22
Oct

Five minute Friday - still (take 2)

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on still.

Go.

How am I still here?

The last time we had this word for FMF I wrote all about my yoga practice and finding stillness in my life.

But my life isn't as fast-paced these days. My change in careers, my lifestyle changes, COVID, have all led me to be calmer, more centered, more able to think. But the one thing that has taken a hit is my yoga practice and I struggle to hit the mat, alone in my room. It feels different these days. I still do it (because I'm a doer) but it doesn't bring me the same feeling, the same need, and I'm no longer pulled to it like I was in class.

How am I still here?

But something is brewing. Something that is leading me to feel sick to my stomach worried. Something is in the air and I'm concerned. I'm also tired. Like really really really tired. I wake up checking how quickly I can get back to bed. I want to nap all day every day. I've been here before.

How am I still here?

I try and rally around the wonderful things in my life. I am so fortunate and so so privileged. I try and remember that when things feel heavy like this but I have also decided it is okay to feel blue. So blue it is right now. Blue and tired and worn down and out a little. An author once wrote that it's important to feel all of your feelings so that you always know you can and will get to the other side. Just when you think, I can't do this anymore, it's good to remember you were here before, don't turn numb, feel it, go through it, it's the only way out is through.

I don't get told to feel my feelings often. I get told to bottle them a lot, that they are too big for this world. So I'm going to do this one differently.

Even if I feel them while sitting still.

Even if I feel them quietly and alone.

Even if I go through this alone.

How am I still here?

I'm still here because I need to be. Because I can be. Because I will be ok

I'm still here because this is life...glorious, messy, and hard life.

I'm still here because where else in the world would I be?

I'm still here because this is how it goes, some days great, some days not, some days ok, some days blue as hell.

I'm still here.

Stop.

11
Oct

5 years later

I didn't realize how bad you were that day/that weekend. I didn't realize until the full day lingered and you hadn't moved. And then when dad came home, you were still just laying there. You had peed but hadn't moved. That's when I knew. You couldn't stand, you wouldn't eat, I knew.

We set the appointment and dad wouldn't come to grips with it, but I knew. It was a Friday late afternoon of a long weekend and they were closed that Monday. They said we could bring you back after the weekend if we wanted more time, but ultimately, this was the decision. He begged to take you home, but I looked at you and I couldn't let you suffer for three more days, it was time.

I put on my protective coat. The one I feel slipping over my skin when hard decisions are needed. It's the coat that separates me from my body and my feelings. It actually makes me feel colder, but it also allows me to make really hard decisions I can't make. I felt it slip over my body and I knew. You had lived your purpose sweet love, I knew it was time.

We had our closest friends coming into town that weekend. I think you knew how much I needed that. I remember how much it hurt to breathe, how loud the quiet was. How empty a full house felt.

For the next several months, you could find us falling apart here and there. It would hit us both differently and at different times. It was early March and he was cleaning the backyard and realized it was the last Mia cleanup he would ever do and he cried. It was November and I went to a yoga class that asked me to bring you wanted to love and something you wanted to release and I brought your paw print and cried. It was a warm spring day when we placed your ashes under a tree and the kids lost it. It was December when my brother-in-law made me a book of my goodnight note and I read it over and over and over again. It was April that we brought home our new puppy. The one that made us smile, laugh, snuggle in, our lover of love. Our little bundle. Our little little girl. We called her Mia here and there and would cry. We tried nicknames that we gave you and cried. We were ready but still missing you so hard we were losing it all over again.

It's been five years now. Four of them we spent with Pearl. We still spend so much time talking about you but we are better. I see pictures of you and I don't cry. I can talk about you without pain. I don't reach for you in bed anymore. I don't shuffle my feet when I get out to avoid stepping on you. I don't hear you. So, I guess that's all better.

It's been five years without you. You lived the longest life, inching out every single year, knowing how much we all needed you. How much I still needed to be raised by you. You were my reason. Time protects us from moving farther away from the pain and heals. Time keeps life moving forward. Time is what we needed.

It's been five years without you peanut.

3
Oct

Resort

We live in a great, small resort town. This town is my home, my community and I adore it. I love the summer when things come to life. I love all the visitors, tourists. I love seeing our town overrun by people. I love how long it takes to get through such a small block in town. I love the traffic, the things to do. I love the restaurants, I love the excitement. I love where I live.

Towards the end of summer, early fall, you could say that the town starts to "quiet down". But for our town, all that means is that the locals come out in full force and it is still busy as hell and I love that too. As the tourists are leaving, the people that live here are still taking every ounce of summer living and loving their town.

In the winter, there is a quiet and white blanket that is thrown over our town. We all huddle into our homes, hibernate and brave the cold by finding outdoor activities we can do. The second there is a warm day, the town explodes all over again.

As with all things that you love and with this love, comes work that needs to be done. I have never been one to stick my head in the ground and pretend something does not exist, but it wasn't until recently that I realized how much work there is to do here. The lack of diversity has always been apparent, the fact that my children will not see the real world represented has always bothered me, but the reasons why there is so much lack of diversity is awful. Hearing from those that live here and the struggles they have been through, seeing others fight equity and inclusion has been heartbreaking, and unfortunately, the work is only beginning.

With the resort feel comes money, a lot of it. With money, there comes power. With a lack of diversity, there comes a lack of empathy. With a lack of empathy, there is a lack of caring and it is painful. It is painful to know and hear and see that we are so far behind where we need to be.

When you know better, you must do better.

The fall season in my resort town is here. I can see a change. The nights are a bit cooler, the mornings are just plain cold, sweatshirts are needed, I even have a heavier blanket when I sleep. Seasons are changing. And it is time for us all to take a closer look at what we love and change what we know needs to change. When you know better, you just do better.

I love you enough to work on you and work for you.

3
Oct

Five minute Friday - need

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on need.

Go.

Quiet.

Sometimes, all I really need is quiet. I make my life way too loud and I need quiet, especially right now.

Order.

Things in life are so hectic. Spending so much time together for so long was wonderful and also very messy and piles of stuff everywhere and it's time to get back to order.

Reading dates.

They bring us closer together, make us feel warm and cozy, bring in our love of reading and sharing that.

Baths.

It's getting much cooler in NY and sometimes I can't get the chill to go away. Sinking into the warmest bath is so lovely and relaxing, it's a need.

Laughter.

Things feel heavy right now and there is a need for laughter to make them all better and find a lighter side.

Love.

All I need is you.

Stop.

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