I have been a proud member of Al-Anon for almost seven years now. It has been a tremendous support and guide toward healthier living. I experience improved quality in all my relationships and now possess tools for sincere happiness. Call me a 'lifer'.
Walking this morning I began to consider COVID-19 as my new qualifier. The feelings I am currently experiencing are all too familiar. Isolation? Yup, I got that going on in spades, physically and emotionally. Fear? Sure, lots of it. Trying to control the uncontrollable? Seems I can't help myself, keep thinking if I just do something it will all go back to normal. Mourning? Deeply. Life as I knew it will be no more. Gripping? Clenching really, with white knuckles, holding onto an idea of before. Thinking too much and too hard? Is that called speculating or dreading? Staying out of my head, at all costs, is a necessary move, it is a dangerous place for me right now. Overwhelmed with 'What If's'? Easily, it works better for me all together if I resist letting my brain slip into nonsensical. Unable to accept life on life's terms? Hmmm, that may just be the truth of it. Unable to accept all of THIS as it is, today.
Trust and Faith are my new best friends. I have one in each pocket and I hold them often, trying not to squeeze too hard. I trust both myself to do the best I can given the circumstances and my Higher Power to take good care of me. I have tremendous Faith in the Universe, simply, boldly. I believe I am here now for good reason and purpose. This gives me comfort.
"First Time" chaos is making me cuckoo. I am feeling a bit like a scrambled egg before it hits the pan. I am told it is important to maintain routine. (OMG!) I mean, yeah, I get it. Just really interesting when my routine has been upended. Redesign is afoot! It has been a delicious experience to have a reasonable morning, oodles of time to swim, walk, meditate, make breakfast for kiddos and really wrap my head around intention for the day. Also quite mesmerizing to feel the impact of stress on my body. I am supposing that all my cultivating personal connection is allowing me to better read my physical well being moment to moment. In my 20 year yoga exploration, unity is something I was seeking, wholeheartedly and I honestly do not recall ever being so in tune with my body before now. (Kinda' weird).
I have given my kids free reign since school closed. They have pretty much done whatever they wanted to do throughout the day, as the entirety of their in person social/scholastic life has been removed. Google Classroom is keeping them afloat academically. Cell phones are keeping them engaged socially, thanks to Snapchat, Tik Tok and Instagram. I have no room to manage these platforms anymore as my own plate has exploded on the business front developing new systems for success. With the abrupt halt to navigating drugs, sex and peer pressures at school (wahoo) I am relieved of much stress, which only gives me room for more on the pandemic front. Quite honestly, my kids appear happy, grounded and natural with all this Sheltering in Place. I am not sure what it is exactly, maybe their age? They appear quite adaptable. What I am trying to say is we have no whining and complaining in our house. Well, at least not from them ;-/
If anyone is really struggling here it is me. In a wonderful conversation with a new friend over the phone, I was able to distinguish the power of letting go. Once I recognize where I am gripping, make the time to visualize the intensity surrounding my 'holding on', I am delivered a true desire to release myself. That vision is so freeing, and feels like the ONLY WAY. Keeping all my concerns bottled up is not useful. Using my social network to share my fears produces sanity. I will not hide in shame, I will participate courageously.
What do I know? I am here...and all, right now, is well. Honestly, my loved ones are close, we are healthy and enjoying the comforts of home. If I consider myself a creative person, then I now have a wonderful opportunity to explore a new approach...er...to all things. Seriously. How do I want to spend my day and where do I want to focus my energy? I cannot say that I really had the luxury to investigate this before. Or better yet, I just couldn't muster the energy. Now, it is quite mandatory, from a maintaining sanity perspective. If I am stuck, that is my own doing. And why wouldn't I want my day to be a fantastic adventure from the most mundane to the tremendously rewarding?
If I am to follow in my fourlegger's pawsteps, just engaging is gleeful. My tribe is doing really well with the hanging out piece. We are being honest with ourselves in how we choose to spend our time. I am not sure we really got to do this before, with all the scheduling we had going on. I do not miss it. Sometimes it feels like we were staying busy because we didn't know how to relax. (Yuck!)
And we are learning to relate with each other. We have less distraction available these days. I had another talk with a new friend this morning and she helped me consider a combined approach to connection. This is good for me to hear as a single parent recovering from codependency. I can readily fall into thinking I need to do it all by myself, like the whole relationship, as in BOTH sides.(Gawd!) Actually involving the other person can be a huge move forward, asking them how they would like to show up can be really useful. Trust me, it is possible.
So, I have been missing my son. He is very busy on his computer with his new virtual reality. Last night, I asked him to spend time with me in numerous ways over the course of three hours. He declined every single invitation. Before I retired, in my exhausted burnt out state, I simply removed his keyboard and headset from his computer and took them to bed with me for a good old cuddle. He was pissed and went a bit crazy. This morning he wanted to know when he would get it all back. I told him I needed to wait for some self reflection to set in and for us to have some hard conversation. (Talk about time standing still).
We got there. He went grocery shopping with me and we tackled our new mask wearing/gloved reality together. That's all I needed, some companionship through the newness. He delivered. And he showered me with apologies. Self reflection is powerful. Me too, by the way, I got to apologize for feeling wonky and overly sensitive and unsure.
He is back to gaming and I get to write this post.
I came up with an acronym L.A.F. to exemplify the little delights along the way, those tiny moments filled with joy. Here are a few examples: The way my dog, Vespa, reacts when she hears anyone say the word 'walk'. Birds chirping in the morning with such welcome clarity. How beautiful trees extend to canopy particular areas of my walking path, offering a sense of cradle and shelter. Singing out loud. Laughing hard. The smell of a home cooked meal, three times a day ;-) Listening to my kids giggle. Ice cream whenever we feel like it. Observing moments of contentment. My son holding my hand while we walk. My daughter interrupting my meditation to ask if I will make her breakfast. Swimming. Not rushing. Having time to listen to an entire podcast in one sitting. Learning new things...all day long. When I recognize these moments, and hold them close, I feel Lucky As F***.