I scrolled by this picture the other day on Instagram and just loved it.
If you're off the 're-creation', 'quantum physics' sort of mindset, then you get this. Otherwise, maybe not...
Today is May- well actually tomorrow is May, but since I usually spend most of Sunday preparing for Monday, it might as well be May.
May is hard for me. May if full. It's full of to-do's at work. It's full of anxiety about rumors of changes for next school year while trying desperately to finish all work left to do this school year. Also meetings- so many, many meetings. May is when a full social calendar at home leaves me it's own to-do list there too. May is when my baby girl was born and when my father died. By the time May is over, I usually am too. Done, tired, spent.
Today as I peered into May, I realized that in the span of one week I will be celebrating my son's First Communion, my daughter's 5th birthday and my remembering my father's 3rd anniversary of death.
"Dear God" I thought (appropriately so as I was in church at the time) "how in the world am I going to handle all of those things in such a short span of time? How ever will I survive that emotional shit storm?".
Talk to any mother and they will share the range of emotions that comes with watching your babies grow. It truly defines "bittersweet". There is so much joy and love but also so much heartache and even more 'where did the time go?'. So birthdays can be tough. Milestones, like First Communion only add to that seeming heartbreak. It's heavy, even when its really a celebration, that's how it feels for the feely type of people- heavy. And then, after that, will come the grief. The grief that arrives as May marches on and we remember my Dad.
I wondered how I- how any of us- navigate the range of emotions that comes along with being Human. How do we get up every day, go to work and function when we're carrying around all this stuff? How do we fake a smile and answer "fine" when someone asks how we are doing?
We are not fine! We are drowning! We are drowning in a sea of feely emotions! Well, maybe not every day...but sometimes!
It is no wonder why some people check out. Why they numb out with wine, or pills, or social media or cookies.
Because numb is easier than feeling. Numb is predictable. Emotions are not. As an experienced numb-er, I get that. I lived that. Sealing your heart up behind a border wall is a much safer way to negotiate life.
But here's the thing. Life- life is in those emotions. A numb life may be predictable but it's no life at all.
We are here so briefly. We need to soak this shit up. The good, the bad and the ugly. We need to feel it. The good, the bad and the ugly. And we need to live it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
So how will I survive this May? How will I ensure that I don't dive so deep into this sea of emotions that I will float away? Or more realistically, spend the month in a binge of epic proportions...
- I will breathe. Sometimes that's enough. A good deep, diaphragmatic (hello voice lessons!) breath
- I will move. Whether it's working out or taking a walk or digging in my garden. Doing helps to process those emotions, to move through them.
- I will talk. Maybe I won't answer "fine" the next time someone asks me how I am. Or maybe I'll write more. Experience tells me that breathing my thoughts into words is therapeutic.
- I will show up. Be present. Live these moments. For these are the moments that I've got.
and most importantly I will remember...
Like the moon waxes and wanes, and the tide rises and falls. So, too, can I. And be OK.
Here's to not only surviving May, but living it.