It happened. I have been paying careful attention to the mornings and flipped my routine as well as started a little bit early. It made a big difference and (along with virtual school on Wednesdays so no high school drop off) I am sitting down – without any necessary housework – a little yoga planning and prepare my questions for the publishing director I am talking with later today.
I have a cup of coffee, I have a kind of gross but necessary smoothie and I have that new expansive feeling in my chest that tells me things are aligned and good in my world.
There were times, at Ellen and Lucy’s soccer games, I would be in a ball cap and sunblock, rag tag jeans and a v neck with a smell of things to do at home on me. I would sit back in the sun with my planner and thoughts and notice the moms who had clearly blow dried their hair that morning. I imagined them waking up a little bit earlier than their kids, tending to the things, then get ready for the day in a nice, clean bathroom; putting their hair and face on.
It is not that they were done up. These are down to earth moms who are really genuine in heart. They just looked a little more prepared for the day than I felt. I had mad respect and was determined to have that same level of togetherness.
Needless to say, the fact I rose a little earlier than the house to shower in my nice, clean bathroom is a sign of personal evolution.
About a month ago, David and I were falling asleep. I had my head on his chest when a clinch of grief came up.
I paid attention to it: cancer, early death, uncertainty.
In my lifetime, I have had personal relationships end an earthly state due to disease and early death. Kristi, Cheri, Mary, Sharoddi and Mark – each relationship was in active, fruitful stages when passing in the night, brain cancer, cervical cancer, rear end cancer (I can’t remember the name and honestly, I think she would get a good laugh at that), heart disease-ish attack came and the physical life of that person ended.
To say I know when grief rises in my chest is an understatement. I can smell grief. I can taste it. I know days ahead of time that I am starting to process loss and I know to start to paint, write or pray. I know when I am grieving something that isn’t gone yet. I know the importance of recognizing sunsets. I grieve like I breathe: letting the full breath go, trusting more will come.
I squeezed David upon that clinch of grief. In the chaos of deciding to expand and grow our 1700 sq ft house for our family of 7 instead of going for something bigger, in the mental game of parental assessment and responsibility for supporting each of these 5 kids’ needs, and in the constant sheer & subtle nature of the under current of concern induced by a pandemic, I said, “You know, these may be the best days of our life.”
I meant that. And I got a little choked up.
My friends that passed? Mid to late forties, fifties. I am 39, David 43. For all but Mark, I was with their families in the unwinding. Familiar with the worry and the adjustment required of disease, I recognized the absence of that worry in our lives. I inhaled and we both shared gratitude for the health of our families and commitment to doing our best to maintain it.
This morning, I split the smoothie into two, stirred his men’s probiotic in and brought David his to his office along with a multi-vitamin. When I was working I may have had to take a call while doing my morning routine and a smoothie would not have happened. I would have needed to speak, making a blender a non option. I would have needed to screen share, requiring me out of the kitchen. I would have felt torn and had to cut my losses and be less committed to this intention of giving it our best shot than I wanted to be.
In recognizing this dedication of my time and energy to the emotional and physical health of my tribe is what is keeping me busy, I am realizing this full bodied act of love we all have opportunities to express. We all should see the foods we eat and serve to others, our time in nature, and our time with each other – playing Go Fish (which we did last night – in our holiday decorated dining hall) as an expression of our gratitude for our health and ability.
Tired care givers “whipping up dinner” shifting thought to slowing down and creating a meal laced with benefits. Quiet time in the mornings spent writing notes albeit for lunch or mail boxes to remind the ones that grate us the hardest that we are so constantly there for them and to reinforce to the ones that give us the obvious constants to be grateful for that we cherish them. We thrive because of them.
I am not feeling regretful for years of feeding my family horse shit for dinner. (I didn’t, actually – I just thought that was funny to say.) Though I have not always used spirulina, I have been as intentional as I could be in the respective season of my evolution and my resources.
These may be the best days of your life – how will you celebrate and show gratitude today?