Tuesday, October 20, 2015

You Need Only Be Still

"I said to my soul be still, and wait without hope; for hope would be hope of the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith. But the faith, and the love, and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: so the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” ~ T.S. Eliot

So....without going into a lot of boring details, I'll just say that 2015 has NOT been my year. If anything can be broken, misunderstood,  taken away,  used up or beat down, it has. And, to be completely honest, I'm exhausted. So exhausted that I have literally thrown up my hands and said "nevermind" and "I'm done" and "you win" more times than anyone would ever expect this sassy, outspoken girl to say.

Now that we are in the last few months of 2015, I feel a huge weight being slowly lifted off my shoulders. The end is near. A fresh and unblemished year awaits me - and boy do I need it! I may have to throw a New Year's Eve party. I'm THAT done. (If you don't know me, I can explain. I do NOT stay up late. I like my sleep. Midnight and I aren't really friends anymore...)

Honestly, I think part of my relief that we are on the downhill slide of this crappy year comes from the realization that I have a plan. A plan to be still.  Not physically, because I am SO GOOD at being physically still.  I have an intimate relationship with my Kindle and my pillow. I mean still as in still within my soul. I need to stop overthinking and stop overanalyzing. I need to get back to basics and stop the constant movement in my brain.

I've started and stopped this stillness plan a couple times so far. But I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. Initially, Randi and I began Emily P. Freeman's book "Simply Tuesday." She talks a lot about stopping and savoring the ordinary and the smallness of our lives. In other words, being still. 

We aren't very far into the book at all, but so much of it sings to my parched, beaten, overworked little soul. And she puts into words a couple things that I've been thinking about for a while now.

I want to be still. I want to appreciate things. And I want to STOP letting outside influences steal my stillness and my peace. Keeping up (read: competing) with everyone else, letting others dictate my feelings when they show up on my "doorstep" with their hair on fire about something, or spending my precious time doing things I really don't want to do are just not part of my "stillness plan."

One of my favorite quotes so far in the book is: "If the people we live our lives with now aren't sacred companions for us, we'll find ourselves competing with everyone and connecting with no one." Isn't that so amazing? Making sure that those around me are my sacred companions is at the top of my list. I can get all pop psychologist about it and say "life is too short" - but really I just want to make choices based on whether or not those around me are sacred. No more trying to please everyone and fit into some mold that wasn't meant for me. No more trying to argue my point with those who are determined to steal my peace and force my hand.

Another part of my plan is to get back to the basics that keep me grounded. Church and nap on Sunday, quiet time with my journal in hand, writing simple "to do" lists and laughing with friends. Those are the things I want to do more of. I want fewer meetings. I want less Candy Crush and more Scrabble. I want more community and less rushing around. I just want to be still within myself. I want to include do exactly what Emily Freeman suggests: sit on a bench and stop building a city. I don't need to go out and build more to do or more to think about. I need to sit on a bench and enjoy things around me.

If those two things aren't a enough to get me there, I want to include a layer of insulation. I will not let outside influences get to me. It's so easy to let others' insecurities and burdens color my world. It's easy to get caught up in other people's plans too. For once, I think I'll be a little selfish. If it starts to disturb my stillness, I will step away. I know I live in a busy world where everyone has a bandwagon. But that doesn't mean I have to climb on one. Call it denial if you want to, but I intend to look at things from a clear perspective and not from the perspective Facebook, CNN, Fox News, Washington Post or my most outspoken friend. 

And, most importantly, I am going to SAVOR every moment I have with Gracey during her senior year. I'm going to listen to every story she wants to tell me - in halting detail - with "like" in every sentence. I know that I will never, ever get these moments back. She will gone too soon, and I will wish she and her friends were talking loudly over the tv and eating fast food in the kitchen. I absolutely plan to be still in her presence so as not to scare her away. (Ok.. this may be hard. I am pretty impatient. I can almost feel her eyes rolling as she reads this. But I'm going to TRY, gosh darnit!!!)

So, there you have it. My grand plan for closing out the Great Depression of 2015. 

Will you join me on the bench? I hear it's got a great view.


Anonymous said...

Totally needing this and totally gonna get my head above water and find you and your bench. Love your writing, love your message, love your family, and LOVE you.

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