Saturday, August 1, 2015

All You Have Is Now. Make The Most Of It

It's moments like that give me peace of mind. Fill my heart with love. Lets me know I am on the right path. I'm where I should be. For the first time in my life, I am content. At peace. Feet on solid ground. While I do believe we should all live in the moment, away from "behind the lens" or "smartphone screen"...I had to capture this moment. After two photo shots, I stood there. Camera at my side. Eyes filling with tears.

July was a shitty month. Death. People we love...died. The family and friend "politics" and "dynamics" crept in...adding to our grief. Life didn't stop. Lisa went to work everyday. My work-at-home life didn't come to a screeching halt. Grief. A total of 4 deaths since late spring. Our friend Pat passed away late spring. Our Grammy passed away on June 28th. We didn't find out until a few days later. Then, on July 2nd, a dear friend of ours passed after a year-long battle with cancer. And, on July 7th, Grandpa passed away.


I did my best to cope. Get by. It wasn't enough. During the day, I was convinced I had the whole grieving process by the balls. However, at night, after Lisa and the kids went to bed, there I was. Alone. No distractions. My thoughts surrounding death were far more powerful than my determination to focus on my many virtual piles of work, bake biscuits, write, or tackle housework quiet enough to do on the overnight.


I sat with those pounding thoughts every single night. On the sofa. Surrounded by the things that go bump and creek on the overnight. The realization that none of us, whether it be Lisa, myself or our kids, were immune to death. At any point in time, any of our bodies could become sick, shut down or succumb to an unfortunate fate that our bodies couldn't survive.


I was grateful when Lisa's alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. Her groggy company was enough of a distraction. An hour later, after her breakfast and morning routine, I snuggled with the kids grasping for sleep. Toss. Turn. Many times I grabbed my phone, got online and caught up on posts from my favorite bloggers. My brain needed a distraction. I couldn't shut my phone off and exhale until I knew Lisa was at work, safe. My fear of something horrible happening to her between point A (our home) and point B (her work) consumed me.


I eventually dozed off. Less than an hour each time. Every morning. For several weeks. Sleep deprivation. Coffee was useless. My brain was fogged. Energy levels were depleting. The simplest of tasks took every ounce of my energy. I spent excessive amounts of time, on my tummy, either on the floor or in bed, talking to the fur-kids, through tears. Coco licked my face. Sophie mashed her tiny body against mine. Lobo sat...content. I needed for them to know how much they were loved.

Every text alert sent me into a panic. Did something happen to Lisa or another family member or friend? If I sent Lisa an email or text and didn't hear back right away, I thought the worst. I felt crazy. Slightly neurotic. For a short period of time, I didn't want Lisa and I to venture out together because...what if something happened to the both of us? A car accident. Or, a crazed psychopath on a shooting spree in Target while we were shopping for Nylabone chews and doggy decor? The promise we always make our fur-kids, "Mommies will always come back" could have become null and void.

I felt as if my world was crumbling from fear. Too many deaths in such a short period of time. Although nothing went without doing on the home front and biscuits were baked, displays were stocked and everything between, I felt as if I was breaking. My poker face prevented anyone from noticing such a "fault" in my ability to function day to day. Very few knew. I wanted it that way. However, a tiny part of me suspected others maybe did notice. Social posts were far and few between. I was withdrawn. Days went by without socializing with the outside world.


July was shitty. But, despite the inner turmoil, I realized what I went through, and continue to go through is, for lack of a better word, normal. I didn't need to feel guilty or justify my temporary state of solitude. Grief is a process. There is no right or wrong. There are no rules. Despite the books and articles written about grief, no one can truly define it. It varies from one person to the next. How we embrace the inevitable. How we cope. Grieve. Survive. Remain strong in the days to follow.

I won't apologize for the darkness. I won't apologize for making enough biscuits for only 3 animal shelters instead of 6. I'm human. We're all human. We spend too much time apologizing for speaking our mind, walking the path of unpopular, making decisions frowned upon by others, etc.


What I can do is share my frame of mind right now. Right here. Simply put, none of us are getting out of this world alive. None of us know when it's going to be our last day. None of us know when we'll last kiss the lips of our spouse or snuggle with our fur-kids for the last time. With that being said, make the most of it. Don't get so busy that you forget to stop and notice the love and goodness that surrounds you. That's what matters. It's not the amount of money in your bank account, the bells and whistles within your car, how enormous your home is or high up the corporate ladder in which you dwell. That's all irrelevant and frivolous shit.

While I'm tempted to quote dozens of inspirational life quotes, I'll refrain. None of that matters. What does matter is realizing yesterday is done and over with. You can't go back and alter any moment. Any word. Any situation. You'll never get to relive yesterday. Tomorrow isn't here yet. Despite your plans, good intentions, or regardless the amount of time you've dedicated to tomorrow, it's not guaranteed to occur. Fact is, all you have is today. This moment. Now. Make the most of it.

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