If there was a word for each day, today’s would be Disgruntled… unreasonable a close second. One of those days where I don’t feel like smiling or being jovial. I just want to simmer in my sullen, slovenly mess.
There’s work to be done. Projects to complete, pictures to edit and words to write. And if not them, there’s always floors to vacuum, clothes to launder and the untidy things that need to be, well… tidied. And I want to say piss off to all of it, adding that emoji with the tongue sticking out just to help drive home the point.
I could make myself power through, drawing deep from my willpower, pull myself up by my bootstraps and do them anyways. But today, that’s not what I want to do.
Today, I want my grumble and scowl and waste my day doing things that are completely and utterly useless. I want to make a nest on the couch so deep and wide I need help extracting myself from it. Not fireman rescuing a kitten from a tall branch kind of help, but the I’ve sat so long in my snuggly station that my legs have gone to sleep and I need your hand to stand up again help. That’s all.
I want to write words that no one judges or tries to change. Words that I just feel like saying whether they’re written in an eloquent way or not. But I still want them to be amazing and ingenious. And I want the world to love those words. So very much, I want the words I write to connect and embed into the very soul of every single person reading them in a way they never imagined words could ever do! And I don’t want to edit it.
I want to drink hazelnut coffee from Panera Bread and I don’t want to drive 20 minutes to get it. Or pay for it either. And I want someone who has a basic understanding of communication to take that order. A person who seems to know that a “Hi”, “Good morning” or even simply a “What can I get you?” is not too much to ask for and that staring blankly in my general direction is not the same as uttering… anything.
And I want to eat a salad, even though it’s 9:30 am. Not one made by Panera. I want it made it from the ingredients already sitting in my fridge, just not by me. A salad with some fried chicken, hard boiled eggs and cheese, all snuggled under a blanket of ranch. And bacon. And I want to lose 5 lbs eating it too.
I want my workout to be effective. Toning and tightening all the things that gravity and that bastard known Continue reading
Today is my birthday or what I like to refer to as “The End Of The World As We Know It”!! I’ve been known to meet it in the same manner I have to assume my mother did that day originally… filled with much gnashing of teeth and crocodile tears birthed from wretched pain.
Yep, for me birthdays have always been more about ruminating over the loss of another year, loss of youth and facing mortality in lieu of celebrating accomplishments. The last one I actually looked forward to and counted down the days with glee? In all honesty, I would have to say 16. My 17th, the countdown was filled more with dread in the days ahead of its arrival and the nights spent lamenting the demise of my childhood.
Now, I know most people like to save it all up for one birthday meltdown in their lifetime, also known as a midlife crisis, but what’s the sense in that? I like to muddle through the same tough questions year after year… ‘what am I doing with my life?‘, ‘what am I going to do with my life?‘, and ‘what can I do better this year to make next year different?‘. All valid questions in my opinion. And I have to assume if you ask those same jarring questions every year, it has to help take the drastic measures out of it. Right?? So far, so good.
Dan, along with my family & friends (who I’d like to thank right now for accepting this terrible flaw in me and loving me anyways) typically anticipate this yearly downward spiral and work collaboratively to diffuse the ticking time bomb my birthday has come to represent. Much like negotiating with an irrational toddler, they attempt to implement logic into my thought process and distract me instead with things I enjoy like wine and desserts, dinners out and beer, or jewelry and shoes. The norm.
I applaud them for their effort and appreciate it SO very much because while I’m with them and talking to them, my brain can’t harass me and ask those same damning questions over and over. But when I’m alone again, those thoughts bang around until I’m left a weepy, sloppy mess.
Today, instead of badgering myself with introspection, I decided to make a Date With Myself and do the things I wanted most. Here’s what I did… Continue reading
They tell you when you’re little, you can be anything you want to be. Over and over again, trying to sink that message into you. And after enough times hearing it or hearing it from the right special person, with just the right amount of conviction, I suppose you eventually start to believe it.
For whichever reason it was for me, I know I swallowed it whole and I immediately decided I should be a cat (which sounds alarmingly insane until you find out I was only 4). That little me spent the next month praying every night for God to turn me into a cat. Morning after morning came with me still as a human, and I sadly came to discover what I think most of us eventually do in our own time… you can’t actually be anything you want to be so much as anything you were meant to be.
I will never be a runway model, a rocket scientist or a race car driver. It’s just not in me. I don’t have the height, attention span or thrill seeking gene to make any of those things so. And no matter how much I try to be any of those things, I’m just not going to be. I’m not meant to be. So the ever-looming question lies ahead… what am I meant to be??
I think I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to figure that out and the closer I got to finding out, the more it changed before me. Because the person you’re meant to be isn’t carved into stone like a destination on a map. It’s more like a flagship ahead to steer you in the right direction. Particularly when the course changes.
Even knowing that, I thought I’d found the answer a few years ago. I had my eureka… THIS WAS IT moment!! I held the answer in my hands, shaking it triumphantly with glee. So absolutely positive and sure I was, I completely stopped my search. Ended my quest to Become. And with it, I forgot so many lessons I had learned along the way to finding that pretty little answer I held cupped in my hands. So when the winds shifted and took me on a new, unchartered course, I lost my way and worse yet, I lost so much of me. Could I ever find me again? I honestly wasn’t sure I could.
I started running again recently, which might surprise you to find out, was incredibly hard to convince myself to do again. I knew I couldn’t run as fast or as long as I had so many times before, and I felt the ghosts of who I used to be haunting me. Scorning me for giving up something I had loved so much before. Mocking me for thinking I could again. Telling me all of that was gone. That running was a part of me I had lost for good and it kept me from trying again for far too long.
But I remembered the other day, while I running with my dog, one of the best lessons I think I’ve ever learned in my lifetime. I remembered that the biggest blessing to losing yourself is that you can take the pieces you loved before to rebuild the person you are supposed to be. And as I ran, I thought about what a wonderful gift that actually was, leaving behind the parts you hated about yourself and only taking the things you wanted to take forward from here. Continue reading
Tonight, let’s talk. It’s been a while, I know. But something about tonight… familiar and comforting, it lets my thoughts wander over themselves. Over and over again, until they make sense again… to me, to you. To those that knew me before and lost me along the way.
I’m here… in the stillness, the calm. Nature. It’s an aphrodisiac for all of us. Perhaps unknown to our conscious selves but our cells, they know.
It calls to us in a primal desire. The need to connect. The need for time, for peace, for silence. To sit and listen to nothing and everything at once. The rush of wind through the leaves, a force to be reckoned with and yet still, it offers us the orchestra of birds in their songs. One after another, morning and night, to still our thoughts and bodies. Inviting us to stop and enjoy. Beckoning us to listen. Shhh… don’t do. Just listen.
And when’s the last time you listened? To the call of your soul or the whisper of the wind? Can you tell me the last date? I can’t. But I can tell you that I’ve been lousy. Lousy with sorrow and loss.
It’s no secret, I haven’t kept it from you. Times… Continue reading
“Come talk to me“, she whispered to me as we walked outside.
“I’m not sure“, I replied. “It’s been too long. I’m just not sure if I can anymore.” I stammered but I followed. Down the road and around the curve, I struggled in the awkwardness of it. Uncomfortable and unsure. What am I doing? It’s been too long. We just aren’t on the same page anymore.
But we went anyways… together. Up the road, around another bend. A big hill loomed over us. She mumbled almost inaudibly how terrible this hill was. “Seriously, just horrible“, I grunted my reply. “I hate it.” She told me to quiet myself. Save my breathe and don’t waste it away. “You’ll feel better when you’re at the top and it’s behind you. You’ll love it then” she assured me. I doubted her but it gave me hope and I pressed on.
We crested the top and I finally believed her. Turning the corner, my thoughts caught sight of the long road ahead but she shh’ed me. “Stop thinking so much. Just move and listen to your songs.” And I took her advice, pressing my ear buds in securely.
I was so lost in the moment, it startled me when she touched her fingertips to mine and she pointed to a spot giggling… “Do you remember when Scout tripped you there? You had to call Dan to pick you up a half mile later.”
“Oh my gosh… I was SO mad! My dog nearly ruined everything!” I laughed with her. “How dumb was that?”
She grew quiet and I got lost in my music again. Around another bend, down a hill this time. I smelled a scent and she reminded me how different Spring was when you saw it like this. “You’re right. Of course it is, I forgot.” Taking a deeper breath this time, I felt Spring now… the scent, the look of the blossoms on the trees. The buds underfoot and the slight chill of the Spring morning. I was seeing it all again with new eyes.
“How could I have forgotten this??” I asked.
“It’s ok, I haven’t” she replied. And she thankfully had not.
She reminded me of how I’d started. Weak and unable. These very roads, they’d taught me who I really was and what I could really be. The sidewalks I’d traversed, full of doubt but still daring to dream. The serene, quiet moments I’d carved out that had cultivated those dreams. Long miles, filled with sweat and determination. When it was nothing but an unfathomable spark. How I’d held it with guarded fists until it burned with its own fire. Protecting it and fueling it until it was bright enough to blaze on its own. Until I felt brazen enough to release it to the winds… come hell or high water, it was free to find its own destiny. Alive by its own design, it blazed on.
“But I forgot to move with it” I whispered to her, afraid of what she might say when she realized I hadn’t followed it. “It’s probably too late.”
My heart sank with fear at her silence until I felt her fingers tighten around mine and heard her say… “You’re moving now.”
And then, she was ahead of me. I was chasing her… my shadow. My memories, my future. She was with me once again. I knew she was with me. Yes, I was out of shape and winded. But a runner I once was, a runner I could be once more.
I have been lost, my friends. So very lost. The me I knew, the life I had, the way I lived… it went by the wayside. Misplaced in a year full of chaos and change. The days tumbled into nights, and then back into mornings to do it all over again. It all became about survival. Survive another day. Survive until it all made sense again. Hoping and praying it could. Some day it would, it had to. Just not today. Probably not tomorrow either but some day. Some day it would be right again. Just get to that day.
And I wasn’t sure how it could but I knew it must. It had to. Move forward and make it. Keep progressing until life looked like it was supposed to, until it felt like it was supposed to. Not like this. Not like losing. Life isn’t just about losing. If you play long enough, you’ll eventually win. Right? Keep the faith and keep hope alive.
Now, if you didn’t already know, it can be a maddening undertaking trying to keep Hope alive. Particularly when Despair lurks around the corner. Indeed, if Hope is the thing with feathers that gives the soul its song, Despair is the secret ninja with stealth that works in the dark to slaughter all our wispy Hope. Exhaustion its backdrop, Fear its Continue reading