Since my last post was about Maundy Thursday two years ago, it seems fitting that today's post would reference it as well.
Last Maundy Thursday (known to some as Holy Thursday), my parish priest talked about "pivotal moments" in his sermon. Pivotal moments are those times in your life when things are irrevocably changed. They are the events that make you define life as "before x" and "after x". After listening to him share some of his pivotal moments, I stopped to think of my own.
I have many pivotal moments. Some, I didn't even recognize except in hindsight. Some examples in my own life include
- Recovery from a severe depressive episode
- Quitting my job to help care for a family member
- Deciding to pursue writing as a career
Let's look at my divorce. I could have decided to stay in the relationship. I had my reasons for leaving, but had I decided to stay, I would have been married to my ex-husband for 26 years. However, having gone through with the divorce, I have since remarried and now have not only a wonderful husband, but a terrific step-daughter and the best grandson ever. Yes, that is a very biased statement.
"Nana" is now on my short list of monikers. It's one that I am so pleased to have.
A few years after my divorce, I had another pivotal moment. A relationship had ended, and with it, came the feeling that life was more than a little overrated. Coming out of that depressive episode marked the death of how I perceived myself then, and the birth of a new perception. The irony that this was precipitated by a failed suicide attempt is not lost on me.
Recently, I celebrated 10 years of recovery from depression. That's 10 years of being in the process of recovery, as opposed to 10 years post-recovery. It was a great feeling to meet up with friends who were there to see me at my worst and share my sense of accomplishment with them. We started out by offering prayers of thanksgiving and petitions for those who are suffering from emotional distress. Then we went to a cool burger joint and shared good food, good conversation and good beer. For anyone with a similar milestone, I highly recommend some kind of commemoration.
I was once told by another priest that a death must happen in order for new life to begin. I see these pivotal moments as a kind of simultaneous death and birth. I cannot hang onto my old life so tightly that the new life inside of me cannot be born. So while the passing of some aspects of life invite me to mourn, I have to look ahead in hope for the new life to come.