This weeks blog is an ‘amongst other things’ one, as opposed to an Autonomous Education one. Once a year I go to a Women’s Conference in Manchester over the May bank holiday weekend. Eleven years ago I co-founded the group that runs the conference and nowadays a hundred or so people from around the world come for a weekend of workshops and parties and have a wonderful time. Jessy went to Sheffield on Thursday and will be coming back sometime today. He loves going to stay with my ex and her fiancee, so I can enjoy myself knowing that he’s happy with his little holiday too.
This year was a little different for me. I’ve been doing a Shamanic Women’s Course which consists of several sessions over the space of a few months. One of these days fell on the Saturday that I’d usually be at my conference, and I decided that this year I needed and wanted to be at the Shamanic Course that day. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to explore new things, move forwards in a positive way in my life, and get more in touch with my own spirituality. Sharing this journey with a group of women feels powerful and delightful. Conference, on the other hand has an energetic, intellectually sexual energy; it’s lively and upbeat and deliciously carnal. Combining the two gave me a feeling of balance which suits me at the moment.
I’m not sure if it’s my age, or the stage of life I’m at, but I’m in a process of change and reflection at the moment. I felt different this year. I used this weekend as an opportunity to catch up with friends from around the world who I often only see during this weekend. I got to know some new people, in particular one young woman who despite making me feel very old, reassured me that the ‘youth of today’ can still be politically minded, intelligent, self aware people. I spent quite a lot of time with my ex partner who is now my good friend, despite the fact that we live only minutes away from one another and see each other every week at home ed activities! It was good to re-connect on a level that didn’t involve constant juggling of our children’s needs and wants! It was good to hear from others that things change and that sometimes we can all feel a little lost, even in the communities we have been part of for many years.
My energy was calmer. I watched as others around me grasped every opportunity for connection and pleasure in a myriad of ways that would leave most people’s heads spinning. I watched the connection between long term partners and the buzz of new connections made. I listened to sighs and screams and everything in betweens. I grinned, smirked, giggled and cringed. I felt a little outside of it all this year where as previously I’d have been diving in with the rest. The fun of flirtation left me with a happy glow and I had enough cuddles to keep my heart warm for a while. I barely saw my house guests, but I couldn’t have asked for better ones and it was lovely to end the weekend over mugs of tea, and crumpets before they headed home.
I think this break came at the right time. Jessy will be home later today and then I’m sure my head will be back to buzzing over what to do for the best where my wonderful little boy is concerned. My head is like a pendulum at the moment and the constant swinging back and forth is driving me a little crazy, to the point where I’m not sleeping very well and now have a nasty cold. A little time out for myself was just perfect to re-charge and gather my energy to move forward. Somebody lovely wrote some heartwarming and confidence boosting things about me on little post-it notes and and gave them to me to keep. Little treasures like that really help during a difficult time and I’ve already smiled reading them today. Yet again I feel blessed and grateful for the multitude of amazing people I have in my life. Even the ones I rarely see are important which I remember every year over conference weekend.