You can run, but you can’t hide…
For those of you who read my post on Delusional Optimism, I am happy to report that my attempts to improve my time management skills are indeed working. By bringing my awareness to my slightly skewed concept of time and trying to hone in some better boundaries, I’ve been knocking things off my to do lists right and left #likeaboss. So, my question was this, “If I’m operating in a more organized way and accomplishing the things I set out to do, why do I still feel down and discouraged?” The answer came gently through one of my friends, “Katie, you’re still grieving.” And, that is true.
I’ve been grieving for about two and a half years now. I lost one of my best friends 7 months before I got married, and about a year and a half later, I lost my Nana (who was really more like my second mother). My friend was sudden and unexpected. You aren’t supposed to lose your friends at 32. My Nana was almost 90, and while it wasn’t as shocking, it’s been incredibly hard. After my friend died, I thought I was going to drown in my grief. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced, and I miss him every single day. When I lost my Nana, a part of me shut down and disconnected from it. I’ve never been without her, and the reality of it was actually terrifying to me. I kept saying that to people and nobody seemed to understand it. It wasn’t simply that I didn’t want to lose her; the idea of living without her scared me. After she died, I just started moving faster and faster. It’s really not that hard to over schedule your life. I have work that I love, a husband, friends, a sister with two kids who could always use a hand or two, and a dream house to work on. I’ve been taking on thing after thing until I started to feel so overwhelmed, I knew something had to change.
Losing two of the people closest to me in less than two years has pushed me into this panicked battle with time. We really don’t know how much time we have to be here with the people we love. I think a certain awareness of this is helpful. It reminds you to appreciate your life and all of the little moments that make it up. Where I’m at though isn’t quite like that. I’m in this constant state of anxiety that I’m going to blink and it will all be over and I won’t have enough time to get everything done. I won’t have enough time to be with my loved ones or to create the things I need to create, or to travel to all of the places I want to go; so I’ve been hurrying, moving constantly, trying to get more than is humanly possible accomplished each day, and then beating myself up that I’m not doing a good enough job with any of it.
I usually consider myself to be pretty self-aware, so I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to see that I’ve been running from my grief, and it’s beginning to catch up with me. You can only run for so long before your body needs a break, and my grief is beginning to sneak through the cracks in my armor, leaving me crying in the middle of Stop and Shop or hearing myself sound impatient and frustrated when I don’t mean to be. I think it’s time to stop running. The other day, when we had a long list of “shoulds,” my husband and I tossed them all out the window to go to my parents house and play in the pool with my niece and nephew. It’s the first day I’ve felt at peace in a very long time. I think I need to accept that this is where I am right now, and there’s nothing I can do that will make me heal any quicker. I try to hold both Matt and my Nana close. Their memories fill my house, from Matt’s artwork to my Nana’s furniture, and they are with me in all of my moments. I think of Matt when I cut lemons; it always stressed him out because I move so fast. I think of my Nana when I pour laundry detergent because she would swirl the cup so none of it would spill down the side. When you love people so much, they become a part of you forever in ways both big and small. I’m going to try to be more patient with myself and my process, and accept the fact that I’m not really ok right now. I’m going to set the intention to create space to let the grief process out, and I’m hoping some of the panic will leave with it. That’s where the real yoga is, in being completely present in your process and experience. The standing on your head isn’t the hard part, it’s the sitting still. That’s where the real magic begins.