed myself to the path and I never looked back. I never had that luxury. Hindsight is reassuring that I did make good choices although it wasn’t obvious in the moment. Always, always, always - when made in love, even while trembling in fear, it was 100% the right thing to do for my daughter and me. So when I don't have the strength to find what is required to take bold action for my own self, I will muster all that is within for my daughter's well-being.
In early April, Peter Attia, MD, who I follow, invited psychiatrist Paul Conti, MD to a podcast discussing the impact of fear and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stress, anxiety, and trauma it may impart on the population. Although I have been relatively unaffected by the global COVID pandemic, their discussion evoked intense “muscle-memory” for me. Many of the emotions discussed mirrored my feelings during the period between leaving my well-paying job and before landing on my feet, or sort of anyway. The feelings of anxiety spawned by uncertainty flooded back as I recalled my demoralization and anguish around being financially devastated. I needed a "work-from-home" job to support my daughter and struggled to maintain a healthy boundary with the disabled and incontinence care needs of my mother and evade my dad’s guilt offensive for me to assume the role of primary caretaker.
The last 15-minutes of the podcast was like sweet honey. I felt acknowledged as his words reinforced that I had chosen well. I left my job, not out of egotism, but for the right reasons -- loving reasons for Sara and myself. The only reasons that really matter. He said the answer to what people need in these times is to find your way to the lowest common denominator of what matters. When distilled down to the fundamentals priorities, what matters most today is really what is going to matter the most tomorrow. Dr.Conti described how he'd rather be with his family in a lean-to out in the middle of nowhere than any luxurious living situation alone. Because what really matters is the "care and concern between people and being with the people we care about… It is meaningful to realize that the things I care about most are actually more immediately acceptable to me in this moment and I think that is still going to be the case tomorrow…that is what most matters and it is a good place to start from. It engenders practicality, it engenders humility, it engenders a sense that everything is okay."
He is right! My daughter and I are living that now. We are likely the last inhabitants to live in this old farm house because it will soon be enveloped into the adjoining suburban development and, frankly, would not pass a home inspection. But it is what we call home because it is where we are, with our menagerie of animals that bring us so much joy. The simplicity of our life brings us so much happiness, a realness and a connectedness that nurtures us daily.
"Daddy with you at home more, it's like spring has come, but inside of me."--Dr Conti’s 6 year old daughter.
The words from Dr. Conti's 6-year old daughter shook me to do more than empathize and feel satisfied in my own decision making, but to take action and invest in change by recreating Raindrop. If not for us, then for our children. Because it was this energy that birthed Raindrop Incorporated into being.
What else really matters than the connectedness with the people you love, doing what you love? How do we make more of this in our life? I agree with Dr. Conti: "we all need love and things that are generative - that make where [sic] there wasn't before, does not just apply to human relationships. It can apply to nurturing a pet, or nurturing a garden, to making a poem where there wasn't one before… Our needs are not that complicated, but I'll be damned if they aren't hard to meet in the system that we have set up around us. We need to change it. We need to change the systems. But part of how we change the systems is to change how we are looking at them as individual people. What am I valuing?. …For all the money, success, prestige, world mastery - if you could have all of it, you wouldn't sacrifice the ability to be with one of your children. Like that stuff matters the most to us and it is also where we generate our own meaning." It's in this space I have meaning to people and people have meaning to me and I, like Dr. Conti, can find the strength to put one foot in front of the other and keep doing what needs to be done to imagine a world where everyone can create the balance to focus on the things that matter.
So I will do what it takes to bust through any resistance I have to investing in Raindrop and bringing it to fruition. I am committed because I remember my own feelings of hopelessness in the aftermath of my own personal pandemic and I know how easy it is to fall into unhealthy coping mechanisms of self-medication and self-destruction. It's not okay, and I will work towards change and be the change I want to see in the world.
I only survived my personal traumas because of the connectedness and validation I received from my daughter, a very tiny circle of friends and my horse. Will you invest in a community like Raindrop Inc to create movement to a new place?
I want it for me and my daughter too. In a year or two we will once again be displaced from our home. I want to be able to find a home that is safe for us. A home that can pass a home inspection AND be a place for our multi-species family. And in the future, Sara can be a Raindrop Inc Artist and create a sustainable living doing what she loves in her full, expressive self because she is not college bound -- that is not her alignment. Instead she is determined to be true to herself, find her own voice and unique expression, and live life with her heart as her guide.
So, will you join me in being the change you want for yourself and others? Together, we can create a movement of change and allow Raindrop Inc to ripple, to create more springtime wherever we are as we humbly stand in our alignment to love, truth and freedom. I don't know what it looks like exactly, but I know we will figure it out... together.
I stand in humility and deep gratitude asking, "If not for you, then for your children and their children?". They deserve to have the feeling of springtime inside of them.
I love you, Deb