Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Back to the Grind, Taking Back My Life

I took this picture in my parent's house. Isn't your desktop filled with statues of Mary, old photos, trinkets, and troll dolls?

It was less than a week after my dad's funeral and I was working remotely from the parental pad. I dialed into the bridge line, started listening to the awesome Chispa group, and as I looked up at this vignette I started laughing so hard. Suzanne, Linda, Carol, or Ruth said I should take a picture of it so here it is!

The house I grew up in is a wonderful montage of religious iconography, folk art, and modern day mementos. That troll doll you see wears a Tshirt saying "Aged to Perfection". Since La Virgencita is no spring chicken, I thought they made a great accidental pairing.

Getting Back to Work

It's been hard getting totally back into work. If I allow my attitude to get the best of me, I could sit here and cry and moan. Last night I went to a Comadrazo at Ana Nogale's house and it was just the medicine I needed.

We sat outside and talked and I got to share about my dad's death. There is no agenda at a Comadrazo, it just is what it is. Sometimes the conversation is about business, other times it's more personal, sometimes it's all about what we're passionate about.

Lo and behold about half the people there had been involved with Comadre Coaching in one way or another. One woman I had coached gave a heartfelt testimonial about how our work together got her out of burnout and more focused. Then Rocio, a director of a women's shelter and community activist, shared how attending one workshop I gave a few months ago sparked her to start a non profit to benefit the children of Chiapas, Mexico.

Rocio gave me a 30 minute testimonial, weaving in how passionate she has always been about the children in Mexico and how this one afternoon in February gave her the intiative to make it happen. She has a fundraiser coming up in August so you'll all be sure to learn about that.

Then a new Comadre, Karen, told us about herself and recognized me from the Orange Coast magazine article a few months ago. "I knew it was you the minute you said you had a daughter named Citlalli. I mean how many women named Nancy with daughters named Citlalli can there be?"

After talking and eating (tamales, picadillo, chicken, salad, dessert), Ana gave me a beautiful flowering plant. We ended the evening by each asking for something. When I was talking earlier I said how I have learned how to ask for help, so Ana suggested we each ask for something.

"What do you need, Nancy", she asked in her gentle voice.

"I just need people to call me and say hi. That would make my day."

Everyone else got the chance to ask for whatever help and support they needed.

We ended the night like that. It's always a special time to get together con las comadres.

(If you'd like to learn how to find a Comadrazo near you, get on the mailing list at www.lascomadres.org)

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