My friend cs has tagged me with this little meme. It seems simple enough...write about seven words that begin with the letter P. All I have to do is choose seven words and start writing.
Yeah, I know. Seven words that begin with P. I was tempted. What a list of P words that came to mind! P words in the bathroom. P words in the bedroom. Body parts and body functions. All starting with P.
But that would be too easy. Besides, if you read the words chosen by cs, you'll see that she set the bar a little bit higher than the words that first raced around in my brain.
So I've chosen different words to explore - all beginning with the letter P.
Parent. I've got three kids between 13 and 20 years of age. And one of our kids has multiple special needs. So for the past twenty years, one of the most significant aspects of my life has been parenting. And I feel good about my parenting. I'm not great at it but I take it very seriously. I'm not always conventional or predictable. But I have a great time with my kids. And no matter how old they get, I'll always have the pleasure of being their parent.
Partner. There are so many ways to describe my relationship with my wife. Spouses. Lovers. Best friends. Soul mates. Some terms seem more romantic, some seem more practical. And they all imply different aspects of our relationship. And 'partner' is certainly one aspect that is very important. We share in having fun and also in making tough decisions. We share in the challenges of raising a family and making a home. We support each other when money is tight and we celebrate together when things are going well. We are partners - side by side, sharing in all aspects of life.
Pagan. Just a couple of weeks ago, I participated in the Joys & Trials meme. In the comments, a couple of folks asked questions about just what spiritual path I followed. I grew up in a conservative Southern Baptist family. Upon reaching adulthood and moving away from home, I stopped attending church and didn't really even think about religion for many years. When I finally returned to a church, I chose Unitarian Universalism, a church that has no specific doctrine, giving me the opportunity to explore based on my own interests and feelings. And that exploration has led me through a much more liberal perspective on Christianity, some Buddhist study, a lot of reading on Quantum Theology, and paganism. I'll admit, I don't practice any pathway as much as I think I should. But I do seem to have settled into a belief system that is sort of a blending of a few of my original beliefs combined with some of the quantum theories and a lot of paganism. I've sometimes referred to myself as a solitary autodidactic eclectic. Just a fancy way of saying I sort of make it up as I go along. But for me, it has to be that way. There are aspects of different spiritual pathways that are meaningful to me and I incorporate those into my beliefs. But I probably pull the most from paganism. I love the connection to nature, the feelings of mystery, the historical connections to old Celtic practices. The more I really pay attention to my body, the more aware I am of just how much I am influenced by the changing of the seasons and by spending time outdoors. And pagan spirituality reinforces that for me on many levels. I used to think I had to pick a path and stick with it. Sort of the "finding the right way" attitude. Now I know that, for me at least, it will always be a learning process, growing as I grow.
Play. I love to play. I enjoy board games and card games. I love to just be silly. I'm sure everyone in my family would tell you that I rarely act my age. But who says old guys have to act serious? My daughter just told me this week that one of her friends told her that she really liked me and wished her dad was more fun. You just can't beat that kind of review!
Pets. Animals have been a huge part of our family. At the moment, we only have five - one dog, two turtles, and two rabbits. But we've had as many as twenty at a time including dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and fish. Some of our animals have been entered into the local fairs. We've even had a couple of Grand Champions! And just in case all those animals weren't enough, we've also been a foster family for raising guide dog puppies a couple of times. All those extra paws and claws and fins certainly make our house a fun place to be.
Present. Nope, not like a birthday present (though you can send me a present any time you want!) I'm talking about being present. In the moment. This is my personal challenge - to really be present in the moment. It is so easy to be sitting in the sun or floating in the lake while my brain reviews things I need to do at work. I can go out to dinner with my family and find myself planning things I need to get done on the weekend. And I'm trying to stop that. To learn to really be present in the moment. To embrace each activity as it happens. There will be plenty of time for work when I get to work. Plenty of time for chores and paying bills. My kids are growing up fast and I want to really live in every minute.
Word seven. But cs established a pattern (oh look, another P word!). She chose to only write about six words. That seems perfect (there's another one). So I'm going parrot her lead and do the same (okay, am I trying too hard now?).
But I do need pass this P meme along to another blogger. And to do that, I'm going to the Pole. The North Pole. Well, nearly that far. I'm passing it along to Kati in Alaska. Have fun, Kati! I'm eager to see what you do with the P's!