The Shedding Instinct

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.

I’m shedding.  Though  I’m sure some people would say I’m molting.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

But in any case, I’m shucking off huge chunks of my old life, whether I like it or not and whether I initiate it or not. It’s just happening.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this. Before my daughters were  born, I went through an intense urge to get  everything  ready  for  the  new  baby.  It’s  called  the “nesting instinct,” and I’d read all about it and  knew it was coming.

But what’s this? It’s not an “un-nesting instinct.” Not exactly,  anyway.  I don’t have an empty nest, and it’ll be quite a while before my nest is empty.

There’s a bit of the need to fix things up and decorate and get everything  just so, but it’s in odd ways.  I can decorate  but I can’t buy new furniture or knick-knacks. The instinct is so  strong that I physically cannot make the purchase.  I can buy flowers and bird boxes and build a new patio, but I can’t buy anything else for my walls. Or dishes. Or even  linens. Nothing,  really, to put into the house.  Not  even  a  new  Goddess  statue,  for  Hestia’s sakes!

I can buy clothes…but nothing that reeks of the office. Flow-y stuff. Soft skirts and silky blouses and satin shoes with  beads  and  sequins  on  them.  A  feminine  touch. Dresses. The kind of dresses I think of as perfect for dinners  out  or  fancier  social  gatherings  in  my  home.  Or someday,  just  for  one  man…at  home…candlelight   and wine…me in a flowing dress with no hosiery and likely no shoes or panties and very little jewelry but a definite sparkle in my eyes. That kind of stuff I can buy. Oh, yes.

But not suits. No. No suits. Or conservative attire for office dinner parties. Or designer clothes for the sake of designer clothes. Or anything expected of me. No, I can buy only things I love, things that fit my new style.

There are  certain  upscale  restaurants  that  have  lost their flavor. I mean, very upscale restaurants,  but they re- mind me of my old life and I just have no interest in dining there or being seen there. None.

Maybe this is normal. While I was going through my divorce, there was a strong survival instinct to keep some- thing intact for the kids. So they wouldn’t have so much changing around them. That’s why I struggled to keep the house. I wanted something to be “normal” for them.

And then the next step was creating  a place of my own, with my own decorations and my own identity, and with whatever color I wanted for whatever walls. A home that reflected me and reflected my tastes and reflected my new life with my girls.

So why this? Why now?

Things are just now evening  out and getting  into a routine, and things are good. And yet….

It’s like huge chunks of my old life, chunks I didn’t even realize were so much a part of everything I took for granted around me, are falling away. I should probably be more upset by this, but I’m just so stunned that all I can do is blink and wonder what’s going on.

My guides  keep  telling  me,  “Prepare,  prepare,  pre-

pare!” I got inklings of this last summer. Then stronger ones  in  the  fall.  Over  the  past  couple  of  months,  it’s ratcheted way up, and I’m a  little worried about where this instinct will carry me next, especially since  my very intuitive kids are feeling the winds of change, too.

The scary  moment  today  was  when  I  passed  up  a chance to go with Aislinn to Tuesday Morning, Inc., over in Sandestin, one of my favorite places for buying upscale stuff for the house  at a huge  discount.  I had—gulp— absolutely no interest. I tried to talk myself into it but just couldn’t. She and I actually  walked through  two home decor stores  I  adore  and  a  trendy  clothes  shop  but  I couldn’t muster the slightest interest. Okay, I did pick up a kitchen trivet with a symbol for harmony on it but I put it back down. I have trivets with Celtic knots already and others with Dutch  hex symbols  for Pennsylvania  Pow- wow magick in the kitchen.

So standing in the middle of one of these stores full of so many  things  from my old life, plus so many of the kinds of things I’ve put into building my life since, I realized how disconnected I felt from things I’ve always been attached to, things I’ve hung onto but don’t fit wherever it is my new life is going. Like a too-expensive sweater that just seemed to say country-club all over it.

I thought about how my divorce counselor, a gifted psychic in his own right,   had  told  me  that  in  just a few years, I would have a new man and a whole new life and everything was going to be so very good and so full of joy and prosperity  for us both and I’d looked at him doubtfully  because  I  couldn’t  even  fathom  ever  being with any man again.

I put the sweater back on its rack, and the thought occurred to me…how many suits are hanging in my closet? I never wear them anymore. They’re just not me anymore. I’ve worn two or three suits in the past  year, and then only when I’ve had to brief Generals  and their equivalents…and even the last briefing I did, I wore a velvet skirt with a Goth-ish  blouse,  sequined flats,  and a Goddess necklace,  and  nobody  questioned  my  expertise  on  the subject. No one said, You’re not wearing a suit so there- fore you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

The suits I’ve worn for my entire career don’t fit me

anymore, regardless  of the  size.  The  dresses  I used  to wear to the Ocean Club Restaurant just aren’t me either. I think of those clothes and they’re more like a hologram of who I am…or even who I was then. They were the expectation and not the real thing. And now that I’m dressing  more like the real thing and immersing  in my own style, I’m shedding the trappings of the old life.

Previously,  I  would  have  decided  to  clean  out  my closet and  donate suits that no longer suit to the local Goodwill  store.  For  10  years  or  more,  they’ve  always been thrilled to get my old career  clothes.  But the last time I dropped  by to donate  a car-full  of things  I  no longer needed or had room for, the woman at Goodwill spied the pentagrams on the back of my car and told me they didn’t need any of  my stuff, thank you very much, and she’d haul it to the dumpster if I left any of it. So I donated it to the Methodist Church down the street and they were very happy to get it, regardless of its heathen origins.

But this time, my inner guidance says not to donate

my old items to charity, but rather, to sell them. There’s a special purpose  in the future, and I’ll need a little extra money to finance it.

Maybe it’s the healing center I want to start. Maybe it’s for hypnotherapy school. I don’t know.

I know only that I’m shedding the last remnants of my old life and  getting ready for something  completely new…and wonderful. That last  part  is probably the only reason I’m not in hysterics.