Last week was a doozie for me. I had a very odd and frustrating misunderstanding with a friend, there were a couple of out of the ordinary school-related situations with our children, temperatures soared early in the season and puffs of invisible pollen caused sinusular (is that a word?) misery and, to top it off, our family dog died on Friday. I know I'm not alone out there. I know that a lot of people are suffering from the blues and I also realize that my woes pale in comparison to the challenges that many people are facing. The things I faced last week were very difficult, though. I'm not a 'blue' person but it's been really difficult to pull myself out of this funk--until yesterday. Yesterday I caught a glimpse of the first glittery beams of shining light. Rather than it being a result of patiently (or impatiently as the case oftentimes is) waiting for things to get better, I think it was more due to a shift in my actions.
The situation with my friend was the first one to cross my path last week and it utterly yanked the carpet out from under my feet. I think it was a classic story: The Case of the Missing Communication. Correspondance was done by email and all I can figure is that was the cause of the confusion. I turned to my friend, initially, for some very brief guidance and direction for something I'm researching and trying to put together. After two notes passed amongst us, I was feeling an odd sensation of being brushed off. It didn't make sense. It hit me later that, perhaps, my friend is going through stuff of her own and just has a super full plate. Whatever the case may be, I would have liked to have picked up the phone to clear up any confusion. Communication is the foundation for everything! In this particular instance, though, I went with my inner nudgings and just dropped it. It did nothing to clear up my hurt over the whole scenario but I really felt like further discussion would fuel this fire that seemed to crop up unexpectedly. It may be that my friend has no idea of the emotions that have transpired over the past several days because of this. So I will actively choose to set the situation aside. Easier said than done. Sometimes it helps to place a little distance. Time DOES heal a lot of wounds.
As a parent, we often experience wounds from our children--especially as they enter the teenage years! I'm coming to learn that I can't take these things personally. That's also easier said than done! Actually, our children are a source of great joy for me. The couple of situations that we had to face this week are very out of the ordinary. They caused a sort of quiet, lurking stress within my heart for a short time simply because anything that causes my children pain, discomfort or worry tends to make me uncomfortable as well. I think, however, that a crucial part of being a good parent lies both in being strong, in being open, and in showing our imperfection and how we learn from it. Both situations last week led to incredible teachable moments filled with heart-to-heart conversation that only deepened our parent-child bonds. I've trained myself, over the years, not to 'freak out' when my children make a mistake. They're human, afterall! It is my great desire that they will always feel like coming to me is a place of solace for them--both physically and emotionally. Though emotions were deeply touched this week, the situations reinforced my parental cause.
Then the bomb dropped. It wasn't really a surprise. Our dog had rapidly been declining in the past year. He was old and things were starting to go wrong. We'd already had discussion about what we knew would have to soon happen. We've lost 2 dear old cats in the past so loss of a pet is not new to us but it's not something that you can rehearse for in order to make it 'go more smoothly.' You THINK you're emotionally prepared for something like that but the endless 'little things' break your heart. We'd drop a little piece of food and automatically think, "Oh! Better pick that up quick before Maverick gets it and gets sick!" I find myself still stepping carefully as I make my way to the bathroom in the night so that I don't step on the dog who's always slept on the floor by our bed. Rarely a moment passed by in the last 8 years when that dog wasn't with me wherever I was in the house; he followed me room to room continually. There's an emptiness in the house and in our hearts without him.
Allergies just compound the problem. We've had unseasonably cold Florida temps this winter but record high weather visited us in February. The heat made me feel sluggish and caused a pollen bloom that has my sinuses screaming in pain. I don't usually struggle with sinus pain but usually more the asthma side of things. Now it's sinuses on top of asthma! It's only added to my feeling of lurking in the doldrums because everything is more of an effort and requires more energy. Something had to give, though!
Stuff is going to happen. Some if it is wonderful, glorious stuff! Sometimes we have crap that crosses our path. There is a time and purpose for curling up in a ball and just closing everything out for a while but danger lies in lingering there too long. For me, a week was way long enough. I coaxed my mind into realizing that it just happened to be one of those challenge-filled weeks that we get from time to time and that it's all a part of life--part of the cycle. I'm not stuck in the stuff but am moving forward with the rest of the world. I had good experiences that stemmed out of most of the bad ones. We had a lovely weekend as a family planting flowers all around our pet memory garden and reminiscing about our pup. I bonded even further with our children. I've got a neti pot and Allegra-D that I'm going to once again turn to to get my allergies under control. Hopefully things will be fine with my friend--I'm sure they will be. I might very well have been hypersensitive.
As a part of wellness, I'd recently started running more again. Though I get a runners' high that is so often talked about, I'm realizing that my body might actually be adjusting to the physical demands and could have pulled me down. I enjoyed a Zumba dvd with friends after work yesterday and took 1/2 hour to myself following that to do a restorative yoga session. Everything seemed so clear and positive after that short, half hour practice. I would highly recommend yoga to anybody who has clearance to practice it. It's an incredible way to find balance and harmony. You can take that time to meditate and pray as well. I think when I take the focus off of myself in a stressful situation, the stress starts to dissolve. Rather than sit around feeling badly and focusing on how badly I'm feeling, I find that it's a much more positive experience to shift my focus.
It's ok to fall into a funk. We all do from time to time and that's a part of being human. It can be discouraging to be treated harshly, to deal with tough stuff in our children's lives, to fight off sickness and to deal with death and loss. Take some time to 'be still' when hard times hit you smack in the face. Cry your tears, for they are healing, but then shift your activities to help continue your path of healing and strenghtening so that your challenges will, as opposed to beating you down, create a stronger you.