Melt Down

In the process of preparing a stew to throw in the crock pot, get the laundry in and simply neaten up the place after days of stagnation and being sick, I suddenly realized that I have today, tomorrow and Thursday to get my act together.  On Friday I’ll go up to DC to see a few shows and maybe a museum or gallery. Returning late on Saturday, I’ll pack a bigger bag and head to Florida on Monday morning where I’m looking forward to spending a week with a friend.

After four days of feeling crappy, I’m feeling somewhat better.  I can breathe, though sometimes I’ll have one of those coughing spells that makes me sound like the Bloodhound who lives up the street. My energy is returning slowly. Just not fast enough for ME.

ME, I, whoever! The part of Joan that likes to keep moving, doesn’t like to sit for long periods of time, and starts telling herself stories when she can’t do what she wants.  The story about being sick and how she hasn’t exercised in days and is sure she’s gained ten or twenty pounds by now.  The story about all the stuff that she didn’t get done because she was sick and how in the world is she going to get it all done before leaving on Friday.

Mostly it’s a story about feeling sorry for herself and another story she was planning to get started writing this past week.  A story that is crucial to her memoir project, filled with lessons. She was driven to begin the writing when that dang cold came to visit.  Her head hurt most of the time and it was hard to breathe. She was terribly tired.  Her husband was away and somehow she had to keep up with taking care of the pets and feeding herself.  During all of that, the inspiration for writing the story for her memoir slipped away into the ether and the page where it was to start remains empty.

Then this afternoon she had to go out briefly and realized that the sun was shining and she didn’t need a sweater or a coat because it’s sixty-one degrees.  She saw the moss that grows on the stonewall green and glowing after several days of rain, snow and sleet.  She saw daffodils peeking through the still wet garden soil and a shrub beginning to exhibit its tiny white flowers.

At that moment Joan’s other part came alive realizing that she’d not been living in the here and now, not living her intentions, not trusting that when the writing wants to happen it will happen and that being sick is not the end of the world.  She forgot that taking care of herself, without stress and strain is the most important thing she can do for herself.  After all, last week was supposed to be a retreat!  Why not be sick?  Thank goodness she’ll be better for her trip!

Things will be on the quiet side here until she returns tanned, renewed and ready to tackle whatever comes her way.  Spring is not far off.  Let’s all watch the slow unfolding of the season and live each moment as it is.

This entry was posted in Memoir, Navigating Through Life, Retreats, The Seasons, Travels. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Melt Down

  1. Brenda Neil says:

    Thanks for the reminder to live in the present and appreciate what is!


  2. jzrart says:

    Thanks Brenda! I’m always forgetting but fortunately the time it takes me to catch myself rushing about like a chicken with my head cut off, is slowly growing shorter.

    Hugs to you, too!!

  3. patti stark says:

    Well said – hope you are feeling better, and have a wonderful, warm trip, glowing with the joy of a good friend’s companionship! Patti

  4. I love the way you pull out those “stories” that seldom reach the level of awareness as such. Those stories are ephemeral phantoms, defying capture and melting in the light. Thank you for reminding us they ARE there, and we CAN nail them to the page to do with as we wish. They are at our mercy — but only if we catch them.

    • jzrart says:

      Sharon, Thanks so much for your kind words. I love those phantom stories best of all and yes, they are hard to capture. If we allow ourselves to notice them they teach us so much about ourselves and life.

  5. Clara says:

    Good for you, Joan! It’s delightful to have these insights that remind us that it’s possible to become smarter as we grow older…

    • jzrart says:

      Yes, it is delightful! I’ve spent too many years not thinking through my stories and actually living them. When I catch myself it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

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