Monday, December 19, 2016

Joybreak

This season I have felt completely overwhelmed.  I'm exhausted, emotional and negative.  I've been generally feeling like I should know better, I can be happier than this, why does it seem so hard?
After reading a blog post I wrote after being in St.John's (one of the most joyous times of my life) I realized that I wasn't tending to my own joy anymore.  I have this preconceived notion that when my schedule gets busy, I simply do not have the time to spend on my joy and instead it becomes damage control.  It's a matter of priorities, messed up, hand built by robots, priorities.

So I decided to take a Joybreak.  A week where I focus on doing things that bring me joy.  Here's what a typical Joybreak looks like:

Wake up, tell my kids I love them, send them off to school, have a mind blowing orgasm, choose my favourite colours to wear, put on make-up, choose a great music playlist, put on my headphones, dance in my room, go out still listening to music, walk to my favourite coffee shop, make my coffee with lots of honey, eat my favourite oatmeal, check Facebook, chat with acquaintances, make a list of yummy food to buy, write, write,write, head on out to do my shopping still with music playing, shop, sing along and dance while shopping, get home put stuff away, take a hot bath, nap before kids get home from school, cuddle them, make dinner with them and plan our movie for that night. After the movie send them to bed with kisses, Check Facebook, climb into my super soft covers, read a book, meditate, sleep.

I'm only part way through my day and already I feel more energetic.  I had forgotten that doing things that bring me joy, does not detract from other responsibilities, it makes them more than merely tolerable, as joy tends to overflow into all aspects of my life.

Update: when you search for joy you find it.

Today, while at the coffee shop, I talked to two great women, who always give off such warmth.  I got to stop by my friend's work and say "Hi.".  There was the amazing chocolate lab who was so happy to see me and let me pet him.  Leaving the supermarket, I saw a friend, who gave me a genuine hug and made my chest fill with warmth.  My housemate made dinner, my kids loved their new light up toothbrushes, we listened to Stuart McLean and I swear I heard a story that I had missed the last two years we were listening.  The Christmas puzzle was well received and finished.  Day one of my Joybreak was a success, with only one hitch, when I waited too long to eat and got a bit grumpy with my kids.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sharing Singleness

I don't want to be in a relationship.  Not the thing that most people call a relationship anyways.  I want someone to share my singleness with. Let me explain:

Typical dating goes as follows, meet someone, maybe chat on social media, go out for coffee, chat more on social media, go out on date, go out on more dates, start hanging out at each other's places, spending whole nights, do this for x amount of time, move in... On the emotional front it starts with two independent people with their own lives. Then they slowly integrate and their choices begin to become based on this integration and the understanding that they plan to spend the rest of their lives living together in full partnership, supporting each other emotionally, physically and financially.  This is great for many people, but not for me.  Not for the next few years anyways, maybe never. You see, I've got shit to do, and I can't be basing my plans on how it's going to affect another adult's future.  I need someone who also has plans and can hold their own if I need to go off to fulfill my dreams and in that, I will fully support their need to do the same: with or without me.

What does sharing my singleness look like?  How does it work? It looks like me living my life, as per usual, with travel plans and the knowledge that I plan on living all over this planet before I die.  I'll still go out on my own and meet new people. It means doing my favourite things, hanging out with friends and also hanging out with the person I care about romantically.  It's not like dating, as in the insecure "Do they like me?" Stuff.  However, the amount of time spent with each other would look a bit like dating. I've come to realize that I need a lot of "me" time, I cherish it.  The person I am with will know that I care about and love them, even if we are not in contact everyday.

I used to think of looking for a type of person and type of relationship as two distinct things. I could really like the person but hate the relationship. I've realized that the type of person you are interested in can make or break "shared singleness".

First off: to share singleness, you need someone who takes full responsibility for themselves emotionally, physically and financially.  They can't be needy, or else it will morph into the type of relationship where you find yourself under pressure to keep them happy, healthy and fed. If they are truly independent this won't ever become an issue.

The person has to have their own hobbies and things they are interested in that don't or won't always involve you.  As such, they are likely to respect your time to do the things you love and encourage you to do them.

They need to understand that some relationships don't last forever and that ultimately the relationship that is most important to you is the one with yourself.   If it is a matter of fulfilling a deep desire in my life: I will choose me and I hope that they would choose themselves in the same situation.  If the person is specifically looking for someone to eventually spend the rest of their life with, then, I am not for them, I refuse to make promises I cannot keep.

To tell you the truth sharing singleness, in my opinion, is just a really healthy romantic relationship and can even be done in marriage.  It's a point of view, a way of loving someone unconditionally, where neither of you base your happiness/your life's dream on someone else and their life choices.

Now here's the kicker:

It takes someone who is fully secure in their ability to be happily single, for this kind of relationship to really blossom and succeed.  This person knows you are with them because you really want to be, because they know you could be just as happy on your own.  You will know that for them it is a choice of desire and love that keeps them in your life, not filling a space of loneliness.

Wouldn't that feel great?




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Guilt and Art

I've been feeling really guilty lately.  Guilty for working so much before Christmas, guilty for being emotional and selfish with friends.  Guilty for making assumptions without communication.  Guilty for waiting on getting Joon's tooth pulled (she's not in pain, it's a crowding issue) because I don't know when her father will pay me back from his insurance company.  I've felt guilty for not fighting hard enough for their time with him and I feel guilty for fighting for it at all.  I feel guilty for not having all the gifts ready, for losing the mail key and missing a parcel from someone (probably one with Christmas gifts).  I feel guilty for not getting back to Children's mental health because our schedule was too packed and I was overwhelmed with the idea of more appointments, also Joon seemed to be improving greatly with theatre, but still... I feel guilty for not taking more shifts at work.  I feel guilty for going out and leaving my daughter in charge.  I feel guilty for quick meals and Mr.Noodles.

But I see now, that the guilt does not motivate me to do anything about these things (not that all of these things need to be fixed). Guilt is a paralytic.

So I overcome it by moving, moving things in my room, moving my body. Dancing and breathing. I'm reminding myself that I am not on this Earth to stand in one spot perpetually cementing myself to the ground with the heaviness of not doing enough.

I can feel that tingle, that joy that permeated my entire being this Summer.  I don't merely survive my life, I create it, I can and will do amazing things.  I'm feeling the need to express creatively through my daily endeavours.  I'm remebering that action is art, I am a walking canvas and my colours can seep into everything I touch, may everyone who experiences me get splattered with joy.

Guilt is the most effective prison someone can build for themselves.  Self love and expression is the path to true freedom.

So don't be surprised if next time you see me, I seem almost manic in my happiness.  Feel free to join me, we could all use a break from our self inflicted "we suck at life." feelings.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Blessings In this House

As we near the holidays, I find myself thinking about gifts, about blessings.  The things in life that turn out amazingly, like someone was listening to my inner most desires and delivering them right to me.  I desperately wanted a home for myself and my children, a real home, with safety and love... A feel of family.  A near magical house appeared, but what made it a home was my housemate.  She arrived with a flurry of friends, cleaning, organizing and decorating.  I mostly hid during this time as I was triggered by people cleaning around me (something I have since healed from).  I emerged a week later, to a home that looked like something out of a decorating magazine.  I didn't realize how empty our home was until she filled it with paintings, vases and wall hangings.  Mostly though, she filled it with laughter and song.  She filled it with the plunking of keys from an old piano, that is all the better for it's tin-like reverberation.  She filled our hearts with her empathy for her friends and family.  Some gifts are people and she is one of the best gifts our family has ever received.  She was the gift we didn't even know we needed.  We are very thankful for her. We love her very much.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hold On

As you reemerge into life and you venture into situations, you may feel like the situations you've experienced in the past are now viewed as "before".  Now you are trying to experience them in the filter of "after".  Your emotional reactions and fears can become overwhelming and confusing. I personally find myself questioning why am I so scared of this?

There comes a point where you just have to hold yourself.  When you are alone and all is quiet... Or you have locked yourself in the bathroom and let the iPad be your nanny.  Either way, there will be realizations, that are shocking to you. Part of you knows you should cry.  You can feel that expanding ball in your chest, you know the tears will be the release you need, but they won't come.

Now, pull your knees up to your chest wrap your arms around yourself, rest your cheek on your shoulder and rock yourself gently.  Tell the woman you were that she didn't deserve it.  Tell her that you love her and she is a good person.  Tell her to forgive herself. Hold her like she is your best friend, comfort her like she is your daughter and just let her sob until everything is spent.

I often think I've got my shit all figured out, because I am generally a very happy person. But I'd be a liar if I told you I don't live in a state of "before" and "after". Everything I try for the first time since feels like my first time all over again but with a lot more hesitation and reaction within myself I don't fully understand.  I just need to be patient and loving with myself, and keep on putting myself back out there.  It does get easier.  Keep going.