Bonjour and Hello.
It is hard to believe I haven’t written since September. But already I digress:
“The grass is always greener on the other side” has been a phrase I feel the last 3 years of my life might throw back into my face at any given moment. I’ve changed course often and gone backwards in looking forward to a good life. I essentially moon-walked into my current life situation. Sure, moon-walking looks super cool, but takes you in the opposite direction you thought you were headed. And now I feel so drained it just looks like I’m flailing my feet about in wholly irreverent manner in order to not slip up again. Maybe, as an adult you aren’t allowed to dance as carefree as when you were younger. Maybe falling down or failing is too risky now you’re farther from the ground. Moon-walking isn’t for you anymore.
The elderly do worry about falling and breaking their hips a lot. They have railings, and non-slip shoes, and proper techniques for going down stairs, Life-Alert…all to prevent or mitigate major falls. I’m not worried about shattering a hip quite yet, but I am worried about my heart and mind breaking. Where are my railings for dissatisfaction and wounded pride? Where can I get shoes that counter the effects of anger and hopelessness? I doubt the people at Life-Alert would send an ambulance if I pressed the button and said I was just frustrated with a lot of things right now. It would be nice to have some sort of button to press though.
My last post was about appreciating the inner work that happens in the dark. The wonderful sparks and sparkles of our shared humanity can be best seen at night. However, I must admit, my very recent inner reflections have been rather dim. One tenuous flicker to the next, I try to convince myself I see something solid out in the inky ether. Yet, the shapes keep shifting in the fog, and no solution precipitates itself.
And I definitely can’t see what color the grass is all the way over on the other side. Lately, it all has no color, even on my side. Everything has a sameness to it in the dark. All grass looks shades of black. Color completely absent.
What. To. Do.
When the grass has no color, what happens next?
You could be sitting around the corner from amazing Technicolor grass and not know it, so do you keep up-ending yourself past your failures in search of it?
Do you try to plant some grass somewhere where the flickers of light are more frequent?
Or do you sit there and try to find ways to appreciate what’s growing under the surface in your no-color plot?
Does it even really matter if you do anything or nothing? Ever?
If you are finding yourself in a similar predicament where New Year’s happening made you think about your past AND you were disappointed that you made mistakes some major, some minor in your recent life, I feel you. BUT truly you have to find the answer to your next steps in life yourself. HOWEVER, I did compile a list of “7 Things To Do When The Grass Has No Color” in a DIY attempt to move past my past.
Here we go:
1). Find a community. Look for activities (preferably in-person not just online) you enjoy that don’t require major life decisions or pressure to commit beyond what you can give to strengthen your mind and heart.
I signed up for a yoga class this week at a new studio as my old one closed. I also am going to be more proactive in reaching out to friends to spend time with people I can lean on. I may try to get somewhere for spiritual fulfillment as well either through meditations or reconnecting with people and places I’ve come to view as sort of unofficial mentors. You gotta do you.
2). Find your life alert button.
Writing is mine and why this blog post is even happening. It really allows me to express myself and think through things clearly.
3.) Focus on other botanicals for a moment – give it a rest. We all feel urgency about wanting to change things we don’t like in our lives, but being too focused on the variations of color in the Poaceae (grass) family won’t allow you to see where all this is stemming from (see what I did there?)
For me, seeking out grass that has some color might just be a replacement and not an advancement. A replacement would bring much-needed relief, but maybe all the grass has no color and because I’m looking at the wrong level or for the wrong shapes. Instead of looking down for different grasses, maybe I’m supposed to look up and realize I’ve been surrounded by trees this whole time.
I’ve always really liked trees anyway…which brings me to my next point:
4). GO. OUTSIDE. I don’t care if it is winter. Dig out some mis-matched warm clothes, brace yourself, and connect with nature for a few goddamn minutes. The big picture is better when you’re out in it. A strong wind might just blow some new perspectives into you. Changing your perspective by changing your immediate environment cannot be underestimated.
This one I really need to do. This is how simple I am going to start: tomorrow afternoon I will wake up before sunset and have tea on my snowy balcony. I invite you to get acquainted with your porch as well. I expect photographic evidence.
5). Schedule a doctor’s appt. to check-in with yourself. Mental and/or physical health could be contributing to your “color-blindness.” Maybe you could make an appointment on Valentine’s Day that’s coming up just to show yourself that you’re worth loving and caring for despite past regrets, mistakes, situations, and failures. Hm…I kind of really like that idea.
I hope my doctor is open that day!
I’ll look it up tomorrow, because I need to go to bed soon:
6). Prioritize sleep or rest. Find what works and do it. Stop scrolling Facebook and Youtube in bed. Put your phone across the room. Leave the party early. Have a routine to wind-down. Whatever it is, do it.
My mind spirals way down into Hades on inadequate sleep. Which has probably been a huge contributor to my ultimately negative mindset this week. I work 3rd shift and just never seem to get enough. Personally I need complete darkness and relative quiet to sleep so an eyemask and having a fan on has been my weapons of choice, but so has many tablespoons of Zzquil. Again, just find whatever works for you.
7). Move your body. No new information here: your mind and outlook can be helped by endorphins. Sweet, sweet endorphins. This is accomplished through moving your body in semi-vigorous and repetitive gestures for several snippets of time. You can even combine #4 with this one and go take a 5 minute power walk outside looking like a ragamuffin in your 3 sweatshirts and mis-matched mittens. Although, the possibilities for obtaining endorphins are endless: you can stretch with yoga, or stretch without yoga, or run in circles on a track like a hamster, or punch things while people yell at you at certain numerical boxing gyms, or join a cult dedicated to cross-training. Whatever you want!
I am in the process of finding a pool now that I’ve purchased a hot pink swimsuit that I think is too tight around my thighs AND too loose around my chest. Winner. And I will win, because I will have those endorphins and maybe my outlook on my life and my mirror will change and my thighs will look just right the next time…more powerful. Like a horse. A sea-horse. Yeah.
BONUS!!!! (you thought there was only 7! Ha!)
8). Focus on others. Sometimes, when all else fails, we actually have to think about other people besides ourselves to be able to move past ourselves. However, I don’t suggest committing to this before at numbers 1,2, and 5 are addressed. You need to be replenished and be in a good solid spot before you can help others. But if all is well, it can help you become more grateful and focused on things that are going well in your life and how you may have had set-backs but you’re still able to pay rent, talk with family, cuddle your pets/children, and have moments of rest.
I think I will start will small acts of kindness or picking out causes to donate to, one of which I already have started. I am contributing a small monthly donation to Wikipedia, because I realized how much learning about random things brings me joy and I hope others can feel that too.
Anyway, I hope we can survive 2019 together.
My hope for us is to feel empowered to move in directions we need to, to have the patience to stay in in situations we should learn from, and to have the wisdom to know the difference.
My hat’s off to you,