Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Here we are, in the MeanTime. Somewhere between the olden days and our future. Can feel a bit like a holding pattern and that is not necessarily a bad thing. What I am finding is the space and the time to define what I want, just for me. Glennon Doyle speaks to this in her book UNTAMED as she suggests being 100% true to yourself and un-becoming all the things you think you should be. In a podcast, here she is interviewed by Brene Brown about her book: https://brenebrown.com/podcast/glennon-doyle-brene-on-untamed/
She gives me permission to disappoint others, often... and now all I need is the courage. This Sheltering in Place is providing me lots of opportunity to explore my options. Staying at home, creating in home, and being at home all day long is delicious. Choosing where to focus my energy is such a gift. Unbelievable.
It's like a sabbatical. One definition delivers: a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked. I need to clarify. I am currently unemployed, so leaning heavily on government assistance to get us through this, can I call it a 'forced sabbatical'?
This is what I know. Choosing how I spend my time and with whom I wish to engage is really powerful. It allows me to actually manage my interactions in a healthy self serving way. All this time and space, delivered a la pandemic, is offering me primary focus. As I understand it, this is what all of us, as individuals are meant to do. So what the hell happened exactly? Why do so many of us deny our natural inclination? Why do we feel compelled to fit in? I will never forget that tenth grade year where I finally felt okay with being me, sort of. And came up with this idea to float in and around all the groups in my class, we had nerds, jocks, popular and weird. It was a brief moment of being apart of everything while also holding onto a strong version of myself. I was a "floater". It didn't last long. I recall it now as proof that I had a calling.
I am currently engineering well being. I am not necessarily swayed by anybody else's needs right now, my own are a full load. I have always been a busy girl. And oh how I used to hit the wall. Before I had kids, I could spend days reading or painting or watching TV. Without any regret I could just abandon myself to a personal project and not speak with another person for 36 hours. How I LOVED it. Now that my kids are home ALL DAY LONG, I have to be really clear on my own responsibilities. Mine. A friend asked me today how I am managing their homework. I happily responded that I am not. I spend an inordinate amount of my day focusing on me and what I feel like doing. I am taking online courses, joined a writing group, have zoom meetings throughout the day with friends and healing circles from all over the world. I am virtually growing. My life is fantastic. And my kids are not suffering.
One of my new teachings introduced me to the practice of designing an alliance, a way to hold space for true and nurturing relationship. A place for definition. I am realizing now that using this tool toward myself can be beneficial. How do I want to show up for me? Where are my limits? How much can I handle? If and when I get triggered, how might I course correct? Someone asked me that today, what will you do when you are met with anger and criticism? Yeah, I have an ex-husband. I thought about it. The only thing that came to mind was not to engage. And we all know how challenging that can be in the moment. It actually happens a lot these days, because everyone is so upside down with worry and stress, people just barf out their opinions without thinking. Yeah, more so than usual. I have lots of room for practice. How do I protect my values and take really good care of what matters to me? These are known as priorities. Personal courtesy comes to mind. Honor. And creating the time to recognize feelings in the moment. It is important for me to lay claim, to not only know myself but to actually take the time to be kind and nurturing with me first. No distraction. I used to pack my days so full of everything I cannot even remember leaving myself time to breathe. Creating a life with less stuff to help me deepen awareness and bolster quality is calling me. Perhaps this is how it was meant to be all along, who knows where I got derailed, how can it really matter? No more. I am clearly finding my track now. What a gift. I will tell you this, I am ready for this reset. Seriously.
My kids are full of themselves. They are each on a personal mission to stay true to their calling in the moment. This household is full of identity. It is exciting stuff. And there is no tension. I suppose that has to do with everyone having the space to be themselves. The only time I ever freak out is when I convince myself something else needs to be happening (bedtime) or that we should be connecting (deep conversation). My kids are 12 and 13. Let's get real for a second, when my son gives me a hug and a kiss or my daughter blesses me with a smile, we are having a GREAT day. Let's remember to choose our battles and not force the impossible.
The photo attached is a shot of one of my kids in the midst of Hide & Seek. Never a dull moment, I tell you. Sabbaticals rock!