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What’s Missing

I’ve rewritten this several times, l don’t usually do that. One of my readers and besties asked me the other day what my writing process is and it made me feel very fancy and flattered that she would ask. I don’t have a process besides that I am committed to writing once weekly, so I wait for some inspiration and then find the moment(s) to get it out. Often I’ll write little blurbs on my phone, laptop or scraps of paper as they come to me and then I’ll try to sit down and string it all together. I wish that I had a writing space, a creative studio that I’ve longed for, set in a flourishing garden, with a desk perched before a huge window overlooking the bucolic scenery. I would set aside time each day and languish there, writing and creating, churning out something memorable. But as it stands I snatch a moment here and there, shushing my children, throwing together words that I hope have a flow to them and voila. So perhaps that is my process?

Anyway. I don’t usually rewrite or edit or often even review my writing as it’s kind of slapped together and I trust that it will have the general feeling of what I want to say and I don’t feel like I have the time to revisit it. But this week I kept getting inspiration and then changing the direction. I want to talk about how much longer we’re meant to go on like this, how is everyone faring these days, what do people hope continues from this time, what do people miss. I wrote a long essay about the necessity of support and how it’s been nearly decimated these days. I wrote another long essay about hugging and how we need the embrace of others especially during such psychologically trying times. None of these are seeming to land properly, everything feels silly and pointless.

After my blog last week I had so much positive feedback from my readers. And by readers I mean the 6 people who read it, ha! But I appreciate that so much, writing like any form of art is weird; it’s for me but I put it out there for you and it leaves me feeling pretty vulnerable, which is why it took me this long to build the reserves it would take to start in earnest. So that’s what I’ve landed on after starting and scrapping the other articles, a follow up from my last post where we start to look into the murky dark of the future and wonder what could come next.

The beauty of nature never ceases to spark joy, when in doubt – look up!

There is much to take heart in. There is a global awakening spurned by what we thought might be a disastrous illness; the bad news is wading through the intense messaging of how we must soldier on and maintain distance from humans so we don’t proliferate a virus (if you share that line of thinking which I do not), the good news is we know how powerful we are when we unite. I’m not sure why we are more mobilized into action by tragedy yet we are. But if the messaging we are receiving from those that call the shots right now changed course, how many wonderful outcomes could be birthed by that?

As I said last week, my heart soars thinking that some people have allowed the spark that was created in the explosion of normalcy that we’re all facing to become a flame of desire for a new way of living. I have felt deeply all my life that we were living so incongruently yet I also felt totally swept up by “the way it is” that I didn’t know how to move outside of it. If you can imagine the norm of how our culture lives as a circle I was doing laps on my own crooked path just outside of that circle, but ultimately following the same rut. I’ve been wanting to forge my own circle altogether but haven’t felt quite brave enough, or enough of a necessity if we’re being honest, to really do it. I think it’s only as our relative level of comfort is no longer stable that we start to really pay attention to the cause. I feel like the way our world is currently set up just isn’t in support of who I am, anyone else feel that?

What’s missing might be a good place to start. Back in the olden days, like 2019, I used to work with my coaching clients in a process to figure out what would be the ideal life for them — first getting really dreamy and bold about how that life would look and feel, then finding the parts of their current life that match up with that and also finding the parts that didn’t, using courageous discernment we would work together to let go of those parts that no longer fit within the box of idealism. What right now is making your life feel incredible and what isn’t, write it out to help gain clarity.

I think of my way of living as unconventional yet not at all extreme. I knew that everything that was prescribed as the road to happiness wasn’t aligning with me. School for example, as someone who loves learning, was easy and yet didn’t make any sense to me — the formality, the rigidity, the one way of learning, the standardization. Entering the work scene as a young adult also didn’t make sense to me, who was deciding these were the hours that I should work, who was deciding when I would be hungry for lunch and how much time I would need, who was deciding if I got sick how much time I would be allotted in which to recover, who was deciding how much vacation time I should have to explore or rest each year. I remember being reprimanded by my manager at the Body Shop when I was 18 because I was having too much fun with one of my colleagues and it was making other people feel uncomfortable. Friendship wasn’t encouraged at work. Even though I exceeded all my sales targets daily, I was denied a one penny/hour raise (actually!) because I was enjoying making friends of my workmates.

We have all noticed brokenness in different parts of the system we move through daily yet we still support it. Why? It’s so challenging to welcome the possible scrutiny that comes alongside forging your own path! And we have a certain amount of comfort derived from the system, be it financial, our universal healthcare in Canada, or just the disillusionment that what we’re upholding is actually for the greater good. It’s hard to step back and critically think if it actually makes any sense when it’s just been moving ahead for generations. A friend from Germany commented that Canadians have been ripe for an overreaching government for ages; amenable, polite, agreeable, eager to please, never having fought for freedom or independence. I hadn’t considered it that way before but the tyranny I now see is a wake up call.

Do we have a tyrannical government? This isn’t actually what this blog is about, so let me get back to my premise here. The point is that we’re all experiencing some level of waiting, locked into a holding space, and we’re each determining how to go forward. I like to think that the glimmer of hope I feel when my friends tell me they are finding myriad blessings right now will be the catalyst to a change altogether.

Pic of Edie for good measure.

I also catch myself cringing sometimes at people making the most of this situation, even though positivity is my number one strength! Ack, what?! I can silver-lining the shit out of anything, why is this bothering me?? And at the same time I am maxed out right now, stretched way too thin with kids who need me entirely too much and quite frankly it’s more than I can bear. And yet I must, and so I do. But sometimes reading other people’s glorious recounts of how this time on pause has served them pisses me off — even though that’s actually the basis of the work I do and it’s the kind of life I live and promote! Nothing makes sense anymore, I think it’s suffice to say we’re all feeling some extremes and it’s totally okay. So if you’re like me and both in awe of our human spirit shining through with resiliency and angry that you can’t call the shots how you normally would, it’s alright, we can be all things at once it turns out.

I have faith in the undying human spirit. I know that there are many like me who are feeling called to say something about how insane they feel this time is, and yet there are many more who are not making a line in the sand but who are quietly going on as they always have, hugs included. We are each determining what we can live with, what’s sustainable, especially now as we see the end game is not date stamped but lives in some shadowy, ever changing future time we can’t quite grasp.

So this week I’m thinking about fostering what’s missing in my life. Connection, an embrace, support, REST, freedom and joy have all taken a hit and it’s time for me to start righting the scale. What’s missing in your life that you can start now to build upon? Maybe when we can see the deficit we can start to build anew from there. Remember, we can work together on this, in uncertain times having that sounding board can make all the difference.

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