Okay, I am frustrated this morning. Wanted to post a new poem on my poetry site, but kept getting knocked off when I tried. Was trying to copy and paste because of some of the wordage within the piece, but every time I would click the paste button, the entire page and all that I had written would simply disappear and I was back offline again. So, decided to let it go for the moment.
Because my time is being regulated by other circumstances, I had pretty much decided to stick with this blog and let the others go for a while. But then found poetic inspiration on someone else’s blog. It’s been a while since I wrote any poetry and I dove after the idea with a bit of eagerness. After the third attempt however, I chose to come here and not allow the frustration to waste any more of the few minutes of free time I have been gifted this week.
My usual routines have been scattered to the winds of late. That includes my journal writing. Normally, I get up and immediately settle in to do my journal page for the day. But, I’ve been staying at my Mom’s and fixing her breakfast and waiting for the relief team to show up before I can get home to my computer. Because my morning pages signal the beginning of my day, it’s been a bit discombobulating to begin that day at 2pm, or even later on occasion.
I had a counseling session a few days ago. My counselor, after listening to my none-stop descriptions of what’s been going on, asked me a very simple question. “How are you taking care of yourself in the midst of all of that?” I promptly went blank. My response to her question was somewhat vague even to my own ears. So, of course, she asked it again. Thank goodness the session was almost over, because I was stumped.
I drove home with the question in the passenger seat, belted in with the safety harness, but very present and leaning in to hear something other than vague hand motions and mumbled replies. When I walked through the door of my apartment, I immediately had several clear answers. Why does that always happen? Maybe because on an almost daily basis, I am moving a great deal outside of my own small comfort zone? It takes time to think and I don’t have much time for anything at the moment other than the current changing situation, dealing with whatever task needs attention and what, most often, seems and feels like some sort of controlled chaos.
When I walked through that door, I took a deep breath and found four very specific answers to the counselor’s question. Number one, I was keeping my counseling appointments. That outside space to vent is incredibly important.
Number Two, my oldest daughter was staying with me for a few days, relieving me of planning and cooking meals, but also providing me with a sounding board and a very deeply needed sense of not being completely alone.
Number Three, I have not given up or let go of my sketchbooks and the relaxation and play that they provide for me. Those few hours I spend exploring the realm of color and shape, allow me ease and comfort, while allowing my mind to bend itself around something completely separate from the current emotional situation.
Number Four, and probably more important than the others, I have not missed a day in my journal. Talking with others, being able to vent to a listening ear is terribly important, but that contact with my own person, that one on one dialogue with myself is far more essential. I would go so far as to say that that is the very reason why, when I opened that door and took that deep breath, I wasn’t scattered and lost as I had been in the counselor’s presence. She is paid to ask those kinds of questions, and if they were easy, I wouldn’t being paying her to ask them.
As a matter of fact, that particular day, I had slept over at my Mom’s, fixed her breakfast, changed her bed, cleaned up her apartment, got her settled in and a load of wash going before my younger sister came in, and I could go home, take a shower, get dressed and get to the counselor’s office. When I got back home, my only thought was to get on the computer and get my page done for the day. That’s when it all fell into place and I had all of the answers I needed.
It isn’t easy staying sane, or healthy, in the midst of chaos. But, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in this moment. Yes, I am moving outside my normal comfort zone, but I’m making sure that I hang onto the most essential aspects of that zone even if the beginning of the day doesn’t happen until quarter after eleven in the evening. My journal pages are always the beginning.
What are you doing to take care of yourself in the midst of whatever chaos life might be throwing your way in the present moment? Do you have a safety harness and do you use it?
Taking care of yourself when you are devoting time to take care of someone else is sooo important. I pray that you have strength and balance during this time.
I saw my counselor today and immediately listed the four items above. She laughed and said that was what she was expecting last time and was a little worried when I left without speaking them. She presented me with another simple but really difficult question today, more than one as a matter of fact. But, it is all aimed at helping realize what is balanced and where the strength comes from. Personally, I think she needs a raise, lol. And I will continue to tick off those four things on a regular basis.
Thank you for your words, but even more for the prayers, those are also essential.