Mind Matters: Memories, dreams, reflections

Excuse me using the title of Carl Jung’s autobiography as my header here. Nevertheless, it is apropos, I think. You see, in a month we will be selling our house and moving north to, if no the call of the wild, to the call of the wonder — of a grandchild.

For 30 years, I have lived and worked in Chadds Ford. Like Carl Jung, my office has been in my home. Unlike Carl Jung, who had a lot of help, I juggled hours between family and profession. Family dinners were a mainstay, but after we ate, I would often return to my office while the children did their homework.

Thinking about how important dinner was, reminds me of how figural our dining room table was to all the events in our lives. Large and sturdy, that table witnessed many stories, and even more celebrations: Christmas parties, Easter feasts, Thanksgiving dinners, baptisms, birthdays, communions, confirmations, showers, and a wedding too.

In our downsizing, this silent solid sentry in our lives needed a new home. Fortunately, the table now resides in my son’s dining room.

Other furniture is gone too, and I am sorting through the layers of the years, taking down the photographs from the walls, unearthing albums of memories from nooks and crannies. The archaeological dig of decades includes diving through my parents’ letters, journals, cards, and clippings — all the boxes that I stuffed away when they died 20 years ago. Never found stacks of money, but I have found emotional treasures — love letters, for example, and photos never seen. Even found some copies of the newspaper my father published in the 1930s. They were well written, with a great layout. “Good job, Dad!” I mused.

Baby clothes, old toys, swim team medals, and those ubiquitous athletic trophies added to the collision of memories.

So I reflect on the memories, considering the choices that were made and the ripple effects they created. If I lived another 30 years, I’d be 100. At 40, we don’t think about what 30 years ahead will portend. Work and parenting fill our days. At 70, the path narrows. However, there are always dreams. My dream for the future is to enjoy family and friends, to work a little less and play a lot more.

* Kayta Curzie Gajdos holds a doctorate in counseling psychology and is in private practice in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She welcomes comments at MindMatters@DrGajdos.com or 610-388-2888. Past columns are posted to www.drgajdos.com. See book.quietwisdom-loudtimes.com for information about her book, “Quiet Wisdom in Loud Times: The Rise of the Wounded Feminine.”

** The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to: editor@chaddsfordlive.com

 

About Kayta Gajdos

Dr. Kathleen Curzie Gajdos ("Kayta") is a licensed psychologist (Pennsylvania and Delaware) who has worked with individuals, couples, and families with a spectrum of problems. She has experience and training in the fields of alcohol and drug addictions, hypnosis, family therapy, Jungian theory, Gestalt therapy, EMDR, and bereavement. Dr. Gajdos developed a private practice in the Pittsburgh area, and was affiliated with the Family Therapy Institute of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, having written numerous articles for the Family Therapy Newsletter there. She has published in the American Psychological Association Bulletin, the Family Psychologist, and in the Swedenborgian publications, Chrysalis and The Messenger. Dr. Gajdos has taught at the college level, most recently for West Chester University and Wilmington College, and has served as field faculty for Vermont College of Norwich University the Union Institute's Center for Distance Learning, Cincinnati, Ohio. She has also served as consulting psychologist to the Irene Stacy Community MH/MR Center in Western Pennsylvania where she supervised psychologists in training. Currently active in disaster relief, Dr. Gajdos serves with the American Red Cross and participated in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts as a member of teams from the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Now living in Chadds Ford, in the Brandywine Valley of eastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Gajdos combines her private practice working with individuals, couples and families, with leading workshops on such topics as grief and healing, the impact of multigenerational grief and trauma shame, the shadow and self, Women Who Run with the Wolves, motherless daughters, and mediation and relaxation. Each year at Temenos Retreat Center in West Chester, PA she leads a griefs of birthing ritual for those who have suffered losses of procreation (abortions, miscarriages, infertility, etc.); she also holds yearly A Day of Re-Collection at Temenos.Dr. Gajdos holds Master's degrees in both philosophy and clinical psychology and received her Ph.D. in counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. Among her professional affiliations, she includes having been a founding member and board member of the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Pittsburgh, as well as being listed in Who's Who of American Women. Currently, she is a member of the American Psychological Association, The Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the Delaware Psychological Association, the American Family Therapy Academy, The Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the Delaware County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board. Woven into her professional career are Dr. Gajdos' pursuits of dancing, singing, and writing poetry.

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