engaging…lately {35}

Hey.

I’m here with a quiet (and kind of grumpy) hello.

I delayed writing a post all day yesterday, willing my mood to lift. Which it didn’t. But kind of did overnight, after a decent sleep.* (Thankfully.)

That mood.

I should have seen it coming.

There’s been lots of good engaging here. A college send-off for our nephew; six days with our ‘other daughter,’ Audrey’s best friend; a quick visit with a special couple in town for the weekend. Troy + I had an actual date for the first time in…I have no idea how long: dinner + drinks down the street from our house, followed by the Avett Brothers in concert. (Great entertainers they are!)

There’s been hard engaging, too. That long-distance parenting weight I mentioned last week. And the parenting under our roof…E is 11 and Linc will be 15 on Tuesday. I’m 47, and once in a while I just feel really damn…hot…out of the blue. Then it passes.

(Can we pack a few more hormones into this house?) (Oh, I know. More’s coming.)

I’ve been reading in blogland, embracing your posts about hope, retreat, reflection. Moriah’s recent ‘tales of respect’ prompted me to, what I call, follow my bread crumbs:

Ask What am I feeling? Give an honest answer, however ugly. (Key!) Then ask What else? Connecting the dots like this, with at little judgement as possible, helps me see why I’m so grumpy. To acknowledge it–which is the first step to most things, I figure.


So yesterday afternoon, with an hour and a half to myself, I sunk into yoga. Afterward, I followed my bread crumbs. There were the obvious ones…like simply being out of balance. But then I thought about…how do I describe this…things that I hold in my body’s memory.

Like, by now, in previous years, we’d have returned to the school-year rhythm I crave, cycles of quiet + active, alone + together. It’s this time of year I’d be taking half-days of silence or retreating in nature, restoring + resetting myself. And that time’s coming soon–we’ll resume that rhythm just after Labor Day. But it’s a calendar we’ve kept since 2009! So, it’s engrained. And I’m feeling it in this sensitive body of mine.

Yesterday was also an anniversary. One I kept nudging and nudging out of the way every time I glimpsed the date. August 26. I’ve worked hard to heal from it, so I didn’t want to give it any due.

I did, though. Finally. When I got off my mat. When I gave in to the bread crumbs. When I could no longer *not* acknowledge that everything, everything was making me angry yesterday.

So angry.

I acknowledged it by texting my parents, my brother, and Troy. Simply saying It’s today. And I’ve come so far. I’m so glad I did the work. It was the hardest thing ever and I’d do it again. I cried, a little, for my 11-year-old me. And all my me’s since ’86, all my messy stages of breaking and becoming. I’m renewed in a way I’d never have guessed possible. And still, naturally, there’s a small’ish shadow.


Suffice it to say I was still pretty off when I went to bed last night. But I woke up somewhat re-connected. My body + mind feel like they’re back on the same circuit, at least.

The fact of the matter is some days there will be shadows, no matter how hard I try to take care.

I tell myself they make the light even more beautiful.

Some days that’s a bunch of baloney. Other days I actually believe it.


(*Sleep. The Ashwagandha I’ve mentioned makes all the difference. Twice a day. Possibly thrice, if I can’t remember whether or not I already took one!)

One Worders, I’ll open the link for our check-in on Monday morning. Ready or not! See you then. xo

21 thoughts on “engaging…lately {35}

  1. I think some of my most . . . shadow-y . . . times were those when my “role” in my childrens’ lives was changing (as it does). Change is hard, especially when we really did like the way things were before. Keep engaging, Carolyn. And embrace the changes in your life. XO

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  2. Oh Carolyn – so much here. I am grateful you have done the work and that you allow that angry bit to just be. You are engaging in such a meaningful way.

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    1. I started this healing work late in ’17 when my one word was Thrive, and I finished it in ’18 with my one word, Possibility. Those two continue to be two of my most dearly held words to date. And I think I know why. Thanks, Juliann.

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  3. Carolyn… Remember getting mad is healthy!!
    You are doing great!!
    I wish your parents hadn’t been busy when I was home!! Hug them for me.

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  4. Remember: anger stems from sadness. This last year you experienced big changes and with it some loss. As summer winds down, itโ€™s all kind of settling in. You are starting over, really.

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  5. I think, with the hard stuff, even when we want to forget it or bury it or generally not acknowledge it, it still has its way of working itself to the front of our mind. You are doing a good job of dealing with it, even when you don’t want to, and I’m glad that a good night’s sleep is helping it to recede into the background again.

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  6. I am so incredibly sad to have read this post and proud to know you. I didn’t know the backstory to your anniversary, until I just read it, Well done on feeling….. Anger, sadness, fear , joy. You won lady big time and that so and so lost. You should be so proud of your 11 year old self for spotting a wrong un, and your part in bringing him to justice. And then going on with your life and finding help when you needed it. You are a hero. Just hugs,xx

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    1. Your choice of words really strikes me, Cathy. (And thank you! For all of them. And the virtual hug. I really did feel it.) A few months after I finished therapy, when I was 42, I got word that the man had died. And that was exactly my reaction–that I had won. That I overcame it all in his lifetime. That somehow felt significantly important to me. Thanks for your seeing. xo

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  7. Wow, I didn’t know that story about what happened. It is wonderful that you asked your mom who was Marilyn! And I am glad you have healed from what happened over time.

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  8. late (as usual these days) getting here and just wanted to acknowledge … to say I see you and honor the journey you’re on. Grateful for the work you’ve done and for the strong woman you’ve become. xxoo.

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