the space between

Today, I woke up with tons of energy.  I actually got a great night of sleep, for once, and slept in.  I’m not sure if the whole sleep thing was responsible for this energy thing, but–let me tell you–it’s a rare event.  Most days, if I sleep at all, I’m always ready to go right back to bed.

I tackled some projects I’ve been meaning to get done for a while, did some of the maintenance type things that go along with being a kitty mama, and prepared for the rest of the weekend.  It was good, but my brain is still running at a fast pace while my body is like–“break, now?”

Cleaning is a meditative thing for me.  I used to be much more anal about organization and spotless kitchens.  I’ve had to relax that in recent years as my body just stopped cooperating and as time ran away from me.  I inherited many of my attitudes about such things from my mother–who never stopped cleaning.  We used to clean together, often, and it was always my go-to when I was stressed out.  There’s still a part of me that loves nothing more than a clean bathroom.

I usually think a lot when I clean and sort of work out frustration when I’m knee deep in some mess.  So, today’s cleaning was pretty meditative for me.  It allowed me to get in the right mindset for what needs to happen over the next few weeks.  It also helped me sort through some things.  I was actually kind of surprised by the thoughts that came out of this brain of mine.

I started thinking about all the reasons I’ve not been happy in the last few years and all the reasons I’m feeling better now.  I think I started a downward spiral when my mother passed–where I started isolating myself.  I couldn’t do it completely because I had to work.  Work and having a reason to go somewhere daily was really good for me.  It made it impossible for me to kind of do my introvert thing where I think too much.

Then, I had some things happen in my life that were pretty heartbreaking.  I started working from home and had major health problems that stopped me from doing a lot of the things I wanted to do.  I started needing assistance with doing some things, and I stopped feeling like my independent self.  I also am pretty sure I was in a sort of mild depression.  My job was also very stressful and demanding.  So, when I wasn’t working, I was recovering from it.  Needless to say–it’s no wonder I stopped enjoying my life.  My life was hard work always, and anything I loved to do? There wasn’t time for.

Having a decent job where no one is mean to me and where the work is reasonable means I don’t feel dead when I’m off the clock.  I don’t work overtime or obsess about what will go wrong tomorrow.  It’s such a relief, honestly.

But it’s not just that.  I feel better now because I feel more connected to myself–and who I used to be before this whole crazy life kicked in.  It’s taken me some time to feel comfortable in my own apartment again.  A few months ago, I honestly didn’t feel comfortable sitting in my own living room or cooking in my kitchen.  I didn’t enjoy this apartment, so I disconnected from it.  And because I did that, I stopped doing a lot of things that were part of my coping mechanisms–things like cooking and cleaning and playing with the cats.

It’s odd because–as tired as I often am–the whole process of lovingly cleaning my cats’ bowls and feeding them the right amount of food…the process of cutting up veggies for dinner and taking out the trash…it reminds me of the person I used to be before death and illness and sadness and survival almost swallowed me whole.

I’m feeling stronger every day, and that’s such a blessing.  I feel more connected to everything lately, probably because I’m more connected to my body and to all those other bodies out there doing the same tasks that go with living.  There’s a spirituality in these acts that gives me space to breathe when the thoughts in my head are too loud.  All I can be is grateful.

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