Sometimes you plan them, Sometimes they suck you in!
Do you have those moments, days, weeks where it would be impossible to add any more “stuff” into your world? Last month I officiated a rain-soaked wedding, attended the CPRA conference in Breckenridge and was reunited with many friends and colleagues I hadn’t seen since before the world turned upside down. The energy bouncing around those happy reunions and the opportunity to meet new folks was exciting. I was happy to be volunteering with an organization I care deeply about and presented to my peers. At the same time my daughter was turning 17. I had already asked her months ago if she was ok with me being away on her birthday since we would celebrate on Friday. She said yes. I was staying connected with her via text, calls and Facetimed with her on your birthday morning so I could “be there” when she opened her gifts. At the same time my husband was challenged by his father’s health declining over a short period of time and entering hospice. At the same time, we had coordinated with our son to fly him in as a surprise for his sister’s birthday. The logistics of getting him to our weekend had been made in advance with his cousin.
We were all to converge at various times on Friday to attend our daughter’s mountain bike race on Saturday. It was a blast being out in the open air, nestled in front of two fourteeners watching our daughter and her teammates race. Then on Sunday we headed out to the pumpkin patch for some family fun and my husband headed out to be with his father. Ok, it’s making be tired just writing about it. Over the course of 7 days…a lot happened, planned and unplanned. These are life’s whirlwinds, characterized by great energy or swiftness, often with an atmosphere of chaos (dictionary.com) They are filled with joy, excitement, anticipation, sadness, grief, worry and so much more…ALL AT THE SAME TIME. They can be exhilarating and exhausting simultaneously.
My question is how do you recover from one? How do we settle back into “regular” life after the whirlwind is over? Much like a roller coaster we can’t stay at the top of the hill, we have to ride the rails down and to the end, the stopping point, and get out of the coaster car even for a moment before we get back in. I need a better recovery, recalibration plan. I’m not so great at reflecting for catharsis or appreciation. For some reason I’m stellar and ruminating on how it could have gone better, what could I have changed for it to be smoother, was there anything I could have said or done that would have changed the outcome. Yes…I know I need to quit being so hard on myself and allow what needs to happen, well… to happen. I think it’s important to work on changing the narrative in my head and my heart. I tried to decompress with my daughter as we lived life until we headed out a few days later for my father-in-law’s wake and funeral and reunited with my husband and the whole family. I found myself turning to escapism, aka watching TV, reading, and scrolling instead of marching forward through the aftermath of the whirlwind. We all know the clean up after a storm is when family, neighbors and friends are needed most to come together, to lift each other up, and embrace the things that connect us.
We’re about to enter holiday season and that certainly qualifies as one of life’s whirlwinds. I invite you to find ways to intentionally embrace it, create space, slow down, and celebrate in a way that resonates and works for you and your family. I’m going to go work on that now 😊.