I realized today that other than one day last week when I felt really grouchy I have been feeling pretty great for months now. I seem to have ‘settled in’.
Nothing’s changed much externally. I’m still living in the same place. I still miss the same people and the same things from home. I still don’t have some of the close relationships here that I would like to. I still don’t know what that next job might be for me. I still have to spend enormous amounts of time and energy here grocery shopping (as I love to both cook and eat).
But there is a new-found peace moving in. Slowly, ever so slowly, I see all the ‘ducks lining up’ just as they should be. Which means my life is moving along steadily, just as it’s meant to be.
Trouble is, I wanted to have all the answers. I wanted to know if we’re going to live here another year, another 5 years, forever!!!! I wanted to know how to have those friendships. Where they were? Why were they were escaping me? I wanted to know what on earth it is that I’m meant to be doing?
I still don’t have all the answers but today, I’m okay with that. I’ve been through some crisis points in my life before and I remember the struggles and then, when finally, that sense of peace moved in. It happened when I decided to just trust in the future. Accept that the outcome will be okay, whatever it is. Funny enough, it generally was – eventually.
I had never done that before. I always thought I had to somehow make things happen. Well, I do believe you have to take actions and I am the first one up for an opportunity, an adventure or a try at something. But I read a line in a book somewhere talking about a flower, or tomato or something along that line. How you can’t force flower to bloom or a tomato to ripen before it’s time.
I know the day will come again though when I’ve had enough, deeply stuck in the mud of sorrow, pain, or grief. Or perhaps loneliness, outrage, or the unfairness of life. So to help me through those times, I will keep this short piece of advice I read today, about a path for moving forward.
……. putting one unsandaled foot in front of the other and trying to move forward in the midst of sorrow and chaos:
1. People have vast reservoirs of tenacity and resilience. All those days and nights that I was so sure I couldn’t get through have come and gone. I’m still here and so, my friend, are you! It turns out we can only eat chicken potpie in our underwear and watch an endless loop of Law & Order reruns for about a week before a better angel urges us to say goodbye to Sam Waterston, shave our legs, and get back out there….
2. Find yourself a friend, a shrink, a stranger at a bus shelter: It doesn’t matter who, as long as it’s a person who doesn’t have an agenda. We all need that one someone in our lives who doesn’t hear what we have to say filtered through the prism of his or her own needs. Think Switzerland. Okay, that’s a bad example because Switzerland only pretends to be neutral while hiding the money of war criminals and forcing jet-lagged tourists to eat fondue…but you get the idea.
3. Do something—anything—for somebody else. I promise, it’ll help you feel a little bit better.
4. Do something—anything—for yourself. I promise, that helps, too.
5. If you’re going to rent a movie, shoot for something frothy. A screwball comedy that revolves around a plucky, maribou-wearing, Champagne-sipping heroine who ends up with Cary Grant will do a whole lot more for your sense of well-being than Lars von Trier ever could.
6. Step away from the lasagna, ma’am. It is your God-given right to splurge from time to time (see aforementioned potpie), but if you’ve lost your health insurance, your home, your one true love, you do not want to also lose the ability to tuck in your shirt.
7. Never underestimate the power of a perfect comeback. Sometimes words aren’t even necessary. I’ve spent years perfecting a simple smile that says, “Please know that I plan to systematically destroy you when you least expect it.”
8. Let’s face it, if you don’t have anything in your life worth crying over, you probably don’t have much of a life. So crying is definitely allowed, but (and lord knows, this is easier said than done) see if you can’t keep the whining to a minimum.
9. Dwell in possibility. Only the limits of your own imagination (and a restraining order) can keep you from deciding that Benicio Del Toro is your destiny.
10. Forget about what you can’t do. The other day I overheard a snippet of conversation my 6-year-old was having with her pal. “Wait,” she asked, “what are my superpowers supposed to be again?” We all have superpowers (I myself happen to look very nice in navy), and we all forget them from time to time. Meet an old friend for lunch and have her make you a good, long list of yours.