Monday, May 28, 2007

new normal.

"Listen, are you breathing just a little,
and calling it a life?...
For how long will you to continue to listen to
those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!" - Mary Oliver

Quoted in "Oprah," June 2007.

I am feeling so overwhelmed by yuckiness right now. I have a wicked, evil cold, an inflamed nerve in my shoulder, and Mark and I are doing DIY. I am a lot of things that are great. I am NOT a good DIY'er. I get cranky. Two years ago when we had an extension of sorts built on our flat, I got a real stomach ulcer from the stress. So when I say I am a bad DIY'er, I mean it.

I spent most of the weekend painting. We decided on 'Almond White' for the walls. (Hilariously it has dried with a definite pink tone.) I painted while Mark worked on our bathroom. My parents are coming for just over a week in July and I wanted one of the walls to look better for their visit. It's turned into a full-blown fix-fest.

When I was going through some sadness a few years ago I was intrigued by the concept of creating a 'new normal.' As I was standing in our kitchen last night the idea came back into my head. I looked at our new walls, and I realized that I already had trouble remembering what it looked like before. I was already forgetting the yellow that I had lived with for four years. I had already begun to experience 'new normal.'

When big changes or big sadness or big emotions happen in our lives, gaps are created; we don't fit anymore, and things will never be the same. Normal as we knew it is no longer possible, and we can either get stuck in the muck of what-ifs or we can create a new normal. I realized last night that all of the things that I have been struggling with have been because I am continuing with the same old shit. I have been reenacting the same old patterns as if I was the same old me. But I am not the same woman that moved to England all of those years ago. I am so different in a lot of ways.

Ironically as I made these huge realizations, I came down with a stonking cold that has forced me onto the couch. Never mind. A kick in the ass is a step forward, right?! So I got a kick in the ass AND a time-out all at the same time. I think I'm going to take the time-out first and then take the kick in the ass when I am feeling better. But don't worry, I will try to learn the lessons of both!


(The photograph above was taken by the gorgeous Susannah.)


Dreamer Girl said...

beautiful you,

thanks so much for sharing.
i needed to read this.

feel better soon!


krista said...

I love this idea of creating a new normal.

Hope your time out and ass kicks work out for ya.

Jessie said...

you know what? i love the way you think...and i love the way you put your thoughts into words. i feel like i've told you that before...but, you see, it's true.

as for the notion of "new normal," i definately feel like my life could use some more color. oh, i'm dying to paint some COLOR on my walls. deep orange or fuscia or...

i don't know, but i think fresh starts are wonderful. i agree with your gap's hard to fit into the same mold when everything else keeps changing (even if a part of us always does stay the same).

much love to ya, chica!

Jessie said...

that photo of should use it on the jacket of your book when it gets published. ;) what a great picture!

Star said...

So sorry to hear you are under the weather, but hopefully it will be gone in a flash and you can look forward to family time soon!

I can identify with the need for a new look; instead of 180 degree turnarounds, I'm settling for incremental shifts and it seems to be working better. Enjoy the time out and get ready for the kick in the butt.

Frida said...

Aw, a kick in the ass and some time out? I hope your cold eases fast, fast ,fast, so that you can take your own time out to enjoy this new normal without the yuckiness.

Thanks also for a reminder that I'm not the only person letting go of my 'normal'; finding big gaps left behind; and then rediscovering all the joy and adventure and challenge waiting to fill them.

Lovely quote from Mary Oliver!

Get well very, very soon.

Frida said...

PS: The photo is gorgeous, you are gorgeous. I loved the one Suz had on her site too!

Susannah said...

very wise, my sweet snuffly one. i struggle with my new normal... i need to normalise it i guess.

i love this picture of you (and not just cos i took it :-) it shows the beautiful and thoughful sides of you - love you baby, get well soon xxoo

ceanandjen said...

Hmmm, do I feel you on this one. Our household is going through this right now. I gave some thought this this just last week. I know that with the changes that have taken place recently, there are somethings that will never be the same. My hope is that the lessons learned and the insights gained will help to create a good "new normal" as you dub it. (I love that by the way).

I hope that you are feeling better all the way around very very soon.


gorgeous photograph of you :-)

Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

a new that's something to ponder...

ps--i saw your lovely pic on sus's blog...*sigh* gorgeous thing you...

Colleen said...

Feel better soon!!! I'm a bad DIYer too. My first big attempt was when Jay and I painted our first apartment... we picked our colours and it ended up looking baby blue and light pink instead of grey and ivory.... like a nursery for a baby...ever since I'm afraid of it all. I hope you have better luck girl. That pic of you is great!

Laini Taylor said...

Oh Meg, sorry you're not feeling good! I'm a terrible DIY-er too! HATE IT. Painting is okay in moderation, but anything more complicated -- no thank you! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your parents! xoxo

acumamakiki said...

a new normal....i like that. now if i could just embrace the change that comes with a new normal instead of flailing and wailing and trying to dig my heels into my old stale ways. thank you for a new perspective.

Meg said...

I just want to say that you are beautiful!!!

Tori said...

Your honestly speaks to my heart.
I hope that you are feeling better.
Know that you a a fellow cranky DIY in Maine. Boy, can I be horrid!

I am going to reflect on 'creating a new normal'.

Melba said...

I love your picture.

A new Normal. Yes that sounds right.

I hope you feel better after a rest...ready to take on the world. I am not much of a DIY either...


Colorsonmymind said...

Oh you beautiful gorgeous doe eyed woman you!

This is such a fabulous photo.

I am happy to hear you say you realize you are not the same as the woman who moved to England.

You say you repeat the same old patterns but I see you growing-I really do-so maybe it just is slower than you would like-or the big complaints are just the same old ones but the other stuff that is changing-and maybe the scary that goes with that pushes us to old anxieties?

Maybe I need to hush-I could be way off here.LOL.

None the less
I love you
and miss you
and am dying to read some of your writing.

Nag nag
kiss kiss

Boho Girl said...

i am loving this portrait of you, beautiful one.

it's been over a week now since you wrote this and i hope you are feeling much better and a bit lighter in spirit.

how is your almost pink wall? ; )

i really miss you.