July 31, 2016
By the end of the week my head felt overused and my body, underused. I did not feel in sync with my soul no matter how hard I tried. I kept telling myself the usual mantras along the lines of “Keep going”, but I realized that was the problem. Steph, do not ‘go’. Steph, sleep. Take care of yourself and I mean really take care of yourself. I am now fifty-one years old. ‘Playing’ with ideas of self-care will no longer do. So feeling a bit selfish (now, in retrospect, I have no idea why), I did.
Step One: Get proper sleep. This step will be a battle, but it is true. I need more than four hours. Let’s go on.
Step Two: I discovered an exercise I will do every morning. I stroll. Wally chases squirrels and I stumble along, breathing in fresh air, marveling at birds and praying gratitude because I know, I remember, what it was like to be scared with pain at every step. And so we go. It is not fitness, but it is a start to a routine. Inside my heart of hearts I can imagine myself at eighty, doing the same exact walk. I look at those blessed trees, my sentinels, who watched me years ago, learning to run without pain, remembering to dance every chance my soul desired, and most profoundly, causing me to question why I stopped ever looking at the stars. Those beckoning treetops kept pointing “Look, look..LOOK!”
It becomes pointless, doesn’t it, to hang unto past bad memories? Maybe it is the week, learning of the gift of laughter and love to reawaken a part of myself I had forgotten. The divorce caused me to forget many really important points to sharing a life such as the pure, simple joy of making another person laugh – what it is like, even if I cannot have it now – to witness the shared joy of the bond of laughter, that language between two tethered souls. Infectious.
Maybe my fresh wounds cause it to be so, for me. Maybe I am supposed to catch that infection before scars seal up my wounds. I sincerely hope so.
How many lives have I led? One casualty from my purse being stolen, was the incredible shifting and rearranging of bank accounts. PSA: Not only must a person close accounts, not only must a person re-automate all the payments to a new account, but a person also needs to stop the activity on the old account. (I thought that would be a given – I mean, because if you are assigning a new account to old payments and deposits, then the old account activity must surely stop. Logical, yes? Automatic, yes? Nope, its not.) This also includes the necessity of making sure your direct deposit gets stopped, then rerouted. Oh yeah. It has been that kind of week.
One pleasurable moment from the experience is that I held a paper paycheck in my hands for the first time in a long time. The switching of accounts for security reasons made me realize I better pay closer attention. The automated world is lightning quick. Good. And bad. But mostly good. Needing to pay attention is never a bad thing.
I was grateful that my employer caught it all – I was lucky to have the paper paycheck as I expected my pay to be caught in some limbo-land of digital banking over the weekend. And as I waited for my paper check, I saw something which caused me to look back ever so briefly at a life I once lived.
How many lives have I lived?
It was a golf outing announcement. An exclusive one. And I grinned with the recollection. Somehow life gave me these experiences to know of them, to understand them, but to cherish only the people from that time in my life.
Sometimes there is a natural exclusivity – one in which a team emerges, guided by leaders who gather strengths from diversities. Sometimes functions and processes define exclusivity, but then it is not exclusivity per se. It’s a process.
When I began working again, the company had our group of then ‘recent hires’ in training for four weeks, learning the process and the procedures. ” On-boarding.” That is the term now. I cried with every mention of the beauty of Equal Opportunity Employment practices and Federal Laws of Workplace Harassment and…Security. There is a certain beauty to being a part of a process and I have found, quite an impact upon myself to being my own person, in that process. It gave me something which made me cry. In turn, it made me change. I had to. I wanted to. I wanted to because it gave me a safety I had never experienced and a kindness, in the strangest of ways.
Imagine though, my memories of the building in which I am, delightfully a speck (I am no one), but I remember it from decades before, in my days of corporate gatherings. Life circles around, bringing one to where one should be, I think. Or maybe, to where they want to be, where they were meant to be.
I do not yearn for those days, nor do I have the ‘anti-corporate’ mentality. No. It was a special time of my life, but it was never meant for me to either stay there nor to recapture or even to recollect collectively. I share those memories with the memory of people who were there, but I think I am best to just tuck them honorably in my heart. We all move on. Kind of like being a foreign exchange student in a far away land. You live the culture. And once you leave, you wave…
And you may not return. You know you cannot. But every once in while – perhaps at a county fair – you run into someone else who was on that same trip, with whom you spent years, with whom you had battles and laughter.
What’s your point, Steph?
Well, it was Friday, I left work, put on my hat, then gassed up the Jeep. I realized, with my mother’s words, signing her heart entwined with my father’s, and with the sound of the love laughter of a couple I did not really know, I realized an important fact: I am not in recovery. My life is no longer recovering from anything. Oh sure, I have some past obligations to handle and all that, but… I am recovered.
Saturday I joyfully sprayed the siding of the house with a bleachy type solution. Wally? Ate a whole loaf of my failed ‘home-baking’ experiment! Poesy? Climbs the screened window ala ‘Spidey-cat’. My son and I? Pumped up the tires on our bicycles for the first time in two years. Circles down the drive and in front of the house felt like mini trips around the world…
I am….. living. It all feels very new. I can laugh. I can say “I do” to me. I can fail. I can do again.
Dear Steph: It’s called…..
(insert soft laughter here, please.)
(Plus, during my week of ‘discovery’, I ‘discovered’ where I had put the chainsaw in the garage. It will take me at least twenty glances before I touch it, but I am pleasantly planning what the motor will feel like in my hands when I get up the nerve to actually do anything with it!
#chainsawbliss #summerswoods #thebrickdandelion #imjustme #rediscovery #beautifuljourney