Out of Clutter

Feeling a little energy and pizzazz are so exciting and motiving and stimulating (Silver Lining)!  As a consequence, I’m an eager beaver to reengage with the world (personally and professionally). Unfortunately, my enthusiasm has meant that on multiple occasions I have overbooked myself (an understatement!), which has NOT made the HOTY (a/k/a Husband of the Year) and Finally Five very happy.

For the last 9 months, I have felt like I’ve been cooped up on my own private Isolation Island (NOT an aspirational place to be, by the way!). The Island has kept me out of the world and away from people. As a pretty social person (not in the snooty sense, but in the “I love people” sense), being isolated was really, really hard.

But in my overzealous attempt to reengage with the world, what I neglected to realize is that my Isolation Island also took me away (both physically and emotionally) from my family as well.  I may have been at home, but during that time I (obviously) was not fully present for or engaged with the HOTY and Finally Five.

While I was recovering from surgery or in the bottomless pit of despair or getting radiated, I did my best to be as connected as I could possibly be to my family. But the reality is that I still wasn’t fully present. I couldn’t be.

In my attempt to leave Isolation Island once and for all (by having meetings and reconnecting with friends), I have accidentally left the HOTY and Finally Five feeling (gosh, I feel wretched even saying it): abandoned.

So, last week I had a “Snap out of it!” conversation with myself (a la Cher in Moonstruck) which, as it did with Cher, brought me to a screeching H-A-L-T.

  • First Snap: In this healing process, I need to focus on rebuilding the relationship with my family first before rebuilding anything on the outside.
  • Second Snap: In over scheduling myself, I was quickly cluttering my mind and heart, not to mention exhausting my body. Clutter is the opposite of what I’m seeking now. Simplicity is my intention.
  • Third Snap: On the spot, I began making active decisions to be more present.

For example, as much as I wanted to go to tennis clinic to continue working on my Lefty-Lucie skills, I acknowledged that it was much more important that I take Finally Five on a picnic and to a park. To play. Just the two of us. I stopped myself from flinging from one thing (meeting) to another (tennis clinic) and took a moment to say that Finally Five needs every opportunity to see me getting stronger.  She needs my presence much more than I need a left handed forehand.

The HOTY needs this too, by the way.

It’s not to say that I’m not going to continue to learn how to play tennis left-handed or see friends or investigate professional opportunities.  Not at all. It’s about finding the balance.  And my balance begins at home.  This simple philosophy has brought me a great deal of peace, harmony and happiness this week.

There are innumerable fits and starts in this post-treatment period. I am learning and relearning things.  Some lessons are easy breezy and others, not so much. I’m just glad that I have the opportunity to learn these lessons and to continue growing (Silver Lining).


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  1. Carol Harrington Riv says

    Remember what you wrote in your "Simplify" post,

    item # 6 "Learn to say N-O. The HOTY suggested that I tattoo it to my forehead. A definite possibility, though I can’t imagine how painful that would be. It’s a good suggestion, though, because I have a really, really hard time saying the word….what was it again? Oh, right, “N-O.”

    Did your Henna tat wear off!?!?!?!??!?!

    Simplify and say "no" when you need to; it frees you!!!!!