May 31st, 2016
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kicking water

How was your Memorial Day weekend?  Having that extra day was the best!

I hope it was relaxing and the holiday weekend went pretty much the way you had planned it.

Before I continue with thoughts about Memorial Day weekend, let me say I am feeling bad about being away from Cry Laugh Heal recently and not posting as often as I would prefer.  I have not forgotten AT ALL about you or the ongoing dialogue we’ve started about working through our grief feelings while also trying to create new lives after the death of a loved one.

However, I am emotionally stretched and find myself in a place where there is a lot going on in different areas of my life and sometimes at the end of the day I just cannot find the energy to write one complete sentence.  I have tried to write posts and I get started and then my mind jams and freezes or I fall asleep in front of the computer.

At this point, the biggest and most important event in my life is my son’s wedding on June 11, which is right around the corner.  I am totally excited and happy for him and his wonderful fiancé.  They are the sweetest couple and when I see them together my heart feels full of positivity and love for them.  I predict a long and happy marriage for them and I know June 11 is going to be everything they want.

But in the midst of planning for this very happy occasion, my thoughts and energies have unfortunately been pulled away periodically by other stresses which I can’t write about and have nothing to do with the wedding.  Try as I might to unplug from them, these stresses end up being emotionally draining.  I am sure these things will eventually work themselves out, but it’s distracting and in some ways frustrating to keep dealing with issues that really can only be solved by the main players themselves.

And that dear friends is one of the reasons why the timing of this past Memorial Day weekend was perfect.

It could not have come at a better time.  Three days off from work which meant sleeping in, not being on much of a schedule, taking morning walks, reading a book, getting my hair done, browsing mindlessly through stores, puttering around in the yard and checking in on my neighbors.

I find that all these activities go a long way to taking me out of myself, helping me pause to enjoy some well deserved down time and building up my reserves of resilience.

Part of being emotionally resilient is learning to take care of yourself.  It has taken a long time to figure out what works well for me but I have learned over the last few years that when I have the time to take a long walk around my neighborhood, I feel like a million bucks.

The mental and physical rewards of walking every day help me feel more patient and more focused as I go through my day.  It gives me a chance to get myself moving and also work through my thoughts about whatever life issues I am dealing with.  I just feel renewed and ready to move on with the day’s events.

Unfortunately, when we’re under severe emotional stress, such as dealing with the loss of a loved one or other kinds of loss which are just as emotionally traumatic, we tend to abandon our healthful habits.  We’re human and that’s just what happens.  We have to cut ourselves a break when we find ourselves dealing with too much.  I know that I do kick some of my healthy habits to the curb when I’m under pressure because I’m looking for a quick fix to make me feel better.  What kind of quick fix you may ask?  Isn’t chocolate the answer to all quick fixes?  It’s so bad and I know it but at the same time I can’t help it.  Eating badly becomes a reward unfortunately.

That’s when I remind myself that I am going off the rails and I need to pull myself back into some kind of balanced behavior.  And one of the ways I get myself back on track is by tapping into those crucial reserves of resilience that I try to build up when things are going well.  Yup, the same reserves that I paid into this past weekend by creating downtime and exercising and reading and sleeping.

Less stress and more breathing.

Less stress and more being.  For being is sufficient.  It really is.

You can be considerate of others but still take care of yourself too.

So Memorial Day weekend was in a way a gift to myself.  I tried to keep it simple and focus on the soothing joys of my life.

The basic joys I can often take for granted and definitely miss when I stay away from them for too long.

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