Finally feeling as though I have shaken off last year’s warm weighted blanket. Finally stretching, blinking my eyes open, and lifting my head to scan the horizon and quietly slip out of the lingering heaviness. Feet still bare. Eyes still a little blurry. Covers of still turned back in case I need to retreat.
Have finally done a bit of reflection and have started to organize the filaments of thought that have been (persistently? relentlessly? distractingly?) tangling me in their web for the past few weeks. It’s been tricky to make sense of 2017 because it was … well … a tricky year. A lot happened and yet nothing happened.
HAPPINESS HIGHS. In no particular order … I was a girlfriend (a partner), I was a step-parent to an 11-year-old boy, I was a step-parent to two 22-year-old boys, I was a project manager and change management specialist, I was a “boss” and an “employee” and a “colleague”, I was a yoga teacher, I was a yoga student, I was a daughter, I was a sister and a sister-in-law and an aunt, I was a friend, I was a biker / hiker / spinner / roller-skater, I was a traveler (Cuba + Newfoundland x2 + California + many tiny towns here on the coast), I was a beach-viber and ocean-sider, I was a writer, I was a music lover, I was a west-sider and an east-sider, I was even (those two times) a Parks BC camper. I was active and strong and happy and productive and engaged. But that’s not the whole story (despite what you might have seen on social media).
LULLABIES. 2017 was also a year that brought me to my knees more than once. Despite my exceedingly strong ability to actively deny anything I don’t want to believe, I was forced to admit that I couldn’t keep going. Three very obvious times (yes three … who’s stubborn?). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) had nearly broken me by the time the sun finally started to make an appearance in Vancouver last May. Then I rallied. For a few weeks. Next came a series of illnesses … the weird kind that only strike when you are completely run down and that finally took me out in the summer (I was sick enough in August that I turned down free tickets to burning man). Then I rallied. For a few weeks. Then my whole body shut down and I was forced to take a leave from work. I dragged myself home at the end of the day one Friday in October and literally couldn’t get out of bed for 24 hours. Maybe longer. Who knows? It is all a blur. By the time I went back to work I was feeling (slightly) stronger. I have (finally) started to rally again. It’s taking longer than I would like.
I learned a lot last year. Not necessarily the lessons I would have chosen but important lessons nonetheless. Most importantly, I (reluctantly) learned to describe those pauses I took as “lullabies” rather than as “failures”. The metaphor of waking and rising from a warm restorative sleep at the beginning of this post was consciously (and yes admittedly somewhat lazily and unimaginitavely) chosen. During those pauses I took (was forced to take) … I tried (eventually) to let myself rest and tried to let myself be healed by those moments rather than frustrated by them.
I have exited the year with new wisdom and a bit of a plan for how to prevent future (col)lapses / (re)lapses. I truly do live for those HAPPINESS HIGHS. That’s my motivation. I will do whatever I need to do to dwell in that space as much as possible. (I mean seriously?!?! Having to turn down tickets to burning man because I was literally too sick and exhausted to go?!?!? Come on!) So yes … I will learn to enjoy the LULLABIES once in a while. While 2017 was a tumultuous weird AF year that left me (and lots of others on this little blue green planet of ours) feeling rattled and beaten up, I expect things to shift productively and settle in the coming year. It is an even-numbered year and that calls for balance and stability. HAPPINESS HIGHS with regular and beautiful LULLABIES.