Yesterday, Virginia asked me if I wish it were the New Year again. The words “absolutely not” rolled off my tongue faster than a ball rolling downhill. I’m not sure there’s one word that properly sums up what these first 11 weeks of 2016 have been like. It’s been exhausting, sad, anxiety-ridden, but also joyful, surprising, and calming. I’ve been doing a lot of introspection, more so than usual, trying to figure out what will make me feel at peace.
I began working out more regularly in January, and I’m quite proud that I’ve stuck with it, for the most part, this long. I go through stops and starts, and often need a boost to get me back on track.
It turns out the boost has been simply being more gentle with myself. If I slack for a week, whether due to not enough time, or feeling unmotivated, I don’t beat myself up. Instead, I congratulate myself when I get back on track. Often, when I’m feeling unmotivated, it’s because something else is amiss. I try to hone in on what it is, and give myself the time to work through it. When I’m working out, which is more of a strength training and meditation routine, I need to feel like I’m doing it because I want to, not because I have to, or should, if that makes any sense.
On the days I do manage to start with this routine, I feel much stronger mentally. And you know what they say about mind over matter. I’m more careful in my language with the girls regarding happiness these days. After M died, I decided that happiness was a choice.
That couldn’t be any further from the truth. Happiness is but one of a range of emotions, a tangle of knots, all dependent on one another for existence. To survive through the scary, sad, tough times do you cut the red wire or the green wire? The answer is neither.
The one feeling I do think we can all strive for, regardless of the situation, is peace. You can be fearful of something, but still be at peace with the moment. You’re in it, now what do you do? Or in the case of death, maybe the moment hits, your time is up, but you surrender to the reality of it peacefully. I often wonder what those last minutes, or maybe just seconds, were like for him. When I got to him, he had a puzzled, sorry look in his eyes. That look haunts me every day. I know deep down his death took him by as much surprise as it did the girls and me.
So, here’s to finding peace, whatever that might mean to you. And if you’re looking for a movie to add to your Netflix cue, I loved this one last week. Warning to parents, it has some disturbing violence in one scene, which was quite unexpected. Had I known (guess I should’ve check to see it was rated R!), I might’ve watched it alone, but I’m glad the girls ended up watching it with me. They left the room during the scene, and overall loved the film as much as I did. It’s a beautiful, uplifting movie that managed to put my mind in a more peaceful place after what had been a very stressful evening.
Movie Pairing: Hector and the Search for Happiness