I didn’t picture this December shaping up the way it has. I’ll fill you in.
After my mother-in-law passed away in October, and my husband was gone all of November going through all her stuff preparing to sell her house, I figured that in December things would mellow out and level off.
But as you know, the best laid plans can go wildly astray. Sometimes life throws you a curveball or two and you just have to deal. That’s what started a few weeks ago.
Curveball #1: My son (the proud commercial plumber), has been living on his own for a few years. His apartment lease was ending and he had a new apartment lined up that somehow fell through. A new apartment has yet to be found, so he’s now living in our spare bedroom.
This isn’t a big deal, but we have noticed a big difference between having a child living with us and having an adult child living with us. While I thoroughly enjoy seeing him more frequently, it’s a massive change from our empty-nester status. Who knew we’d get used to it so quickly?!
Curveball #2: I just got back from giving a talk in Dallas. Me traveling is usually pretty low stress. I usually leave plenty of time for security, I hydrate, I enjoy flying, etc. But on the way back, things kind of unravelled. Google sent me to the wrong location to drop off the rental car. I had to load up again and drive to a different location for drop-off. I plugged in the second address, and was taken to another wrong location! I finally just started driving around, following the signs I saw. This was the first delay.
Then, I was in line for security for about 45 minutes. This was the second delay. I could see my gate from security with its signs that showed, “now boarding” and “final boarding” and “boarding complete.” I saw my window of opportunity to make my flight close.
Then for the third delay—and this is the real kicker—as I lugged my suitcase up onto the conveyor belt, I realized I completely spaced out and forgot to check my bag! I knew that it had liquids in it and could not go on the plane with me! (My mind was elsewhere, but more on that in a bit.) I told the woman the truth, that I didn’t know what I was thinking, that I wasn’t thinking, obviously, and I asked for help with what I should do next. I was escorted out of the security area, back to the place to check my bag onto the flight. Helpfully, this is also the place where new flights can be arranged since I had officially missed mine.
Curveball #3: A friend who I lived with in high school has passed away from Covid. She left one adult child and one teenager behind, as well as her mother. This was devastating news. Her services are this coming Sunday so I’ll be traveling again, this time to California.
This is where my mind was while I was in line going through security, on the loss of someone so kind and good. Trying to think through my travel plans, trying to deal with such a tragedy.
Throughout these curveballs, sure there were a few internal swear words, and more than a few eye rolls—mostly at myself—and a few unshed tears.
Mainly, I just shook my head and keep uttering the phrase my mentor passed onto me, “Everything is always working out for me,” and trusted that it would.
Throughout all this chaos, my internal world—my center—was calm. I didn’t feel frazzled or overwhelmed or out of control. I recognize that curveball number one requires patience, daily. Curveball number two required humility. Curveball three will require compassion. I observed my thoughts, acknowledged what I was feeling, and did my best to cope.
Because of the work I’ve done on myself, the inner work, I knew I’d be ok. I know that now I’m home, I need to prioritized self-care without fail, and I’ve acknowledged that I need to be patient with myself. But overall, I’ve got this.
If these things stress you out just by reading about them, and you’d like to have a little slice of inner peace, consider some self-care, some true rest, and maybe a conversation with me. Perhaps I can help.
This will be the last blog post from me for the year. I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Take care of yourself, give yourself a big hug from me, and accept this dose of virtual good juju.
See you next year! (Let’s hope 2022 has its own plans and doesn’t follow in the previous two years’ footsteps!!)
Chronic good juju spreader, recovering graphic designer, supporter of all creatives everywhere.