September 9, 2022

Today was a difficult day. I think the stresses of the week (work deadlines, smoke in the basin, lack of sleep) finally caught up with me. Add to that, looking at hundreds of photos of Jersey as I combed through my archives for pictures for my pet sitting site wore me down emotionally. By the time I got to lunch, I had kind of had it.

So I hopped in the car and headed to the lake. I stopped for french fries – Jersey’s favorite – and got in the water – such a much-needed reset.

Better visibility than yesterday or this morning, but the smoke is still here…

The Exercise: Pick a card, any card…

I am on day four of the “Self-reflection Edition” card deck from werenotreallystrangers.com, and I have to say, I am appreciating this venue for composing my thoughts. The external accountability really works for me, even with an audience who didn’t really know this was coming. You were just here to look at lake and puppy pictures. But if you’re playing along at home and feel like sharing, please do. I’d love to learn how this is rippling out in my small pond.

Q. What can I be kinder towards myself for today?

It’s ok to grieve. To still be caught unawares by losses of years ago, to feel the pang of recent separations, and to feel bewildered in the face of new choices and opportunities that require letting go of my previous identities and long-held beliefs. All grief. All coming in waves, and like waves, really knocking the shit out of me if I fight or ignore it.

I listed to an excellent podcast a few weeks ago on death, grief, and mourning – https://www.alieward.com/ologies/thano2022 – and it gave me a new perspective on some of my grief — the stuff that is part of my my body and soul. Three thoughts that really stood out for me:

  1. Grief isn’t an emotion – it’s a collection of symptoms that manifest in varying ways and intensities pretty much forever. Yup.
  2. A grieving body will benefit from salty, fatty foods. (excellent news; see french fries above…)
  3. We’re all Legos. We are made up of small particles that come together to form distinct models, but like Legos, we are not meant so much for permanent sculptures as we are for disassembling and going back into the box to be incorporated into the next design.

I find it comforting to think the ones I love are still with me after they have gone – whether through death, time, or distance. Using this Lego analogy, of course they are. They have taken their model off to the next adventure, but have left behind a few “bricks” that I have added to my design. And my design is better for their additions – whether intentional (their direct efforts) or accidental (my impressions and memories). Humans are meant for evolution and change, and I am learning we are meant to share pieces of ourselves to help each other grow.

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