Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blank Space

I read this really lovely blog post the other day.  The following words captured my heart:
I need lots of margin in my life. Not just for margin’s sake, but because unless I have margin, I create junk, I have no energy for being intentional with other people, and everything I do seems to take twice as long.

I could have written this.  I need copious amounts of down time.  And my routine.  Like a small child.
I am awed by people who are busy all the time, life full of activity.  You folks are my heroes.

And I used to get down on myself for not being that person.
Until a couple years ago when I realized that it’s ok that I am not that person.

I have a complicated work life.  I love the work I do, but at times (many times), it is emotionally draining.  I need to recharge.  I need to rest.
It’s ok that I like to hang out close to home and enjoy my people. 

And that would be ok even if I didn’t do the work that I do.
One of the best things that has happened in the past couple of years is that I have given myself the grace to be myself.

And I’m not perfect.
Because perfection does not exist.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many moments when I am hard on myself.  I feel like I don’t measure up to some standard that I think I should be living up to.
I’m a work in progress.  That’s another post I suppose….

Reading that post reminded me that it’s ok that I am this person. 
Down time is something I need so I can be kind to people.  It helps me be more caring, understanding and forgiving.  And it helps me be kind to myself as well.

Recently, I have let go of some of my down time.  I was filling up those cracks with necessary tasks at work and at home.  And it started catching up to me.
One lovely part of giving yourself grace is recognizing that as a human, you have limits.  And I’ve reached mine.

So I’m trying to let go of burdens (real and imaginary) that weren’t even mine to begin with.
And hoping to fill that void with absolutely nothing.

The beauty of margin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The View

There are moments when I have to remind myself that just because the calendar changed, it doesn’t mean that life automatically takes a turn.
We had to say goodbye to our dog a couple of weeks ago.  For the first time since Billy and I have been together, we have no pets.

It seemed like one more thing.
But wait, this is a new year, only full of positive happenings.

Hmm….maybe that’s not how this works.
Maybe the new year doesn’t wipe the slate clean.

The new year certainly provides new opportunities for hope.  It doesn’t mean that life will be unicorns and sunshine, though.
I’m trying to keep some perspective and not lose hope.  We are still in January.

I remind myself that last year ago at this time, Billy and I were starting to rev up for our move.  So excited about the possibilities.
And now a year later, we are enjoying life in our little corner of the world.

It’s about how we see the world around us.
In the midst of this current sadness, I could think about the upcoming year in terms of oh, not again.  Instead, I am not going to allow this to define my year.  I did a lot of that last year, describing it with negativity.  Dismissing the joyful moments that occurred.

Instead, I am going to remember the joy filled dog who gave good hugs. 
Rest in peace, JJ.  I hope Elwood Wilson is once again licking off your eye goobers.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Silent Companion

I finished watching the first season of Broadchurch.
Wow.  Just wow.

Wonderful show.
The writing for this show is lovely and real.

The way the writers captured the experience of grief was beautiful. 
Grief was described as a shadow that you get used to.

There are some days when I find myself in disbelief that my mom is gone.  It’s always with me.
There was a scene in one episode where a family member starting crying tears of grief during a happy moment.  Another character explained it as saying that things get a little muddled.

They certainly do get muddled.  Feelings of joy one moment and intense sadness the next.  I have moments where I am overcome.  On Katy’s birthday, we all ended up in separate cars driving to the restaurant.  It was just me and Katy in one car.  Everything was great, and then I turned the corner and this giant full moon was rising over the pasture.  My mom loved the moon.  And I felt like she was saying happy birthday to Katy.  And I was happy and devastated at the same time.  How is that even possible?
I know from my work as a professional that there is no such thing as closure.  There is no getting over it.  I’m sorry if any of you had this fantasy, and I ruined that. 

And it’s not that I’m trying to get over anything.
There are certainly moments that I am trying to get through.  Trying to survive.  And that’s enough.

I will continue this journey with my silent companion.  A journey that is complex and murky. 
A journey that will never end.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Good Year

I’ve been thinking about my goals for this year.

Do you make goals or have resolutions?

I’m trying to keep it simple this year.

Thinking about the word discover and how I can create goals that match that.

Fitness.  Finding what works for me-yoga, riding the stationary bike on cold days, the real bike on warm days, the occasional run.  Keep on eating all that produce.

Creativity.  More writing, more sewing, more community with crafters.

Relationships. Connecting with family and friends, new and old.

I’m looking forward to this year.

You know how my word last year was hope?  Well, it seemed more like struggle.

And hey, life isn’t easy.  No one ever promised me that.

I would still love a year with more happy memories than sad.  A year of making connections instead of saying goodbye.  A year of healing. A year with joy.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Good Change

The sun is out at 5 pm again!

I love that about January.

The sun comes back.  A bit longer every day.

I will take every minute.

That’s the great thing about seasons, the change.  I like the contrast.

And the change of the seasons is predictable.

Probably the only change that I have actually enjoyed in months.

Usually change comes too fast or too slow.

It takes you by surprise and not in a happy way.

So I welcome these changing days.  These days of more sunshine.  The random days of winter where it is so warm you can sit on the deck and have a beer (not applicable in all states).  The return of another season of Downton Abbey.  Planning my garden.  Dreaming about the new year.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Somebody that I Used to Know

See that big hill at the bottom of the picture?  That used to be part of my regular running path, as well as the park that surrounds it.

Today, I don’t think I could make it up there without having to stop a few times.

This park has good memories for me.  It was only a couple of miles from our old house.  It was a big running milestone for me when I could make it to the entrance of the park.  It was a bigger deal when I could make a giant 12.5 mile loop around the park.

The views are beautiful.  One day on a run, I was startled by a herd of elk.  And even when the park was flooded, its recovery brought me hope.  The inspiration picture for my word of the year in 2014 was taken in this park.

Running through this park gave me time to think.  It gave me the opportunity to prove to myself how strong I could be.

My last good run of 2014 was actually in the spring.  It was right after my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  And it was in this park.  I saw those trees again, I felt hope.  It was the last time I ran in the park.  Hopefully, not the last time that I will ever run in the park.

This late spring and summer were filled with crummy runs.  Obligation runs.  I was only running because of a race that I registered for.  I lost my heart for running.

I have felt a lot of guilt about not running.  But I still don’t want to do it.

2014 changed me.  In a lot of ways besides the running.

And I’m not sure that I will go back to that same person I used to be.

And how could I be that same person?

And even though I am not that person, that doesn’t mean that I am less than.  And I need to give myself the grace to believe that.

I’ve thought about my one word for 2015.  What is it that I want to stay focused on this year?  Last year it was hope, the previous year it was awake.

This year, I think a well suited word is discover.

If I am not the person I used to be, then who am I?  This year, I would like to spend some time working on that.  Getting back to the person that I want to be.  And is that even the same person?

We can’t go through life without change, both good and bad.  But I feel like I have been just trying to get through, a new survival mode.  I neglected those people and activities that nurture my spirit. 

This is going to be a year of figuring out what the new normal looks like.  This is going to be a year of returning to what has kept me strong and finding renewed joy.

This is going to be a year to discover this new/old life.