In the hazy remnants of the dark of night, in the final moments before dawn when even the birds have yet to open their eyes to sing the world awake, I jolt upright in bed. My husband is out-of-town and I’m alone, save for the two cats that slunk, with the stealth of cat burglars, to settle beside me during the night. They are disturbed by my sudden movement and, with haughty indignity and a disgusted chorus of “Meows”, they saunter away to rest without further disruption. I cannot. Something unsettling has been unearthed. Unacknowledged in the light of day, it was dredged from the shadows of my subconscious and presented to me in vivid, HD imagery, while I slept. Something difficult. Something inevitable. Something that my tense chest and weighted sighs indicate I would prefer remain concealed.
To be honest, and I’m all about brutal honesty behind the comforting veil of this blog, I am in a rut. Since returning from Europe I’ve felt displaced and out of sync; I am floundering and undirected. So here, now, for every-one’s eyes, is a list (a l…o…n…g list) of things I need to get back to Me:
I need more yoga. I need to stretch, breathe, bend and focus.
I need to write more, blog more, read more.
I need my husband to come home from his business trip. Things are better with him by my side.
I need to move. My place of residence and my body.
I need more tea, less coffee.
I need to watch less TV, eat more fibre, get more sleep.
I need to have a long, leisurely lunch with my girl-friends.
I need a FAB new pair of shoes. Something with heels. Something impractical. Something red.
I need my new 10-week-old kitten to overcome the retrovirus ravaging his body.
I need to judge less, embrace more and just say, “Yes.” What I need is an attitude adjustment.
I need to learn a craft, something right-brain oriented and therapeutic in nature: sewing, knitting, perhaps découpage?
I need rain. Not just any rain, but a heavy, cleansing, deluge from the skies to wash away the malaise and make everything new again.
I need fresh flowers on my table.
I need to de-clutter. My house. My closet. My mind.
I need a glass of fine red wine. Blasted Church vineyard’s Nothing Sacred would do very nicely.
I need fruit, organically grown and fresh from the trees of the interior of B.C. No hot house fruits need apply.
I need to do better. Just two weeks back into a ‘Regular Schedule,’ and this is what I have fed Little Miss over the past 36 hours: Take-out Chinese food for dinner last night (including deep-fried chili chicken wings, which, I suspect, are not really Chinese); a Starbucks ham-and-cheese breakfast sandwich and chai tea latte for breakfast this morning; topped off with a left-over dry ginger beef and Chow Mein (veggie Chow Mein, mind you, my one saving grace) for lunch today. I am contemplating pancakes for dinner tonight. I need to be less lazy. I need my “Good Mom” badge revoked.
I need to express patience when I don’t have it, gratitude for all of my blessings and to exude pure joy at the many, many little things that make me happy everyday. I need to remember these.
But mostly, I need to be myself. I need to let that be enough.
• • •
Anyone else out there stuck in an emotional rut? Tell me what you need to get back to You.
The call slithers towards me down the long corridor between where I sit and my daughter’s bedroom. It starts quietly, softly, a nighttime whisper hissed from the shadows of the retreating day.
Before I can respond, it comes again. “Mooommmmmmm…” A little louder this time.
I have just, not more than ten minutes ago, tucked my 12 year-old Little Miss in for the night and retreated to the sanctity of our living room. Enveloped by the golden hues of the streetlamp just outside our window, I’m ready to relax, a good book held in one hand, a soothing cup of Zen herbal tea in the other, and the companionable silence of my husband working on his lap top beside me while our two cats sleep the deep, deep sleep of lazy felines. Ah, the end of a long day.
But I know this call. I’ve heard it before. In the quiet, lonely darkness of her room her mind races. The challenges of twelve-year-old-life loom large when illuminated by moonlight and Little Miss needs to talk. It is confession time.
One morning a little while back I’m watching The View (don’t scoff), which I do more often than I care to admit because when I’m at home, writing and working all by my lonesome, sometimes I like a little banter in the background to keep me company. Whoopi, Barbara, Sherri, Elisabeth and Joy serve as my co-workers, gossiping at the water-cooler over coffee break, whilst I try ever-so-diligently to compose my thoughts. It’s my version of The Office. So on this particular day the co-host seated on the couch with the gals, trying to squeeze a word in edgewise, is Bethenny Frankel. Name doesn’t ring a bell? Clearly, you are not up on your reality TV. You know, Bethenny Frankel, of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, The Real Housewives of New York City and Bethenny Getting Married?. (Just how many TV shows can I throw into one paragraph? Apparently, five. Remember my goal to watch less TV? Situation critical.) Anyhooo, Bethenny was talking about her rise from her dysfunctional past to her current celebrity status as reality-star, cum diet-and-fitness guru, cum author. In the process, she said this: I have had to learn to come from “A Place of Yes“. Which also happens to be the title of her latest book. I haven’t read it.