“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” ― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers
I realize it’s Labor Day weekend, but I’ve been thinking more about Christmas—or more specifically, where mine has gone.
It’s been nutty around here these past few days. Hours before my husband and I were to get the keys to our new home and start loading the moving truck, a goofy paperwork issue worked like a bat to a piñata on our plans. We’re still moving, but not for another week or more—which may not seem like a big deal, but the timing couldn’t have been much worse and the complexities have been fairly immense. I’ll spare you the specifics, but I will share some of the thoughts the ordeal has prompted.
♦ Sudden stress can be paralyzing, even when it’s not life-or-death important—but we have to let ourselves feel. We’re healthy, still have a roof over our heads and will soon have a beautiful home of our own. All of the recent chaos could be so much worse. And yet, when we first learned of the changes, I dropped from the euphoria zone I’d been living in to somewhere between the South Pole and the center of the earth emotionally. Though I suddenly had more time to allot to prep for my NYC trip, articles I’d been writing and my radio show, tending to it all felt nearly impossible. So, I let myself work less and slowly, traded my workouts for short, meditative jogs at the park and baked some improvisational when-the-cookies-crumble cookies. As a dear friend reminded me, letting ourselves feel is so important, even if it requires a semi-standstill.
♦ Challenges focused on a loved one are easier and harder than moderate self-stress. What the heck do I mean? Good question. LOL When my bulldog, Zoe, was sick with cancer, love for her made the experience painful, but also beautiful and precious. Love for others gets us through tough times, even (or especially) when it’s they who are hurting. But what happens when the stress isn’t as serious or focused on another? It struck me the other day that love can get us through ANY stress, and self-love could be the most important kind of all. Not exactly a revolutionary thought, but, I feel, an important one. Caring for ourselves isn’t always as lovely or fun as a spa day, by the way. Sometimes it requires lying around like a sloth and watching creepy-ass movies for a few hours.
♦ No one can steal your Christmas unless you let them. The only way I could describe the high I was flying on before the moving delay was Christmassy—full of hope, wonder and excitement. Admittedly, I was pretty pissed when those feelings vanished. I also felt a bit selfish and weak; “I should be stronger than this!” Then I reminded myself that I’m human, that feelings are good and if I want to change them, I can choose how to react and where to focus. My decision to feel my way to higher ground and regain vigor seems to be working. My groove is gradually returning. Having an adventure partner who’s willing to talk and feel through this all with me helps tremendously, too. I’m putting up a Christmas tree as soon as we’ve moved in and plan to have a blast in NYC and our move once it happens. (Take that, stress goblins!) I’m also planning a Random Act of Christmas housewarming party I’d love for you all to join—details coming soon.
We can choose to learn and grow from hardship or grumble our way through it. I don’t know about you, but grumbling seems a lot less fun or helpful. Now, to figure out what to wear at World Sexual Health Day, since my dress options from Stitch Fix appear to be floating around in the we-can’t-get-our-mail-o-sphere…. LOL The adventure continues! Wishing you a beautiful week.
To learn more about World Sexual Health Day, tune in to Girl Boner Radio. Today I’ll be interviewing actor, Jeffrey Solomon, who’ll be performing at this year’s celebration. To watch the free live-stream on Thursday night, RSVP on the Facebook event page. For tickets to the actual event in NYC, visit ConnectionsABC.com.
What have stressful situations taught you? Any zany moving stories to share? I love hearing from you! ♥