It’s hard to believe it’s practically May and I haven’t written a post in almost a month. April was a bit of a roller coaster for me–emotions and decisions, new opportunities and (my personal favorite) change. Any and all of this could reasonably account for my loss of time and lack of word count–but if I’m being totally honest, there was also some recreational time packed in there for relaxing and enjoying a week off with my family (more on that later).
When describing what the last few weeks have been like, and then selecting which descriptive term to use in this post, I went back and forth quite a bit before settling on ‘roller coaster.’ What clinched it? I remembered that scene from the movie Parenthood where the Grandma talks about one… You know it, she says:
You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
Keeping in a similar spirit, April certainly brought new conditions–and like Grandma’s roller coaster, there were ups and downs–but I has some real “A-Ha’s” in the last 29-30 day. This is a short list of what was really cool:
- There were more ups than downs (who knew being “influx” could net more positives than negatives) and the excitement of the ups usually mitigated much of the downs–who wants the mundane merry-go-round anyway, right?
- Fears got right-sized. In the past when I was experiencing change I would come undone with a laundry list of irrational fears–this time there were no more monsters under the bed.
- Related to #2, I figured out how to clear these monsters accidentally, but when it happened it was a “duh” moment. Let ms explain… Remember when you were a kid and you believed with 1000% certainty there were goblins in your closet or demons under your bunk? Hold that thought… What convinced you they were gone or, even better, non-existent? For me it was when my Mom or Dad came into my room, turned my lights on, moved things around and back and showed me nothing was there–gave me irrefutable proof I had nothing to fear. Sure it was scary right before they opened the door or reached my hand with theirs under the bed (what if something grabbed or bit me), but once I got over that hump, I knew the truth. I was free. The same is true today with my grown-up monsters. When they surface I can turn the lights on, call them out, name them, learn from them. And then move on.
- My expectations of people, situations, myself, even the weather, were pretty reasonable. This allowed them to be exceeded in ways that were different than I could have even envisioned… ways that were better, even.
- Related to #4, I found that being reasonable is great, but if it’s not grounded in being true to myself then it means nothing. For me, this meant being transparent about putting the needs of my family and me first, being clear and honest about my goals and pursuits, asking for counsel and help when needed and doing my best to be courteous, kind, just and compassionate.
- I’m quite fortunate. I have beautiful, remarkable and brilliant people in my life. Thanking those who are there for me in whatever way and being there for others so I can take the focus off myself and see the world through someone else’s eyes is incredibly clarifying and brings a new perspective to my life–especially when I am in a state of flux; that this the exact moment I need to take the focus OFF myself and put it on to another person. I’m not talking practicing avoidance, I mean getting out of the overthinking and mental aerobics that (for me) is a clear-path to anxiety.
A Roller Coaster Ride – image courtesy of foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net