|my dramatic sunlight-on-face pose to indicate relaxation/relief|
Yesterday was kind of a crazy day. I mean, Mondays are always sort of an adjustment period, even when I work on the weekends, because my internal pressure to get back into "accomplishment mode" is at its strongest. But yesterday was crazier than your average Monday. I felt excessively sleepy for the first few hours of the day, and then when the coffee finally kicked in, I spent a good seven hours straight frantically trying to cram in as much as possible. It always feels good to cross stuff of your 'to do' list, but I may have overdone it. When I sat down to write a blog post for today, my brain felt broken. I just couldn't think of anything to write about. It's not like this is the first time this has ever happened (by any means). It's a pretty common affliction for bloggers and/or creative people in general. However, I can usually get over it fairly quickly (see opening paragraph to this post). This time, not so much. And honestly, I still can't think of anything to write about. So instead I am thinking aloud, and essentially writing about not having anything to write about, and why I can't think of anything to write about, and how this plays into everything else going on in my life right now. Yep.
I mentioned that my Monday was crazy, but really, my entire weekend was crazy. I spent the majority of Friday through Sunday in between music venues and a hotel room (Robbie's band had three gigs in a row and we stayed at a hotel downtown so he could be right around the corner from them). And the insomnia that decided to pay me a visit last week really overstayed its welcome, so sleep was scare. I'm not complaining; this weekend provided a nice change of scenery, and it's always awesome to be able to support my husband's career in person. And I got to hang with good friends who I haven't seen in a while and drink a few beers and dance until my feet hurt. In fact, I was, for the most part, on my feet continuously from Friday through yesterday. We also had Marg's memorial on Saturday morning, which was beautiful and bittersweet and touching on so many levels. We slept for a few hours on Saturday night, went to breakfast with friends Sunday morning, then came home and did stuff around the house until really late Sunday night. Even if I over-committed myself to so many activities that my brain felt broken come Monday, the weekend was a good kind of exhausting.
I notice that it's almost always the times when I'm overly tired that I struggle to feel creatively motivated. So after the kind of weekend and Monday I had, my failed attempts at producing an idea for a post would make perfect sense. But I really think that there's more to it this time.
I've been feeling a shift coming for the last couple of weeks in terms of where the year is headed, and honestly, it's a good feeling after what has felt like an uncomfortably eventful year. At the very end of 2011, we lost Bubby dog, which was truly one of the biggest adjustments of my life after having him by my side nearly every single day for 16 years. And then 2012 began with the longest stretch of Robbie being on the road with the band in the history of our relationship, a stretch that continued (with the occasional break) through Saturday night's show. On April 10th, we lost Margarita, and my sister lost her best friend. There have been a lot of other fairly monumental incidents as well. It's almost been like a series of electric jolts that have prohibited the possibility of any real opportunity to settle into that unspoken comfort that accompanies a routine. The only thing I can really compare it to is hitting snooze on your alarm clock after a short, interrupted night of sleep. Every time I've started to let out that sigh of relief that indicates an end to a taxing experience, the 10-minute snooze period has expired and the loud buzz of the alarm clock has smacked me back to reality. But I have this strong feeling that the madness of these past four months is coming to an end, and that awesome things are on the horizon. Like maybe I'll be turning the alarm off all together for a while, and actually experience that satisfying sigh that has been indefinitely postponed.
Truth be told, we all feel like this sometimes, and maybe that's why I decided to raise my hand and share my thoughts with the class today. We all have periods in our lives where a lot (be it good or bad) is thrown at us at once, and we all experience the inevitable come-down as result. Whether this manifests as the inability to come up with a good blog post or a nagging cold or a need to sleep for 12 hours or something else entirely - and whether we emerge feeling imminent changes or just go back to the everyday life we knew before it - we all deal with it at least a few times in our lives.
This is certainly not the first time that I've had a lot of madness consume everything over a short period of time. Nor is it the first time that my I felt weary in the aftermath, or positive about good things on the horizon. When I think back to times of loss, there always seems to have been more than one. Or when I reflect on times when my husband has been gone for unusually long stretches, I realize that, without fail, more than one major event occurred that I had to deal with on my own. I think it's almost natural for a domino effect to occur when a crisis strikes. You attempt to cope with something, then suddenly, some other storm erupts and knocks you down before you were even able to fully recover from the first one. This isn't a bad thing. There's a reason why we rip off band-aids instead of slowing peeling them away and prolonging the pain. As exhausted and brain fogged as I feel right now, and as much as I kept telling myself "omg, what next, I seriously cannot handle one more thing" in the midst of it, I'm grateful that the madness I just emerged from was condensed into a few months. I remember feeling this exact same way during the early fall of 2010, after a similar period of domino effect-style loss and crises. I was tired, I felt a little brain dead, and I had a hard time focusing on being creative. But I also felt all sorts of awesomeness about to bloom. And it did: I started this blog.
In the cycles of our lives, there will be many times like this - times where the madness comes to an end, and we turn corners, and we watch good things appear. The older I get, and the more I experience, the more I see the truth in this. Something substantial will always undoubtedly arise from those times where we're wading through the crap. Honestly you guys, I think I just proved that to myself while I was writing this post. After aimlessly staring at my computer screen for longer than I care to admit and eventually feeling so frustrated that I just started typing my random thoughts, I was able to come up with a post. Funny how that worked out! The same can of course be said for spans of sadness or compounding loss or seemingly endless challenges. You somehow fight through the pain, then when it finally comes to an end, you're left feeling deflated and foggy. When you're in this place, my advice (to myself as much as anyone else) is to remember what I just said about something substantial arising from it. Even if you feel a little hopeless, stay as positive as you can. That way you'll be prepared to make the most of the good things that will appear, the new doors that will open, the joyful surprises that you might just have missed if you hadn't just gone through all that crap.
Those cliches about the hard stuff making you stronger, and it taking bad things to appreciate the good, and blah blah blah can be really annoying sometimes, I know. But ultimately, they're true. When Robbie and I went on our spontaneous adventure, one of the restaurants we visited had the coolest quote ever on the back of the menu by author Bob Perks:
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
I loved the whole thing, but this part struck me the most: "I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger." Simple, but really powerful, right? The next time you're where I am now, in that period when the madness ends and you're soooo tired and you find yourself overwhelmed with reflection on all you've just been though, remember that line. Remember that you just overcame all sorts of obstacles, and yes, it really sucked, but you're even more bad ass than you were before. And now you get to enjoy all the goodness that's about to come in a way that wouldn't be possible had you not experienced that suffering. Really, it's a pretty amazing way to look at life.
It's May 1st. A brand new month. And that's my post for today. :)
FILED UNDER: random thoughts/life