Home Forums Online Spiritual Formation Group February RC Su’s February Update

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    Su PennSu Penn

    I have so much going on in my life, including spiritually, that this has fallen by the wayside. Part of that is that I have realized that, for the moment, Red Cedar MM isn’t where I’m investing my spiritual energy.

    I’ve been in my own apartment, with Yev (15), for almost five months now. In some ways, I feel like I’m still settling in (I still need a trash can and a lamp for my bedroom), and in other ways I feel like I’ve been here forever. Breaking out of my marriage has been very freeing, and as my health continues to improve as well, I am able to do more and more, and things are flowing.

    My therapist and I have talked, by the way, about how much my situation might have contributed to my health problems. It’s hard to know in retrospect, and I’m not sure I could have untangled it while I was still there, but I feel clear that psychological factors because of stress, loss, and so on must have played a role.

    I started a new job in February, as a tutor in the Learning Center at LCC. I love this job, and, although it’s part-time, there’s a good chance it will pay enough to meet my needs going forward. I’m very aware that, right now, my rent is being paid by a program of EVE, the women’s shelter, and that means that, come November 1, I’ll have to come up with another $1100/month over what I’m spending now. That’s scary. But I’m feeling that it could well be possible. When David and I agreed about what expenses and debts we’d each be responsible for, I think I took on too much. I’m going to have a talk with him about that. His finances have improved a lot, and the two of us are cooperating well.

    I’m still divorcing him. I need the financial boundaries. But we’re OK.

    I’m seeing a financial advisor, but I’m also taking a course called The Heart of Money, which is led by an entrepreneur who is also a Sufi. The course focuses on emotional and spiritual relationships to money; on understanding power dynamics in different situations and our role in them; on ethical marketing. The class is aimed at business owners, but it has relevance to my own work as a writer, and on my aspiration to start a writing class that will earn me some money without being priced out of reach for people who might want to take it. The class is really powerful for me.

    I have a weekly writing group that is powerfully the thing I have wanted my whole life, and it has everything to do with the way my writing is flowing, without anxiety.

    I was so sick for so long, that I’m still trying to figure out what to do with times like this evening, when I don’t have anything I need to do but I am still alert and energetic. For so long, I was either asleep; or trying to do as much as I could with my low alertness and energy; or resting, listening to an audiobook and dozing. I can’t quite figure out how to fully relax when I have so much energy left!

    I do hope to get to in-person worship soon. I’ve had Sunday tutoring students all fall and winter. I’m still tutoring some SAT students online, but I’ll be done with all but one of them after the March 4 SAT date.

    Things aren’t all easy. We haven’t figured out a way to help our daughter Athena get settled in an affordable way; David is paying for her housing, and she doesn’t have a permanent place. Yev and I had a 16-year-old living with us for several months; his substance use reached a level that he agreed to go into rehab, but he had absconded from that program within a week. He’s back in the area now, living with his parents, but he still has a tendency to run away and hook up with his partying friends. I’ve become friends with his mother, and she’s heartened by my stories of how far Athena has come, and Plum, our oldest, as well, who has a serious history of trauma, self-harm, and mental health challenges, but who has been in a stable relationship for over 18 months now, and has returned to college to finish their degree.

    But we had a conversation on Friday where we talked about the hope that Yokai will be able to do better as he grows up—-but he has to live long enough to grow. Aidan Grady was very much on my mind. I don’t want Yokai’s family and community to suffer what Aidan’s has, but there’s really no way to protect him from it. It’s shocking how little control we really have over our teenagers.

    Thanks for listening. I’m sorry this online group hasn’t gelled better. I think, paradoxically, asking more of people might have helped us maintain a commitment.


    Good suggestion about the group structure, Su. Thanks.

    I’m so glad to hear that you got the job you wanted and enjoying it! I trust Way will open for you about finances when you need them to. It is always humbling to witness a person learn who they are as they step into a new life. Blessings to you with each new discovery.
    Mary Linda

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