It’s been a while.
I feel like I start a lot of posts with that sentence, which is a sad thing given that I love to write about things that inspire me…
Alas, there’s no time like the present.
So let’s catch up shall we?
My husband and I bought a house almost a year ago. We live in a tiny little town in the northern Adirondack Mountains. We have several acres of woods, about 1500 square feet of refurbished 1890’s farmhouse, many chickens (who are FINALLY laying eggs!) a female turkey (also laying eggs!), 2 daughters, 10 and 6 years old, 2 dogs and 2 cats.
We have finally come home, after MANY years of roaming.
We got to this place because of a great job that I had taken. I was hired to work as an Admin Assistant (eventually Camp Director) at a music camp in the Adirondacks and spent the past ~18 months focusing a lot of my time and energy on that job.
And like what usually happens when things are starting to get too heavy, the job let go. The summer ended, and as gracefully as possible I find myself in a place I’ve been before… unemployed, undecided, unsure.
The day my job “quit me” – as I like to say – things really made sense. I had a very clear trajectory. I knew for many months what I had wanted to do if I had the time, and now I was finally free to take action on that path. It’s not something I have been bragging about, but 2 years ago, I sat down and wrote a children’s book. It came out of the blue one morning, and within a few hours it was down on ‘paper’ – or in my Google drive.
I have spent the past almost 2 years continuing to polish, edit and revise this manuscript many (many) times.
So when the time finally opened up about a month ago, I had a clear direction to work on my writing.
But so many things got in the way. Excuses we’ll call them. But they were certainly worthy excuses. My daughters returned home after many weeks away visiting family. The summer had several weeks left. My house was in major upheaval after a summer full of 80 hour work weeks and no one home to care for it. There was so much to do – and then there was the mental/emotional processing that needed to happen since my job was no more.
And I wanted so much, and still do, to switch directions.
To write more.
To do more readings!
To meet with more people.
To focus more on ME.
I spent the better part of a year focusing on my career, complete with the care of 170 students, and of course my family. My daughters felt like strangers to me. It took me a few days to get back into the swing of being mom, and I still feel like there are times when it’s hard to reconnect.
Through all of this, there is a constant reminder to be gentle. It’s only been a few weeks since everything finally stopped. But patience has never been my strong suit, and I’m very much a person that wants to wake up and hit the ground running.
Until I’m too tired to wake up.
Until things start to get so heavy in my head.
This time has been so much about transition, and transition takes major adjustment. I don’t always realize that. Losing a job brings so much uncertainty, and a lot of unacknowledged grief.
For many weeks after that day, I would find myself in a deep, dark place. Even worse, I thought that it was unnecessary. I didn’t want the job anymore. I wanted to be done. Why was I so upset? I finally had what I had been asking for… I had time for myself, time to write, time to give my house and my family. But I still wasn’t okay.
I will admit… I was deeply depressed, and I didn’t really know why.
Can I tell you?
This morning… something registered differently.
I woke up to take the girls to school… put in a load of laundry, handed out vitamins, let the dog out, said good morning to the chickens, and something was just different. After a pleasant detour on our ride to school, something in my head said ‘do something else today’.
I have been deep in housework the past few weeks. Cleaning, purging, renovating. But today I realized I needed a break.
So I did things differently.
I went home and had a different breakfast. I did yoga with the my old dog Luna and the cat rolling around on the mat next to me. I felt better in my body than I had in some time. I made a different type of coffee. I went to a local cafe and worked for a few hours. I set up a Tarot event with a local business owner nearby.
And I felt good.
I felt more like myself.
About a month ago, I sent an image that had come across my Pinterest feed to my mom.
“You are not lazy, unmotivated or stuck. After years of living your life in survival mode, you are exhausted. There IS a difference.”
Let’s all stop for a second and reread that – because I’m sure it’s not just for me.
When I look back on my life for the past decade, it’s been a roller coaster. There have been some beautifully happy moments. There have been some devastating ones. There have been many days that have just… passed silently. And then I think about what has happened over the past… mmm…. year? It has been a life changing year. I bought a house. I lost a job. Those things alone are big mile markers, and they happened within the past 10 months.
So — this rant? It’s about life. Life in between the unknown. There are bright glimmers of excitement. There are days when leaving bed seems like a bad decision. There are more empty bottles of wine in the recycling bin than I’d care to admit. But I think now, there is more patience with all of it. There is the realization that, although our lives are short, and passing, and fleeting, we don’t have to be SO wrapped up in our list of things to do next. It’s okay to slow down and grieve. It’s okay to be sad for a few weeks while the shock of “omg, wtf just happened??” settles in.
I’m telling myself that.
You should listen too though.
So let’s all raise a glass of water, or coffee, or chamomile tea, or red wine… to a bit more compassion as we navigate all that is. Our lives are messy. They are perfectly imperfect. I think a big part of it, is the decision to be critical or gentle. I’m going to try differently again, and be gentle.
Till next time…