Well, long lost friends, I needed to take a breather there. For a while, bad things happened. And kept happening. And for a bit, I was thinking deep thoughts and feeling big feelings and I just needed some clear head space. I wasn't really ready to write about what was going on in my life, and honestly, I may never publish some of the things that happened. Grief can be a long, dark tunnel, and your brain has a funny way of shutting out all but the non-essential until you are ready to take shaky baby steps back into the strange new world that is your life. Honestly, I've never been happier to celebrate a new year than I was this year.
And so far, honestly, 2013 has been pretty damn good. I think my journey through dark scary uncertain times gave me the gift of mindfulness. Now, if you know me in real life, you know that I am not the most cautious, thoughtful person by nature. Kev always scolds me for rushing to the end of a situation, rather than appreciating the steps along the way. He often reminds me to slow down, take a breath, look around, think things through. Often, I get 90% of the way into a task, only to forget the last 10% because I've moved on to something else. It is terrible.
A funny thing happened in the middle of my hellacious December, though. It turns out that when you can only take one step, one day, sometimes one hour at a time, that you become more mindful of what that step contains. In taking deep breaths as I proceeded forward, I began to slowly appreciate where I am now. Loved by a fabulous man. Surrounded by an amazing, challenging, rewarding learning community. Enveloped by family and friends that love my flawed, sometimes broken self. I began to put on my mindfulness like a warm sweater, and the here and now began to push back the cold fingers of grief.
I find myself wanting to hang on to this feeling of mindfulness, and to be more present in what I'm doing. To unload the dishwasher while checking for stray tupperware lids in the bottom. To really listen to my students' questions- even the most mundane. To think before I speak, and to be thankful for what I have. It turns out, that in having a path I was traveling suddenly bulldozed by life, I'm becoming able to really experience what I do have slower, deeper, fuller. Funny thing, this life. I'm not sure where I'm headed, but at least I can appreciate the getting there.
A small but mighty gift, indeed.