Saturday, May 29, 2010

Revisting Day

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a reunion junkie. I reunited with my birth mother (1986), the “great love of my life” (1987), and my first love (1997) who turned out to be Still the One, as one of my favorite songs goes. We married (1998)—and in case you’re not convinced I’m a junkie yet, I married my first husband twice (1974 and 1979, but also divorced him twice). One of my most stunning and unexpected reunions was with the church of my childhood (2006), another close relationship lost that needed the light of current day to see if it could work in the present.

Do-overs have a huge place and theme in my life when it comes to relationships. I’m starting to discover that the theme extends to jobs and creative interests.

My purpose in this post is to help you discover whether or not there are people and things in your past that are worth revisting.

Job Do-Overs

I left my first job once to try my hand in the big city, hated my new assignment, and I was back in less than six weeks. Since my previous employer had thought I left for more money (not!), I even got a raise out of my return. Plus I had a fabulous going-away party, presents, and the gushing sentiments of my workmates who hated to see me leave and were happy to have me back. They didn’t begrudge me the false-alarm exit extravaganza.

It’s important to note that I loved my original job, but I was looking to move out of a small city I thought would be confining for me in the long-run. I had the right idea, but the timing wasn’t on beat. Twelve years later, I left my favorite government agency in what ultimately turned out to be a long career as a civil servant. I left because the leader at the helm at the time was harassing employees and wreaking such general havoc, he was later relieved of his post. The place wasn’t bad; the problem was the top dog. Once that was fixed, I returned to the agency in a new position, one of my favorite jobs ever, six years after I left the first time. In fact, this particular government agency was so great; it had a reputation for the boomerang effect--people would move onto greener pastures just to “come home.” I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what she had until she lost it.

Why Déjà Review?

As I’ve already implied, sometimes things aren’t finished for us. We have not gleaned all the growth or all the learning from them. Temporary circumstances may leave us in a situation where we can’t go on, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back. Sometimes this is very therapeutic and just what the doctor ordered.

I spent another couple of years in my first job at that wonderful agency in the Midwest before I finally had the courage to make a move not just 150 miles away but across the country to California. The first time I left was a test run. My reasons for moving were still the same, but I had worked myself up to a move so far and dramatic, it would not be easy to back out of it. I have never looked back! California is where I belong and have lived since 1973.

The government job I loved, like my first one in social work, had a family atmosphere and a group of supportive co-workers that is anyone’s dream come true. I can’t imagine not having reconnected with these wonderful people who support me still five years past retirement.

Do you miss someone or something? Think about it, and decide if it would be good for you to reconsider the person on situation in present time.

Relationship revisits can be so important in terms of a sense of completion. I had no completion with all the people I found again, and in half the cases, we went on to have a bigger and better relationship (birth mom, first love/ now second husband). In the other half of the cases (“love of my life” and first husband), I got clarity on why it would have never worked with either one of them in the long run. It reinforced my belief that loving someone is easy; living with them can be difficult if you aren’t cut from similar cloth and looking in the same direction.

My Newest Boomerangs

You’re hearing it first on Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights! You’ve been my blog family longest between my two blogs, but you can look for a big announcement on June 14 on The Radical Virgo. To my complete surprise, the universe is calling me back to the front line of helping people through these fast changing times. I’m being guided to reopen my Inner Growth Work practice—astrology, tarot, dreamwork, and flower essences. I had taken what I thought was a permanent sabbatical from individual readings for the past seven years. Suddenly I’m not only called to doing them; I love this work again!

While this will be part of my work with writing still on the front burner, I had to take an honest look at why I quit my practice in the first place. I had been building my career as an astrologer in tandem with a full-time government job, writing astrological articles, and a host of other related activities that often kept me up till the wee hours of the morning. I was a One Woman Ed Sullivan Show, riding a unicycle while balancing a ball on my nose and spinning plates in each hand on the end of long rods. My work pace was insane!

Once I married again, I wanted time for my relationship. Something had to give, and I certainly couldn’t quit my long government career with all its benefits that close to the finish line. Now I have 40 hours a week not tied up in working a “regular” job. Now I can decide for myself how to spend them.

My return to astrology last year by way of The Radical Virgo blog was a complete surprise. More surprising still was how quickly the blog took off and has lured me back into the rarified view from the stars. When I wrote my article, Your Cosmic Tractor Beam, I had no idea that the cosmic joke would be on me! I feel like I’m at a family reunion with the other unicorns at the leading edge. I’ve noticed how seven years’ more maturity and self-confidence is making the experience twice as good as I ever remembered it!

Suggested Homework

Sit in a quiet place. Ask yourself to whom or what in the past does your mind keep returning? A person, place or thing? Someone or something you miss in your life?

Next, is there any harm in reconnection? Caution: Tread carefully in past love relationships where the other person is currently married or committed. On the other hand, if it’s primarily his or her friendship you miss, ask yourself:

• Are you sure you won’t be devastated if they’re unavailable?

• If they are partnered, can your keep it on a different level in the present?

Don’t pass up a reunion with a member of your true family of friends. Remember, you’re older and wiser now.

Reconnection is a piece of cake nowadays with the Internet. People leave trails everywhere, and if you can’t find them directly, you’ll find someone who knows how to find them. The days of needing to hire a private eye are over. Start with Googling them or a Facebook search.

Look at your photo albums. Review your résumé. Have fun with it, and if you’re “good” with everyone and everything on your list, just notice the wonderful growth you’ve made since this era of your personal history. Consider how these people and occupations have helped make you who you are today.

Whatever the outcome, Revisiting Day is a fabulous way to spend part of a Memorial Day weekend—or any weekend. Remembering those who have given their lives in the military is foremost. They paid the ultimate price for our freedom. It also makes sense to remember those people and pursuits that have served us by enriching our lives. They may deserve a boisterous homecoming. If it feels right, take this holiday to a new dimension.


Photo Credit: Two Halves Meet Each Other © Zitramon


Teri said...

Yeah, my birthmother's has been popping into my mind lately too. I get annual Christmas cards where she fills me in on small tidbits, like her husband's died or she's having quadruple bypass heart surgery in the spring. I called after the card about her husband but for the latter, I haven't had time. And for the life of me, I wish she'd learn to pick up the phone because I don't have the time or inclination to deal with her guilt and low self-esteem.

Our reunion didn't go very well but I did extend a revisit with that last phone call. And instead of calling me when she had news she wanted to share, she sends another "merry" Christmas greeting.

When is she going to get it - even though I am now a grown woman, I don't need a relationship with her where I am the adult and she is the child.

Joyce Mason said...

Dear Teri,

The adoptee/birth mom relationship is tricky and a psychological minefield. Unfortunately, not all reunions go well, but they sure raise issues for healing. Your birth mom may feel a card is less intrusive, senses you’re not too sure about a relationship with her, and is trying in her own way. She’s probably not sure how welcome she is in your life—and it sounds like you might not be too sure yourself. There’s often an element of role reversal in later life, among parents and children. I can see where you’d resent that reversal when your birth mom hasn’t reciprocated by ever having done the job of parent.

For some great resources for adopted adults, check out my post Queen of Synchronicity, especially starting with the section “Synco-pation.” I highly recommend the books by Nancy Verrier to help you better understand your feelings and our unique psychological “wiring” as adoptees. Bottom line, given her health, you may not have a lot of time to come to terms with your birth mom while she’s still among us. Ask yourself if you’ll be OK leaving things “as-is” should she pass. If yes, no problem, but if the honest answer is that there’s more you hope for from her—or more you want to tell her or hash out—be bold and get on it. According to Nancy V., adult adoptees need to hear an apology from their birth mom that she’s sorry she gave them up.

You’re welcome to e-mail me if you ever want to talk further to someone who’s been there: I wish you love and healing!

Esther said...


Your blog is inspirational.

I love the way personal anecdote filters into sage advice. Thank you for sharing.

I wanted to share something with you, something that will hopefully be as inspiring as it looks -

Joyce Mason said...

Esther, thank you so much for your kind words! I live to inspire, and when I hit the mark, I do the happy dance! :) I checked out the link, and I am intrigued and will explore it more in depth. Welcome, and I hope you visit here often.