Yeah, so… my efforts last week to plug back in took the last of the stuffing out of me. I’m now faced with the reality I have to let go of even the last few threads of things I was holding on to. Including this 100 day project.
I was pretty wrecked up about this until a friend said to me: Hey, I work in fundraising, we round up all the time. 92 days? Round up! Your done. I liked the sound of that; better than wrecking myself pushing something I just don’t have in me, or plunking away intermittently and having this project hang over me for another 30 days when I’m supposed to be resting.
I had a mentor once help me figure out what my unique capabilities were – then cautioned me: my greatest strengths are also my greatest weaknesses. And I can see that now, how my sense of commitment, my desire to hold on to something for the mere principle of the thing, was in fact was doing me harm and setting my recovery back at every push. More and more I’m learning to let go of structures and expectations and plans and just allow things to be, to roll with what is. It’s hard, but when I can do it, it does make my life easier.
I maybe didn’t succeed at getting unstuck in this 100(ish) days (or even succeed at finishing 100 days), but I learned a lot about my limits and making peace with those. For what I was trying to accomplish, it’s been a rather spectacular failure, but as I walk these balmy nights when the city has gotten quiet (and the meds have kicked in and the pain is gone), I keep thinking about something somebody said months ago: one of the hallmarks of intelligence is the ability to be curious about failure.
I’ve had a big failure, so lots to be curious about. Lots of thinking about who I am, where I’m at, what I want, what it means to be me in this world. My world right now is very small, filled mostly with solitude and concerns of daily existence (tasks almost beyond my capabilities right now, and that alone is pretty humbling). But in this small world, small blessings are magnified.
I live very much in the moment these days, and am overcome with gratitude for the tiniest things: the first taste of fresh coffee when it hits my tongue; scrambled eggs with spinach and salsa (with all the nausea, the first food I’ve really enjoyed all week); the flash of light off the toenails I painted while sitting in the sun (the first thing I’ve done for myself that wasn’t a necessity for longer than I want to think about); the friend who gets off a plane and comes straight to my house to do my dishes and sweep my floor, then sit with me and makes me laugh while I lie on the couch (okay, that’s a HUGE blessing!).
And grateful for the writing. Even when it has taken me days to muster the energy to post and close this project, when I do sit down to write, it flows, and it’s beautiful. Okay, I don’t know if the writing is beautiful, but the process is, and I’m awestruck by it. There’s something magical about the creative process, and I’m so grateful to be able to explore it, to be more and more comfortable letting it unfold.
For those of you who are new to my life, maybe just getting to know me through this 100 day project, if you’re worrying about me… don’t. Sure, I’m in pretty rough shape right now, it’s definitely circle the wagons time. But I’m not a caravan of one, I’ve got people looking out for me. I’m going to be all right, and I’m discovering so much from all I’ve lost, all I’ve failed at. This project isn’t what it set out to be, but it has been life changing (even if I’m still figuring out what that means).
Funny how it takes losing everything, to see how much I have.
Oh, and here’s Day 1 if you’re just finding this and want to start at the beginning: