Put The Kettle On, I’m Sad.

I think sometimes we just need to complain. Take a break and let it all out, these are the things I could do without (Ha, Tears for Fears song). Seriously, I could do without the cold, grey winter and the throbbing pain from this shoulder injury that makes it hard to sit and do my work, hard to sit and not do my work, hard to sleep, hard to walk. Things, well, things feel a little hard right now. And, it’s no good pretending otherwise. I’m fed up and I know you get to that place, too, sometimes. And I know we feel that we should get our action pants on and do something about it- anything. Snap out of it. Stiff upper lip and all that. Come on, what about the Magic Glitter Snow!

photo (33)Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a time to rise. There is definitely a time to give yourself a stern talking to and make a move. But, here’s the thing. There is also a time to feel blue. There is a time to put the tea kettle on and sit with it, see and feel the mess all around you. Life can be hard. It can kick your ass. It has happened, is happening, will happen again. People get knocked down. (That’s right, Chumbawamba) When we don’t acknowledge the down times or try to deny the slump or distract ourselves to avoid feeling blue, then we miss an opportunity to learn and grow. And we miss an opportunity to take care of ourselves. And we diminish the chance to really appreciate the get back up part.

I practiced some self-care this weekend. It went like this: My shoulder was killing me. I had spent hours working on the taxes. The winter is wearing on me. I am feeling truly fed up and generally lacking in joy. And this made me feel sad. How did I get here? This is not my beautiful life. (Hello Talking Heads song.) I just felt miserable. And I let myself feel this way. I didn’t try to talk myself out of it. I didn’t admonish myself for being sad. I just thought, hmmm, I feel pretty low. I made myself a cup of tea and got a hot water bottle, put a movie on and cuddled up in my favorite blanket and softened towards my mood. I made some space for my sadness which allowed me to let go of resisting. When I let go, there was a natural easing up. Acceptance was my key to a glimpse at a brighter mood. I wasn’t back-flipping with ecstasy (that should be a song) but, I felt comforted in just being where I was…a sad, sore, little mess on the couch with her hot water bottle, waiting for spring and trusting that it will come. And that little glimmer, can sometimes be enough for a smile and a smile with a cup of tea, can lead to all sorts of good. I hope that this post finds you with spring in your heart, tea in your hand and a smile on your face. And if it doesn’t, well, put the kettle on and trust that it will pass.

Peace & Love,


Work in Progress

A little over a year ago, I had lost my job of 12 years, leaving me feeling powerless, directionless and anxious. I was stunned. After a reasonable spell of self-pity, self-doubt and self-abuse involving laying on the couch in my pj’s crying and watching Magnum PI re-runs for days on end, I decided to take the time that was given me to make some changes. I had been wishing to get off the treadmill, wishing to have more time for myself and my family and to put my energy toward work that felt truly meaningful. Here was my chance. I was determined not to waste the opportunity to shift the way I was living. And like all projects that I head, I went at it with gusto.

Make a list:

  1. Design a new career that draws on your passions and natural abilities. It will be wonderful. BE immediately, insanely successful at this thing.
  2. Get healthy: lose 60 pounds, master yoga, run 5K and for god’s sake quit eating stuff.
  3. Organize the house and all occupants therein.
  4. Be happy.
  5. Visualize all of this and make it happen.

Break list down into actionable goals with timeline and boxes for check marks so that you can monitor your progress and feel the success. Ignore the fact that you are feeling worse and keep at it, this is your time to flourish!! Post some positive affirmations all over the place to convince yourself that you are wonderful.

Ok, so I have anxiety, now. Panic attacks, a little social anxiety. How am I going to fix this?? Um, Meditation, exercise, give up caffeine, take yoga and relax, come on relax. Why isn’t this working!!?? I’m doing everything on my list. I’ve read articles, books and blogs. I should be healthy by now. I should be happy by now. Why isn’t everything perfect, like I said?? I have the Kate Spade ‘You are so beautiful’ wallpaper on my phone!

Yesterday, in the middle of one of those really important conversations with my best buddy, I worked it all out. I was feeling unsatisfied with my personal redesign because I had overworked it, over planned it, made it so specific that the chances for unexpected joy or success in a form different to my visualized dream were lost to me. In my focus on my list, I lost the magic and the heart of what I wanted. I was too focused on my goals.

And this morning, I am meditating, sitting still, concentrating on my breath and thinking about cranberry sauce and Christmas presents. ‘Thinking, thinking, thinking’ I say to myself in an attempt to return to quiet and then… ‘What shall I write for this week’s blog post?’ just as the bell dings to signal the end of the meditation, I giggle and think, ‘thank god that’s over, I’ve got stuff to check off my list’.