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Archive for the ‘Positive Rituals’ Category

I’m in a lot of pain today, and I’m feeling discouraged and blue. The mild physical therapy I just started has badly inflamed my back, and there are few things more pity-party inducing than yet another failed solution for chronic pain. So, I thought it would be a good time to write about two pictures I have in my home that always make me smile — even on days like today.

Picture A:

What a face! It works like instant Prozac every time.

My heart is melting. His squinty right eye. His wrinkled nose. His funny little puckered mouth. His hairy double chin! What a delight.

I picked up this print for $2 at a local church’s semi-annual rummage sale, and now it hangs in my sunroom/studio.

Picture B:

Another rummage-sale find. $4, maybe? This little friend hangs out above my kitchen sink.

Even though it’s almost 100 degrees outside, I can’t bear to put him away.

There now, I may be feeling better already. Perhaps I’ll tackle the last bit of my life coaching inventory now. . .

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It’s Day 2 of J’s latest business trip, and I’m positively thriving.  This thrills me because I often crater when he’s gone: I collapse into bed at 3 or 4 a.m., eat nothing but gluten-free cereal and ice cream, linger in my pajamas until I absolutely must get dressed to leave (and then I’m usually late), and generally feel miserable and unproductive.  That’s where I started anyway.  Each trip over the last 3.5 years has been a little better, with particularly strong gains in the past year, but this trip — this one’s different.  And I know it’s me.  I have changed.  I have grown.

Sure, I’m more productive than ever before, I eat better, and I sleep more regular hours.  Those things matter.  The real breakthrough, though, is that I make time for my inner life.  To pray.  To breathe deeply.  To dream a little.  To write.  To read.  To draw — crudely, playfully, not studiously.  I trot over to a lovely park next to the Menil Collection to do this.  I’m not the only one there, but I still feel deliciously alone.  I flutter my blanket down underneath a perfect tree — perfect for its crackling, chocolate bark and glorious, dancing spring-green leaves.  I go at 6:00, so the sun is low, the light rich and warm; the leaves above me glow.  A single hour of this heaven refreshes me in a way I didn’t think possible.

Perhaps what’s so exciting about this bout of living solo is that it has become an opportunity for exploration.  While I usually do try new things when J is gone — maybe a new restaurant or a new route home — this is different.  This is real self-care, real self-nurture, real self-discovery.  I was not capable of this a year ago; I could not do it by myself, for myself.  What a delight to be in a new place!  What would my life be like if I used each of his trips this way?  It’s an exciting thought.

I may have lots of opportunities to practice, as J’s new position will require much more travel and longer hours.  Instead of feeling anxiety about that, I feel great peace.  And curiosity.  What will I discover next time?  And the time after that?  How will I change?  Who will my husband meet at the door when he returns?

We’ll find out together.

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