It’s been an eventful week. My stepson was in a major car accident (thankfully walking away with only minor injuries), my older brother’s health is declining (again), and my husband just lost his job. On a scale of 1 – 10 for good days, these rank somewhere in the negative numbers. And somewhere wedged in between all of this activity, I was away at a work conference for two days. As I drove home through busy traffic today, I had an overwhelming desire to do one simple thing when I got home…
As soon as I got to my house, I dropped off my bags in the hallway and went out to my backyard and laid down on the cool green grass to look up at the puffy clouds. I realize there are plenty of other people who would choose to relax with a different kind of grass, but this is what I craved at that moment. My dog followed me out, giddy with fur-kid excitement that a) I was home and b) that I was reclining on his level. My son then also followed to chat and catch up and feel some reassurance that everything will work out ok in our lives. Bless him, he didn’t even raise an eyebrow or ask why I was laying in the grass. After all, mom does some pretty weird things.
It felt great, my cool grass moment — it was just what I needed… and as I lay there, I came to a few conclusions:
- For once being older is a good thing. The younger me of years past would be freaking out at any of the issues of the past few days. Granted, my brain has been going at about 100 mph and my stomach is in knots, but otherwise, I’m not in full-on anxiety mode – for two reasons. First, flying off the handle is no help whatsoever, and second, because I just don’t have the energy. I will admit I have moments of internal panic, but for the most part the more mature me is choosing to believe that everything will work out fine somehow. The older I get, the more I cling to Faith, Hope, Love, and Strength, and focus on taking one day at a time. Besides, God has been remarkably good to me for 52 years, and I don’t think I’ve done anything lately to make piss Him off so He’d change His mind and no longer give me guidance on the right paths to take.
- Be Kind, and Unwind. I am by no means the only one who’s had a kind of crappy week. I can immediately think of several other Real Women who have a lot of challenges in their lives at this very moment: elderly & sick parents, work pressures, challenges with children, family in the military during unsettled times, loss of beloved pets, their own health worries… you name it, we all are carrying around a load of problems. And some are carrying around far more serious issues than what I’ve just listed. You never can tell what someone may be dealing with, because we are all pretty darn good at keeping things inside. So let’s be nice to each other. In a world that currently seems to be running low on kindness, let’s try to change that, one person at a time. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but can have a remarkable effect of unwinding some of the tightness so many of us are carrying on our shoulders or around our hearts.
- Life is All About Balance. Yes, shit happens. Sometimes it seems like it happens a lot. But the universe has a funny habit of giving us some good to balance out the not good. My stepson miraculously will be fine, even though his new-to-him car was totaled. My brother is in a safe, pleasant facility full of people to take care of him. My husband is healthy, smart and talented, and we will find a way to make ends meet somehow until we figure out this next chapter in life. I was stopped in several traffic jams on my way home today, but it was a sunny dry day, I opened my windows, turned up my music playlist, and got home safely. I’ve had a challenging week, but ironically my girlfriends had already planned to visit this weekend and apparently are now planning to force me into relaxation and de-stress mode.
Therein lies our solution, I believe, to being able to handle the challenging times in life. We have to cling to faith and hope, be kind, and look for balance. And we need to recognize when we need that moment — a time out, really — to breathe and find clarity, and gather our strength for what is to come. On a grander scale, there’s a lot of scariness and hatred in the news right now; but even on that level, we can still reach for balance in our own lives… like when the need arises, find a comforting spot of cool green grass to lay on.