Wednesday, September 3, 2014

the opposite of thinking

As human beings we constantly have to reinvent ourselves. Sometimes in small ways. We change our hair color. Buy gold when we might usually buy silver. Cut sugar out of our diet. Leave the career world to become a stay at home mom. 

Sometimes the alterations are much bigger though. The loan falls through. We lose a job. Get divorced. Deal with infertility. Receive a diagnosis of autism. Find out it's Cancer. And with our eyes squeezed painfully tight we let go because we have absolutely no other options. We are flailing into the Universe in terror for that final hit that will stop our fall. We are certain it will be our death. We hope and pray that someone will stop this, fix this- make this go away. And it's awful and terrifying and stressful and at moments unbearable. And as the decline continues, we pry our eyes open and realize in fact that we haven't made the final hit. We are still alive. The unbearable place in the middle- this is what most of life is made of. This is when the magic and the alteration is actually occurring. This is when we have to slow down and breathe through and figure out what we want our new beginning to look like. Beauty is so often the child born from pain. A pain we are certain is the end, but in actuality marking the beginning of unfathomable greatness we could have never known, understood or predicted.

And one day you wake up- right in the middle of your life, and you realize you have no other choice but to breathe in and out. Fine lines of strength and courage and fear form patterns on your soul. You become so much more beautiful than someone who has never felt a million different shades of pain.  

And one day, as a curse and blessing- you forget just how strong your bones really are. The depths of just how much you can endure. Tiny shoe pebbles of life start to annoy you again. Forgetting that you have seen the core of what actually matters in life and survived.

Today I was feeling a melancholy hum of sadness for the ending of Summer. I ached over her best and simplest parts. Sunlight after eight. Popsicles melting down arms. Water parks and swimming pools. Times spent with my incredible Teacher Friends that are now back in school. I was holding on tight to Summer- refusing to let go.

And I laughed in the face of my sadness-because really-I've gone through some pretty hard stuff in life, so I don't know how or why the small things often cumulatively bother me the most. I decided I needed to reinvent the way I think about the ending of Summer.

If I can use my mind to overcome big things- small things should be a CINCH. What if I even got excited about Fall? (But I'm not a fall girl, I screamed. I don't give a rat's ass about pumpkin spice lattes. I don't like orange and black. I hate being cold.) Okay, that's fine- we already know all of that, I said to myself. (You have two yous too-right?) But what do you like? I asked nicely. I do kind of missing wearing jeans. And I love big soft chunky sweaters. And sometimes it's nice to stay inside and not feel like I should be outside because it's so nice and sunny out. And I love the winter rain we get in California. Before I knew it, I didn't feel so horrid. I just needed to decide to think about it differently. What if we forced ourselves to think the opposite about many of the small things that make us sweat? Let's try it.

 photo _MG_0185_zpsb099ef17.jpg
Today instead of being pissed that I had to carry and put away all of our groceries, I decided to instead be grateful for the abundance of wealth.  And instead of being annoyed that I had to clean the house-- I practiced being overwhelmed with gratitude by the fact that we have a home to clean.


And lucky for us, trash truck Wednesday is year round.

 photo _MG_0239_zps827c2bdd.jpg

 photo _MG_0250_zps30145b91.jpg

 photo _MG_02521_zpsf2187078.jpg


 photo _MG_0210_zpsbf013b4f.jpg

Can't wait to see what's in store for us this Fall...

14 comments:

  1. Love it! I am going to work on this for myself!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know what I think is even worse than the pain of something that happens to you that seems unendurable; the never talking about the thing that seems unendurable. In my family, we were taught to "get tough." If I ever did try to talk about it, it seemed to make everyone uncomfortable. And so, I quashed it down deep inside. After well over a decade, you and your writings have given me permission to grieve and talk about it no matter if others feel uncomfortable. Each time I read you, I seem to feel a little more relieved and a little more courageous. When one is so deep down in the pit, it is so difficult to see any upside or positive in life. But, it is possible. You are forever changed and not by something you chose. If you're not careful, bitterness can be the path you choose and it is a horrid way. So thank you for your message. I need it. Thank you for your humility to be real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that you are opening up about what you've kept bottled inside. I'm sure it hasn't been easy. Here's to better and happier days to come!

      Delete
    2. Bay Ratt- you are such a force of light! I love you being here. I love you also sharing your light with others!!!! THANK YOU. And Lela- that is HUGE. I am so proud of you for finding your voice. I think SO many of us are taught to "pretend" like things are normal. It's suffocating. KEEP TALKING. Keep sharing. WE CARE. Love- the world.

      Delete
  3. Uggs! Don't forget that with the Fall comes Uggs!!! ;) - K

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had a big dark cloud over myself (that I put there!) for the last few weeks, because I was so sad about the end of summer and the return of the crazy school/fall routine. And I live in Chicago, where it will be 10 degrees again before we know it. (Waaahhh!) So I totally relate to this post. I reminded myself that it's not 10 degrees YET, and that the return of school/fall also means the return of my kids being more stimulated and happy and learning during the day, and that once I adjust to the new routine, all is good.
    And - summer will be back, eventually!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES, let's focus on the GOOD! Apples and caramel and cozy and movies and whatever the heck us we can think of good.

      Delete
  5. I spend countless hours and energy pissed that it has been 5 years since I have gotten to hug my dad. If I put that much time into thinking about the 4.5 years I've gotten to kiss the face off my baby boy I would be a much better and happier person. Thank you for putting this into perspective for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get to hug your dad in a dream (it's been almost 12 years for me in real life but I did get to in a dream). And tell your little boy you need to get in extra hugs before Kindergarten. Mine just started Kindergarten and I have to wait until after school now to catch up on my hugs.

      Delete
    2. I always wonder why I don't dream that Grey and Parker can talk. I think it's because dreams are so real= and it would hurt to wake up from. But a dream of hugging your dad sounds like a perfect plan. Oh Jessica- as crazy as it sounds- I read your comment and it FELT to me like you were hugging your dad. Setting that out there in the universe was sending your hug to him. And I think it will come back to you soon. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR IT. I want to hear about it when it happens.

      Delete
  6. So true Chrissy - I must remember this. It's amazing really that the key to our happiness lies in the way we think about what is happening. Why is it so easy to focus on what is wrong or bothering us and not the good things? Maybe it has some evolutionary usefulness? Still I think we can train the brain to see things differently.
    I had a similar thought with people stuff. I called it "flip it" in my head. Take anything that bothers you about an interaction with someone and flip it to a positive way of viewing it. I've tried it several times and was amazed at how quickly I could see a "flip side" when I tried.

    Love the pics - your wall picture collection (wow), Grey's feet so high off the ground, and Parker's sweet face as he lies in the grass.
    I think it's ok to miss something ending - it just shows how grateful you are for having that time. But after we honor our feelings, it's great to look forward to what will fill the void. Every season has it's special gifts. I remember your post about apples last fall. I tried some Pink Lady apples for the first time because of you. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your words, Kerry. I love your perspective. I love that you love our entry. It is a work in progress coming together in tiny little pieces. We just bought "love". Isn't that funny- you can apparently buy LOVE!

      Delete
  7. The down to earth approach of the essayist in this blog is commendable.
    resumeyard.com

    ReplyDelete