This blog post is brought to you by the letter T.
T is for . . .
We just returned from a week in Missouri, visiting my sister and her family as well as my mom. Every time I’m with my sister, I’m reminded that I don’t get to be with her enough. She is a “climbing companion” to me in this life, and I treasure getting to be with her and her darling kids and husband. It was also such a treat to get to be with my mom on Mother’s Day. She spoiled me with hot coffee on demand, babysitting so I could sleep in or nap, and lots of hands-on time with my kids. Even though I braved the flight there and back by myself with my three kids, I return home feeling surprisingly refreshed.
I love San Diego and I love getting away from San Diego. So nice to experience a slower pace, so much green green green, to hear a hail storm, and to watch the turtle and the bunnies and the mama bird sitting on her nest in the back yard.
What a gift.
While we were in Missouri, a dear member of my tribe back here in San Diego experienced a deep and tender loss. I sat in church on Mother’s Day, and her name kept echoing through my head and heart, and I took that to mean God just wanted me to hold her name before him, like a breath prayer. So I did that, but often—in these kinds of situations—praying or remembering doesn’t feel like enough. But, the truth is, that’s what we can offer. Our presence, our prayers, our vigils for each other. As Anne Lamott says, we’re here on this earth to bring each other a glass of cold water. That’s what this little tribe here does for me and for each other. We try to offer each other relief, refreshment, and the gift of presence. And you know what? It matters. We are so changed when we know we are seen, our struggle is witnessed, someone cares. Even though I was far away when the tragedy happened, I knew she was surrounded by the hands and feet of Jesus back home and I knew God could work magic through my little prayers.
Taking Care of Myself
After years of feeling subject to the toxic voices, and being in a very real battle with their henchmen the Brain Vultures, I am really amazed at how much calmer my internal world is feeling. This has been the result of taking care of myself. Again, sometimes taking care of ourselves doesn’t feel like it will be enough. But taking the time to consider what we need and then getting that help for ourselves, as a mother would for her child, we are changing the game. For reals. (This is basically what Breathing Room is all about.)
What is really striking me is the capacity I am experiencing for being present, for experiencing pure joy, and for peace. Ridiculously amazing. I owe my patience on the flight to and from Missouri, my ability to truly enjoy the time away with my kids and family, and my overall feelings of energy to the time I’ve spent going to battle with those Brain Vultures. Head on. Because, as I’ve said here before, our mental health affects everything. So cheers to taking care of ourselves . . . because it matters.
Transition, Time, Today
With the Brain Vultures better caged, I am able to turn toward and experience the upcoming transitions of this summer and fall with much less anxiety. Luke and Lane will finish preschool in the next month and we will transition to a summer full of fun as we prepare for them to begin Kindergarten. We are entering new territory as parents and as a family, and we want to usher them into this new season with a sense of confidence and excitement. They are so ready, and I’m very grateful for that. As we prepare for this transition, I’m soaking up this time. Five is proving to be a truly magical age of wonder, questions, enthusiasm, interest, and launching out into the world a bit more. I’m holding them more, kissing them more, telling them what I see in them, and talking with them as much as possible. Transition is completely and utterly bittersweet, so I am especially grateful to have the capacity to enjoy this time, today.
Well then, I guess my last T will be thankful. Thankful for: a chance to experience Missouri with my kids (did I mention the gorgeous green?), a chance to giggle with my sister, a chance to share the joy of my kids with their grandmother, smooth plane flights, the tenderness of loss laced with the great power of love, a rite-of-passage summer, and hope. Yes, thankful. And, let’s be honest, ever-so-slightly tired from that plane flight yesterday, too.
Which one of my Ts do you resonate with?
What is your T today?