Welcome back! It has been a while. A lot has happened for all of us during these uncertain times. I am glad you are here. I have no idea how anyone is going to read this because I quit Facebook, but however you got here…Thank you!!
Have you ever cut your own hair? Anyone who knows me, knows that I have cut my own hair for years, badly I might add. You would think by now that I would be good at it, but I am really not. Today, I looked in the mirror and saw an old haggard woman. I know I am pushing 60 and mostly feel like it, but I do not want to look like it. I thought about all the things I could change and felt the easiest thing to do was cut my hair short. Really short. Much shorter than I had expected. You make that one wrong cut and next thing you know, it all has to go. That was me this morning. My husband is going to hate it. Hey, its only hair. It will grow back.
As I was cutting away this morning, I thought of all the unwanted things that I had “cut” away from my life since the pandemic lockdown. I literally sat in my apartment for three months straight without leaving. My husband brought me food and I cooked and I cooked. I found a new passion!! That will be another post! I took some unexpected journeys down rabbit holes on the internet. I learned new things and got really depressed.
Before the lockdown, I had a job I knew was going to be my last job. I loved it and wanted to do it until I dropped. COVID changed all that. I was starting to get some confidence and bravery. COVID changed all that. Basically, everything I knew was not any longer. I know a lot of you out there went through the same thing.
For a time, I wallowed in the fear of the things happening in the world and the fear of a virus that, with my preconditions, could kill me. I struggled to get up in the morning. Then like cutting my unwanted hair, I started to shed all those things that were keeping me down. I started to forgive myself for all the wrong things I had done up until now in my life. I gave myself permission to accept myself as I am. Not as some perfect being, something I am so far from, but as I am. I learned that I was enough. That is not to say that one needs to stop growing, I hope that never happens to me. But being enough means, in my mind, I have accepted who I am, what I have done and allows me to make permanent changes not because I am deficient but because now I can focus on the things in my life that work and work on the things that do not.
I cannot believe the changes I have made. I feel like a totally new person. Gone is the overwhelming, debilitating guilt, the woeful remorse and now I see a cleaner slate, one that can be erased and added to as needed. I feel the ability to work on myself to be a better person without always thinking that I do not deserve anything good to happen to me. I hated when things went well, it just meant that it would all collapse and I would be full of sorrow again. That mentality never allowed me to enjoy the good times as I waited for the other shoe to drop. I learned life is that way, intermittent pleasure followed by a prerequisite amount of discomfort. The pleasure is there though and it needs to be grasped tightly. It is true, it doesn’t stay but it will come back, just like the hair I cut this morning. It will come back, you just have to wait out the storm.
My life is very different than it was a year ago. I bet yours is too. The world changed during that time and I am not completely sure all was for the better, but it is what we have. I have learned that I am not in control of many things, but I can control my attitude. I have days I look back at the cool job and wish for it back. But I have a new life and a new job and it is okay. It is enough and when it is not any longer, I have permission to make up the difference and keep it enough. At this point in my life, over-wanting is not something I want to have in my life. As I pared down my belongings, I pared down the internal baggage I have been carrying all my life. The new lightness inside of me is very pleasant. I calmly look forward to new things, not in a manic way as I did before. No, this is a calmness that is worth working to keep. I appreciate more. I am grateful. I am, dare I say it…happy. It is different than I imagined it would be, but that is okay because it is enough. That is a good thing!!!