Change of Plans

There has been grey everywhere every day for months now. My mood has also been grey, my overall stress level red hot, yet hidden beneath heavy bedrock. My destination blue and bright, and a powerful opposition to the heavy grey bedrock. Within time the bedrock would crack, letting the red hot stress escape and burst into daylight. 

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Beyond Comfort

I arrived early to my appointment. For the first ten minutes, I sat in my car journaling, a habit I’ve neglected but vow to resume in the new year. I jotted down my daily reflections and made my way to the waiting room where I sat in my regular chair. The chair is farther away from reception, tucked in a corner with a large fish tank, book shelf and TV running slides to promote healthy living. I stowed my cell phone deep into my coat pocket, intending to use my time to practice presence. At first, I watched the stream of informational and motivational slides on the TV. After that became redundant, I turned my attention to the large fish tank in front of me.

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Eased by Kindness

I was feeling nervous about an upcoming social engagement. I had no idea how my body would respond to being one hour way from home, socializing with people I hadn’t seen in years and worrying about having to hide my nervous energy with smiles and nods. 

The weekend before at a community event I experienced a level of anxiety I hadn’t in a while. I honestly couldn’t pinpoint what triggered it, but I was stuck in that environment for hours too long. My husband told me that I was friendly and pleasant, and if it wasn’t for me letting him know that I was struggling, he would have never guessed. Those who actively prioritize their well-being are aware of their internal pulses and do a great job coping – even when highly stressed. The hours after the event were reserved for repair – a calm, quiet time at home.

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Cozy Nights

We settled on the couch after dinner with the intention to watch a Halloween movie. With Halloween only a few days away we thought it was a good idea to get into the spirit. We nestled on our loveseat with an extra cozy blanket and Winston (our little dog) curled up on the puffiest section. I suggested that we watch the movie with all the lights turned off – not that the Halloween movie we chose was super scary, but it would add to the overall movie-watching experience. 

We were half way through the movie when Winston decided he was bored and wanted to play. We took turns tossing his toy and wrestling, meanwhile trying to keep up with the movie’s plot. Once he was done with playing, he settled back on the couch for just a few minutes before he was wandering the living room again, giving us the glare that if he spoke would say, “I’m bored. Let’s do something.” I replied to his concern with, “We’ll go for a walk after the movie.” he responded by walking to the front door and waiting patiently for the movie to conclude. 

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Parts of Me

I am not quick to write about just anything. I wait, mull over my recent interactions with the world, and finally settle on something I want to share with you. This month I waited, writing almost daily but with only a few shareable insights. I have been feeling a pull in opposite directions. On one hand I have felt courage and with it, an openness to reveal more of the playful, vulnerable and humorous part of me. Alternately, I have felt unsafe, shy, and wanting to hide. When I consider both of these parts (let’s call them Openness and Safety) it’s easier to talk about the bright smiling playful part and less about the part of me that wants to hide away.

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I felt inspired to organize. Maybe it was a post I saw on social media of neatly organized rooms. Nonetheless, I was motivated. We lifted an old shelf originally housed in our living room up to our Office/Record Room. My plan was to gather every ball of yarn I own and organize them on the display shelf. This was quite the job seeing that I had yarn tucked under my bed, hidden in closets, totes, and baskets all over my house. If you’re wondering, along with blogging, crocheting is also a passion of mine. It’s a skill I picked up from my Grandma, and over the past few years I have expanded my collection from simple doll scarves to winter hats, dog sweaters and various clothing that I love to wear. 

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My YES Day

Counting down to summer break, a young boy could not wait to tell me that he and his family were going to have a “YES Day.” Excitement took over his whole body – his eyes widened, his body wiggled and danced as he scrambled to find the words to describe what this new family tradition would look like. YES Day was a day he could have pizza and ice cream for breakfast, go to a theme park for the day and watch a movie way past his bed time (while eating a second helping of pizza and ice cream). It was a day of breaking routine and endless fun.

His excitement was contagious and got me thinking, “What would I do if I coloured outside the lines for a day?” As an adult I could choose to eat pizza for breakfast, spend money on a theme park or stay up late. So what would it look like for me to break my routine and be as playful and carefree as a child? My curiosity seemed to be sparked at the perfect time… 

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Welcoming Warmth

I peered out my open window as I lay in my bed. I’m in no rush today and want to lounge as long as possible. The season is changing, and for the first time I am hesitant of the switch. Winter has felt safe – nestled inside under blankets, just the three of us, familiar. My beloved spring has felt like Mom ripping back my blankets and telling me I’m going to be late for school. I’m uncomfortable with this change and prefer to be bundled in safety.

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Spring Cleaning

I am all about being safe. It’s been my top priority for the past few years. This need to be safe has turned my ‘introvertness’ into possibly ‘hermit living.’ And the weird thing is I don’t mind it, to some extent it has helped me regulate my overworked nervous system.

By pulling back from socializing, I’ve had time to reflect on the principals that drive my life. I would call it a healthy spring cleaning where every belief is pulled out of the dresser drawer and analyzed: “Do I keep this item or toss it?”

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