The last few days I’m pretty sure I haven’t really been fit for human company. Irritable. Not wanting to stay in or go out. Lonely and tired aren’t a great combination when you’re kinda extroverted. Eating all the ice cream, crackers, cheese and other snack food I can find in the house. Not able to sleep well. Except for when I’m supposed to be awake. And did I mention irritable?
Frankly, I don’t think Jack has been very impressed with my company either.
But then it struck me, between tears, that the problem isn’t that there’s something wrong that needs to be fixed. Rather, for months now, I’ve felt like I’m in transition. My rhythms have shifted. My energy is different — sometimes explosive, sometimes vibrant, sometimes tapped out. I’m not sure whether I’m birthing something, shedding something, or growing something, but whatever it is, I think this discomfort will continue to be at least an occasional companion for a while.
I was thinking about a photo I took at my old house in Eagle River a few years ago, of baby rhubarb.
It feels like that. Baby rhubarb — adorable. Kinda ugly. Astonishing (says the girl who can hardly keep any plant alive). Fragile. A lot of hard work. And as a friend said to me later today, pushing through a lot of dirt.
And the thing is, at this stage, the baby rhubarb looks both nothing like the seed that began it, or like the plant that will later take over the yard.
That’s the tricky part — not knowing quite where this is all going. And in the meantime, trying to figure out how to hold space for myself, gently, in the midst of it all.
I wrote in my journal today, “…But I think I’m just in a really uncomfortable birthing state, and have to figure out how to bear the discomfort.”
So that’s the challenge: How DO I hold space for myself, gently, as this new self emerges? I’m so much better at being gentle with others than with myself. I’m trying to allow myself more time for rest, for quiet. To pay more attention to what my spirit really wants, rather than simply defaulting into television and ice cream. Doing lots of writing, noticing, gathering, and recognizing there also needs to be more discarding, more letting go.
I’m noticing a lot. I’m doing a lot more writing — journaling, blogging, and that song! And not just writing more, but feeling I NEED to write. I’m also reading more, and finding the energy to read more non-fiction — really interesting books on trauma, on grief, on resilience. I’ve spent most of the winter being a hermit, and with all the ice cream I’m eating, it’s probably time to get out more and get more active. Someone, PLEASE take this ice away.
And I’m growing my hair out. I’ve had bangs all my life, and now have left them behind. And like it!
I love my work. LOVE it. I get to do lots of cool things to support my team and support other hospital staff, and still continue at times to care for patients and families. I get to encourage and inspire and support and love.
I don’t know where this is all going. Lots of days it’s fantastic. And other days, it’s excruciatingly uncomfortable. More dirt to push through. Thanks for staying on this journey with me.