Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Slow Start



A few weeks in, and I am feeling a bit more settled in this new reality.

One of the benefits of this big change to my world is that most days, my commute time is significantly less.  I had no idea how consuming the drive was until my first week not having it.  The fatigue finally caught up with me.

The other benefit is that most mornings, my work day starts a little later.  I don't want to make it seem like mornings are seamless or without drama or yelling up the stairs a dozen times to check in and give reminders about brushing teeth. 

I still get up early.  Usually 5 am.  I have a bit of margin in my schedule to get in some fitness and a shower before the house starts waking up.

I am able to make time for those to-dos that seemed to nag at the back of my mind because I was rushing out of the house in the mornings.  Balancing the bank account, dishes, laundry, etc.  To-dos that were always waiting for me at the end of the work day, after a long commute.

Lucy and I have time to have breakfast at the table together before she rushes off to her very early middle school bus. 

And in between her going to school and little Katy waking up, I have time to sit by myself and enjoy my second cup of coffee.  In silence.   Ok, sometimes not silence.  Sometimes the dogs are wrestling by my feet.

By the time Katy gets up, I feel settled and ready for the day.

I remembered that the reason I made such drastic changes wasn't just about the work that I do.  It was about living the life that I wanted. 

Peaceful mornings (for the most part) and being present for my family have been huge desires.

Of course, this isn't every morning.  The occasional morning requires a bit of a rush. 

I'm grateful for most mornings with a slow start.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Homecoming



I have spent this past year circling over ideas of who I want to be.


Trying out new ideas, letting go of ones that no longer fit.


Grieving what life used to look like.  I didn't realize how hung up I was on this person that I used to be.  And I'm not even referring to how dramatically life changes after a major loss.


I'm talking about the day to day changes that you only notice after a few years have gone by.  Realizing that I am no longer connected with those things that kept me grounded.


Recently, someone pointed out how much change I had been through in the past three years.  Moving, job change, life change, deep loss.  I got the impression that they were implying that it was good that I was slowing down, finding some stability.  I could have been reading too much into what they said.


Still, it stayed with me.  I've thought a lot about it in the past week.


Yes, I have been through a lot of changes in the past three years.  Haven't we all?  I don't know people whose life remains the same.  


And I don't want to be a person who remains the same.  I want to keep learning and growing.


So here I am, finding peace with my new self.  Struggling with that, at times.


A major career change (and adventure into being brave) has changed up my day to day life.


And I get to recreate what my life looks like.


I feel a pull to return back.  


This return back isn't to the old person.  We can't ever go back.


This pull is to return to the person I want to be.  To return to what keeps me joyful, healthy, and centered.


I will be trying out new ideas.


And I will experience failure.  And I will experience success.


And I will lean in.




Side note: I made some changes with the blog and it looks like my old pictures aren't pulling up.  Oops.  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Changed

When you are going through something, it can be challenging to talk and write about, especially when you can’t put words to it.

I’ve been trying to think of why the blog has been silent for so long. 

What has been going on?  I’ve changed.  Of course I have.  I went through a major loss.  I had to adapt to this new world.

There was a lot of uncertainty.

There was a lot of fear.  I could feel myself changing, but I couldn’t describe how.  And I worried that I wouldn’t like who I was at the end of this.

And there were no words to describe it.

And looking at today, I don’t know that the words are there yet.

It’s ok to change.  It’s a good thing.  We can’t go through life without changing who we are, what are interests are, what our goals are.  This change was forced.  And scary.

There has been some sadness letting go of the person I used to be.  I look back on that person from two years ago with jealousy, at times.  That person was so hopeful about the future.  And not that despair has taken its place (well, for a while it did), I learned such hard lessons about life that sometimes I am afraid to hope like that.

So many times, I would think about sitting down to write a post and simply get overwhelmed with nothing to write.

Lately, I’m leaning into the change.  I’m giving myself permission to be this new person, instead of feeling guilty or sad that I’m not the old person.

I’m giving myself permission to explore new interests, new goals.

I’m giving myself permission to change, instead of resisting every moment of it, which is very exhausting.

One of my goals for 2016 is to practice gratitude.  Now that Lent is here, I’m trying to make that a daily practice. 

I’m finding that it’s ok to give gratitude to the person I used to be and the experiences I had, instead of feeling jealous and sad.

And I’m giving gratitude for those constants in my life-family, friendships, this quiet place that I call home.

And I’m giving gratitude to this new person that I am. 



I feel something stirring.  It’s nameless.  It’s part of this change.  I could fear it.  I could resist every moment of it.  Instead, I’m going to try leaning in a bit and see where I’m headed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kindred Spirits


Almost two years ago, I bought Anne of Green Gables for Lucy.  I never read the book and heard great things about it.  I thought she would enjoy it.  I think she read one chapter. 

A couple of weeks ago, I ran out of my library reading material, so I decided I would read it.

And it left me with one question….

Why haven’t I read this book before???

I love it.

I absolutely love it.  

I’m not done with it though, because I restocked at the library and worked through some new books.  Sometimes I like to take a break in the middle of a story.

This book is really beautiful and has some lovely reflections about life.

There have been moments where I have gotten teary, and this quote absolutely made me cry. 

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.

And then I rubbed my eyes, after I had been touching red pepper earlier, and I was really crying.

As an introvert, it can be hard connecting with people.  I like to be alone or with my people.  The people who know me best.

This past year has stretched me, being in a new space with a grieving heart.

What I have found is that there are some really lovely people around me.  Brand new people.  People from before that I have gotten to know.  And my old faves. 

These kindred spirits make me laugh.

They listen.

We are silly together. 

We can be still together.

They keep me connected to who I am and who I want to be.

So that quote, I was so touched by it.  I was so grateful that my reality includes kindred spirts…that I cried.

I hope you live in a world with kindred spirits too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Year of Firsts



Here we are folks, over a year out from losing my mom.  What a long journey.

Billy’s mom referred to this as the year of firsts.  Seems appropriate.

It was indeed a year of firsts without Mom.

I read through some old posts tonight, starting from last August through the 31 days in October.  You know, I went through the 31 days last October without a theme.  Looking at it now, the theme probably could have been 31 Days of Surviving Grief.  I read those entries and felt gratitude and relief.  That wasn’t my life anymore.  My life isn’t defined by crushing grief.  While there are still hard days, and I still feel stuck at times, it does not compare to the intensity of last year.

Last week, I thought about what I’ve learned this past year.  So I made a list.  And then I had to edit the list to make some of the language a bit more blog friendly.

· You can’t grow out of needing your parents.

· Some people are real jerks to those who are grieving.  But those people are probably jerks at other times as well.

· The grief never goes away.

· The grief can appear in the most random moments.

·It can be really hard to be a helper when you are dealing with your own crisis.

· When the grief feels consuming, it is time to ask for help.  Even the helpers need helpers.

· Holidays can suck.  Mother’s Day was the absolute worst.

· Support can come in the most unexpected places.  And from the expected ones, of course.

· Routine is healing.

And what I’ve learned from reading through those old posts…hope remains.


There are so many of you who have helped me through this past year.  Some of you have shared some of my darker grief moments.  I want all of you to know how much your thoughts, prayers, actions and words  of encouragement have meant to me.  There is no way I would have made it through this past year without all of your support.  Thank you.