Back before……. I used to sharply criticize my mom for being so emotional and weak. How is she still grieving the death of her brother? Is this some sick needy ploy for attention?
Well, didn’t I learn a lesson there.
If you are a regular reader you are aware that my little brother who died about 4 years ago would have turned 25 on the 26th of February. Up until that point I was feeling pretty great. Better than I had felt in awhile. I had not tormented myself with negative self talk. I let go a lot of my insane “must complete entire to do list” anxiety. I felt like I was back. Back and better than before. Even over the course of the weekend, together with close friends and family, celebrating my brother. Rather than feeling lonely and orphaned I felt buoyed and loved. I felt family. I hadn’t cried or screamed or questioned the universe or relived that painful phone call from my Dad to get home because something had happened to Travis. Marking the beginning of a total shift in our lives. I felt that I had emerged from an active intense phase of grieving and had grown.
Then Tuesday came along. His actual birthday. And it seemed as though I had slid backward. Internal pain, heaviness, sadness. And if you asked me I couldn’t do anything right. Hadn’t done anything right. And was a burden to everyone around me with my feelings. I was in a way. Those grief feelings had a hold on me. I was scared. What did this mean? Would I revert back to the way I had been?
Over the course of the week I gained a little perspective daily. I cried. I raged. I ran. I journaled. I sought comfort from Mr. Reinvention and my tribe. I sat with the discomfort. And then the fog of pain began to lift and retreat.
But, it left me with a gift. A new realization about why I felt frustrated with myself. Though I have cut back on the intensity of the “to do” list rolling in my brain. It is still too full. I am still trying to do too much. More than humanly possible, especially when one wants to slow down and live and savor the moment. I am now aware that I need to further evaluate and edit what and who and why I say yes. Or I will remain bogged down and stagnate in the muck of too much on the calendar. And further sunk by the feelings of self-defeat.
Which leaves me exactly right here. Savoring this experience. Not rushing. Not anxious about “what I should be doing”. Just being where I am. For me this is a tremendous feat.
My goal for today is to revisit my list I made on New Year’s. Not a list of resolutions but of things I would like to create or work toward over 2019. Assess what on that list rings true for me. What is of value to me. Then to pause and practice restraint and think a bit before I say “Yes” to every offer and distraction coming along. How do these activities or tasks fit into my goals, hopes and dreams? If they don’t, perhaps I need to practice letting go. Another challenging method for me. Breathe. Live here, where you are. Repeat.
I am so grateful to glean lessons from these moments of discomfort and hurt. I was not always capable of that gratitude.
This reinvention adventure never stops. I don’t want it to.