Happy New Year!
I realize that I’m four days late in saying so, but here it is, already four days into the new year and I’m just now getting around to it. It’s 12:45 pm on a lovely Sunday and I’ve only taken – according to my FitBit – 202 steps so far. That means that I’ve gotten out of bed long enough to go to the restroom and allow my dogs to do the same. That’s it. I’m sure I’ll hit my goal of 10,000 steps by the end of today. Or maybe I won’t. Who knows? I like to keep things in a shroud of mystery.
Writing has been difficult for me lately. Not because I didn’t need a cathartic outlet – you know I always do – but I just didn’t feel like it. I’ve slipped into that weird crack of Ben being healthy enough to not need major care. There will always be clinic appointments and medications and scans and the search for the all-elusive cure, but right now we’re definitely experiencing a “light schedule” of needing anything. It’s weird.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m totally grateful. Clinic once a week instead of three? Whoa! Think of how much I’ll save in gas money! Meds reduced significantly? Yay! Ben doesn’t have to have a pillbox tantamount to that of an elderly schizophrenic with high blood pressure and diabetes. Sometimes I need the rigor of a demanding schedule. It keeps me focused on DOING instead of FEELING. I don’t have as much time to think or feel when we’re constantly on the go. Then, when I’m told we can scale it back a bit, my brain turns on and I simply flip out. I have all the time to think about all the things I’ve been putting off. What I’ve been putting off for almost two years. The flood overwhelms me and I have to make adjustments on how to deal with that.
But it’s nothing new. We’ve hit these dry spots several times throughout the course of his therapy. Rarely does it last long enough to become comfortable with it before we’re thrust into where our comfort level unfortunately lies: being in treatment. I’m sure when the trips to NYC start up in a month or so, I’ll easily transition back into therapy mode. And part of me will be grateful to having a schedule again – a life where somebody else dictates how we spend our time.
Really? Is that my comfort level? That blows, doesn’t it? I’ve been so afraid to feel for so long that I’ve even drummed the FUN feelings from my soul. Boo.
Since I’ve realized this, I’ve been desperately trying to take those small moments of dryness and making the absolute best of it. All that matters to me is finding the JOY whenever possible. I recently downloaded an app called Roadside America and it lists unusual attractions all over the US. I only purchased the Southwest piece of the map because that’s where we live, but apparently there are little nuggets of wonderfully outlandish things all over the U.S. Yes, it’s a little Clark Griswold-ish, but this is a perfect app for quirky kids – like myself – who like the ‘off the beaten path’ way of life.
Yesterday, I chose Manitou Springs – a city we’ve been to a million times – and found loads of unique things to do. We saw the World’s Largest Beetle AND School desk, we toured Miramont Castle, drove through Garden of the Gods (been there, done that, but still love it every time!), visited a true penny arcade where pinball only cost a quarter, and ate dinner in a revamped military airplane where you could act as pilots and push ANY BUTTON YOU WANTED! No buttons were off limits! We made a full day of it and there was still more quirky things we didn’t see.
Out of all the adventures I’ve taken my children on over the years, this was one of their favorite days. Ben told me on the way home that it was “EPIC.” I’m happy to have had a part in giving my children the delicious gift of being unconventional. 🙂
So. What are my New Year Resolutions? I guess I don’t have many. Sure, I’d like to exercise more, I’d like to manage my free time better, I’d like to widen my circle of weirdo friends, I’d like to finally get that novel published…. But I’m going to stick with the pursuit of finding as much joy as possible and I’ll add in this: Be BADASS. I can be badass anytime, anywhere. It doesn’t require a schedule. It means standing up when something doesn’t feel right. Or putting a jackhole in their place. Or loving the unloved. Or shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s, (which will occur on March 13 – be sure to donate!) Or just simply exuding kindness. And, of course, maintaining my gratitude for all that I do have.
I am thankful, for each and every person who has trusted their heart enough to follow our journey. To love us. To comfort us. To laugh with us. To cry with us. To cheer us on or protect us. And to those who couldn’t handle us, thank you for exiting our lives. That sounds weird, but I am so grateful to the weak who couldn’t hang. Who couldn’t love. Who couldn’t care. Who WOULDN’T care. I can’t deny that it hurts, but I honor those who chose to leave. I send you light and love and heave a sigh of relief to erase you from our lives to make room for stronger support.
Make 2015 “EPIC,” dear friends. Find the joy. Be BADASS. Be kind. But don’t forget to be thankful. Gratitude opens hearts and allows everyone else to see what makes yours beat. Not physically, silly! That would be totally gross. I’m talking about emotional. Allow yourself to feel, dear friends. Allow feelings to guide you to the desires of your heart.
And that’s when you’ll find the courage to LIVE as you should be.