Sunday, February 23, 2014

the other stuff

the first two months of this year have basically flown by. 2014 started quietly, in my apartment, with my best friend by my side, while my lungs crackled and whistled and struggled to take in air. i wasn't sure i'd ever breathe normally again. when something takes over your body like that, it's hard to remember life without it.

but, here i sit, weeks later, breathing deeply and sitting at my desk on a sunday morning eating some cereal with blueberries, feeling quite grateful to be alive. i am learning, more and more these days, to listen to my body and to heed its warnings. when i'm tired, i sleep. when i'm hungry, i eat. when i'm full, i put down the fork. when i feel antsy, i move. when i'm working too much, i stop. these are basic concepts. and you'd think i'd have figured them out by now. but in truth, the other stuff of life (stress, pain, etc.) often gets in the way of what is really appropriate self-care.

so during the holidays and the beginning of the year, i had a lot of time to think as i lay on my couch trying not to cough. and i realized that the other stuff, whatever it may be, isn't my real life. it's like layer upon layer of paint on a perfectly good piece of wood that doesn't need adornment. so much extra that, rather than adorning, it hinders the original form, muddies its beauty until someone has the good sense to strip it away.

so in the coughing and wheezing and shallow-breath moments of clarity, i came up with a short list of what matters to me (in no particular order):

my relationships
my body
my sanity
my future

none of these things can be truly cultivated, nurtured, and protected if i don't remove the other stuff now and focus on the heart of the matter. so, bit by bit, i'm trying. trying to listen to my inner murmurings, trying to shut out the doubts and fears and worries about letting others down. i got sick by letting me down, and i'm really not interested in that happening again. this year i'm trying to allow peace and restoration to take over my life in an effort to focus on what i want rather than worry about what i don't. without knowing just how deeply she was speaking truth to me, yesterday my best friend randomly started singing the familiar line from a bob marley song:

'don't worry 'bout a thing, cause every little thing gonna be all right....'

and this year i believe that it will. i really do.

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