Sometimes it’s easier to be really sick. Really sick means you don’t do anything outside of your immediate needs (Is there food in the house? Am I developing that old man smell?). Great training for being in the moment out of utter necessity. All the rest of that stuff is beyond bothering with.
Having got a bit of spark back, I tried stepping back into my life at half speed this week. It’s hard not to get sucked into more. Some of that was yesterday’s 90 minute errand turning to 6 hour flat-tire, hailstorm adventure. A day going badly but full of small blessings like the help of strangers to loosen lug nuts (put on by pneumatic drill so tight – never to be loosened by mere mortals!) and the kindness of Canadian Tire providing shelter in a deluge ( the excelerator hand dryers in the washrooms there will pull the wet out of your shirt in minutes!). A minor errand turned into my whole day’s energy, I was was wrecked for anything else the rest of the night. It’s hard to rest and take it easy when life gets a hold of you.
So I retreat again. To rest, to hopefully get the space back I need to be able to write. These last 10 days of posting seem to be going down like the last 3 minutes of a football game – taking forever, as the momentum of the life I had keeps pulling me away and I miss a day of posting (no longer willing to fry my brain to make that post happen – me be NOT stupid now, and much gentler with myself).
Dramatic changes are easy, shifting course in a groove… not so much. My struggles are health related, but I’m sure I’m not the first person to take a time out on life (like a week in Cuba) resolved to come back and do it differently, only to find your life has it’s own momentum and you get sucked right back in again. I see it happen in relationships too. You get that pattern of trigger and response, deeply worn habit, pushing each others buttons until you’ve both worn out the good will of the other. Sometimes it’s easier to be a new person around somebody new, than to try and shift a habit of interaction so deeply ingrained. Two people who change and grow, but just can’t do it with each other.
I’m still figuring out how to shake off the life that wasn’t working for me without abandoning my life entirely – there’s a lot in it I really treasure, that’s good for me, is where I want to go. I just need to do it smaller some how. So right now I’m coping with that by just not reading my email (for an unemployed person, a lot of what comes through email seems like “work” and it’s more than I can handle). I figure if it’s really on fire, someone will phone me, and if they don’t have my phone number, there’s probably someone closer to them that should be helping with that fire anyway.
I’m learning (or practicing in new circumstances) how to say no. Saying no to stuff that’s fun and interesting, but when I check in and ask: is this important for me to invest my energy in? the answer is no. And for the things I’m involved in that matter to me, I still in any given moment have to check in with my energy, and if it’s lagging (which it often is) ask myself: is it really necessary for me to be there for this? It’s a bit of an exercise in getting over myself – some stuff I really need to step up and make happen, but in all honesty, a lot of it, if I let it go the world would not implode. It’s a little humbling to realize things will go on without you just fine. Maybe not the way you might want them to, maybe not the way they would if you were in it, but they will go on all the same. Let it go…
Being really sick is simple, but it’s not really fun. I’m working to not put myself in that situation any more. But it takes a lot of time to recover, and a lot of gentle determination to plug back in to my life, on my terms, in a ways that are healthy for me and to let all the rest of it go.
Wish me luck!