Free cone day! Did you venture out to a Dairy Queen near you to celebrate their 75th anniversary with a free soft serve cone on Monday evening? I did. I love free things. I love ice cream. It was the perfect combination. I laughed when Dylan wanted his cone dipped in that cherry wax stuff. No, not laughing at Dylan, but laughing because the exhausted, teenage staff at Dairy Queen still charged for the mysteriously bright red, cherry flavored substance. We got dessert for two for thirty five cents. That, my friends is a bargain and bargains can be beautiful.
I came across this image this week, and it struck a chord. If you read last’s weeks post you know I’ve been processing the end of a chapter in my life, and I thought Chodron’s words captured the reality of inner conflict so well. “To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” At first I thought this was referencing Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, and all I could remember was yams, yams, yams and freshman English class. Then I realized, wait, wrong guy, and started thinking about the implications of the above words. The concept of being willing to die feels foreign, and final, and makes me consider the absurd notion that I may be powerless to these deaths, big and little, that present themselves in order to create new life. Nature goes through seasons and cycles of death every year; is it easy for the whispers and quakes of Mother Earth to die on a continual basis? What deaths in your own life are easier to grapple with and which ones cause a lump in your throat? I want to be fully alive, yes, but thrown out of the nest? Can you maybe, just please, set me down gently? I’m thinking that’s not how it works, and I’m working on being grateful for the opportunity to flap those wings so stinking hard.
In an effort to be gentle to myself, if ok universe you feel like throwing me, I once again returned to grounding exercises. Oh you therapy you, rearing your wonderful head. What makes me feel safe in transition? I had a therapist once recommend that I create a basket of safe and comforting items to surround myself with when I was feeling anxious. I was 21 at the time, and a little offended at the notion of a grown up ‘transition object.’ I was a big girl and didn’t need items to make me feel safe. Or did I? Now, I’m realizing that yes, I do want safe objects and comforting reminders that I can create my own peace in the world.
I don’t believe that inner peace fully connects to material items, but I do think they can aid in the process of reminding ourselves of who are when times are changing. This week I bought a new, nice smelling candle. I found some fun, funky note cards to write letters to my friends. I drank a glass of white wine and went to yoga, not once, but three times in one week. I’m carrying my huge, green backpack that I affectionately call my ‘turtle shell’ that I’ve used sense high school to work. Its many zipper compartments and history of academia bring me immense relief. Do you have a list of items that bring you comfort and help you settle back in to remind yourself of who you are when parts of your world have breathed their last breath?
I’m not depressed, in fact I’m feeling quite happy. However, I’m a strong feeler and my emotions often move through my body in ways that other people hardly think to notice. This can be a beautiful blessing, and a socially awkward curse. I’m thankful for my deep intuition and a tangible sense of comfort or anxiety that cue me to breathe deep, to return to myself, and to bring out that comfort basket, or my big girl equivalent. What would you put in your basket? What brings you peace when emotions get the better of you? Do you think death can be beautiful?
Essie Polish: borrowed my mom’s to do my toe nails before her birthday dinner. You know, fill the down time
Biscotti: No baking this week, but did make chocolate covered strawberries. Killer deal on fruit at King Soopers.