"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.)