Sums up perfectly a day in my grooming life. Bichon on the table, coffee behind me, a wee Weiner between my feet, music on just one ear.
It’s a word everyone hears on a daily basis. Be mindful. It is increasingly difficult to still our minds amidst the constant bombardment of information and daily stressors. When the kids started public school in September, I started a daily routine. Walk the dog. Twice a day, three if time allows. It isn’t a long walk, about 10 minutes, 1500 steps. I take the same route, varying slightly, walking longer, if the weather is really nice. I take pictures. This little change in my life, this constant routine everyday, is allowing me to notice things, to become more mindful.
I look up and through and it makes my heart glad.
I look deep and contemplate.
I look within, to the tiny details I had been missing.
It is helping. I feel more aware of constant change happening around me, yet more at peace with it. I look forward to these walks, especially the first one of the day. The light has the power to change everything, to change me. I remember to breathe.
There are times when everything functions just as it should, or so I’ve been told. Right now things are not. We are hitting the reset button, starting over, again. And I guess it is something that we will need to continue to do throughout the rest of our lives. We don’t have an ordinary family. It is extraordinary, different, complex. We have mental and physical issues that are present every single day and detour our plans so frequently that making plans seems pointless. But we do it anyway. We restart. Scrap the last one, grab a fresh new piece of paper and plan again. I’m not going to lie, I am exhausted. In every way. And yet, each and everyday I get up and begin again.
I used to pray, I used to go to church, I used to cry out to God. It became apparent that something else had to be done. The constant disappointment of not being rescued from my situation discouraged the remaining tendrils of faith I had left. They evaporated. Is He there? I don’t know anymore. I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that He is both there and not there at the same time. I can’t completely let go, nor can I fall headlong into full submission to faith. I’m in limbo.
I’m still looking for Him, for myself as well. I am reminded of the crush I had on a boy that lasted for years. Towards the end, all I wanted was the opportunity to say no. Because I was hurt. I knew that he knew I liked him, but he wouldn’t act on it, so I hung in limbo for a very long time. Eventually I stopped caring altogether, moved on with my life, my feelings, other relationships.
My son pushes me to question everything. I am supposed to be his teacher and yet, he teaches me. My daughter too. We tried to place our children in public school this year and while it is working well for my daughter, it is not for my son. In fact it set him back. Between his ASD, Anxiety, OCD, ODD, ADHD, and his extremely high intellect, well, it’s over. Done. I cannot send him back there. Today we have to discuss with his teachers what options he has. I believe the only option once again is homeschooling, or rather a closer approximation to unschooling is necessary. I am tired and I want to run away from these issues. I don’t have any fight left in me.
Everyday I walk, first thing in the morning, sometimes midday, last thing at night. It’s for the dog. But it is also for me. I notice things on my walk, I hear things, see things, feel things. It allows me time to process, it allows me time with no one else in my head, no other voices. These are things I notice, time slipping by, imperceptible changes that are revealed all at once, is there this much pain in others homes, I think as I walk by their back yards. Is it only mine?
One thing we cannot control is the weather, however we can control how we perceive it, accept it, enjoy it. This is a very blustery and cold morning. But the sun peeks out, we can see glimpses of deep September blue in between the massive billowing clouds. The wind surges and drops, swirls leaves up and then disregards them. There are moments of stillness.
I wore my winter coat on top of layers, I do not like to be cold. My purple wool hat, my hair in a messy ponytail. My daughters bus didn’t show up this morning, so my plans for the first hours of the day were disrupted. We were in a holding pattern, waiting for something that never showed up, never happened and it cost us time and peace. We took action instead. Hauled on clothes instead of pajama pants, she donned an extra hoodie, decisions we were thankful for as once we arrived at her school the doors were locked. We stood outside, shivering, waiting again for something we didn’t know would happen. Finally, someone answered the phone, someone unlocked the door, profuse apologies that didn’t warm our cold bodies.
Days like this can prepare us for the unexpected. The last paragraph I wrote was deleted. I thought I had written something profound. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe no one is ready to hear what I had to say. Maybe I am not. I cannot remember what it was, even though I penned it not five minutes ago. This is a day of unexpected changes. It is in the air and in my heart.
Two days ago, I was so high on life. All the way up. Yesterday I crashed to a very low, low. Today, I feel more balanced, in between. I would love for that high to last every day. The things I could achieve! But the crash negates it as I wasn’t able to accomplish much of anything yesterday. Why do we feel this driven need to accomplish, make change, take effect on the world around us. Or is that just me?
My daughter is at school, Junior High and I am worried, anxious and happy, peaceful all at the same time. What a wash of emotions or is it hormones! But the one thing I do not feel this year, won’t even allow myself to go down that road, is guilty. I have hushed all the voices in my life and in my head until I could think clearly. The result is that Molly is in public school and our homeschool journey is at the very least on pause for the year. Maybe I won’t hit play again. And that is okay. But whatever she needs, whatever I need to move through this very challenging thing called life, we will do together and make decisions that work best for our family, regardless of the incessant chatter of everyone outside the walls of our home.
On my walk this morning, I stopped just after the bridge. The sun was still low in the sky. The light through the leaves was dappled, shining through some leaves and in between others. It’s the through that got to me. Revealing the true beauty within each leaf, each frayed piece of birch bark. Leaves are green, but they aren’t. They are so many shades within different types and so many shades within each type. Reminds me of my favourite crayola crayon, the green/yellow and in second place the yellow/green. I stood there, breathed deep and realized I felt peace. And it was profound. Because I have been anguished these past few years, and desperate, and depressed. Somehow I have risen above it and can finally look up and through. And see the things beyond the surface that I just couldn’t see for the longest time. I feel hope. This is September for me.
September has always, always been my favourite month. It hauls me out of complacency with it’s need for schedules, cleanliness, order. This year is no different. Except, everything is different. My life in the past five years has shot off in so many different directions, my head is still whirling trying to keep up and find that sweet horizon, that sense of stability. My children, 15 and almost 13, are starting public school and I think it may be for good. It is leaving a vast void in my heart, in my day. I am grieving. Going through the stages. And I am almost at acceptance. Reclaiming my self in the process. It is a feeling of freefalling.