November 19, 2009
Stress....I can feel it tangibly in my chest. Laughter seems to lighten the burden, but it returns in the quiet, in the chaos, in moments to think. I cannot ignore this as much as I try. In fact, the more I try to run, the more I have a sense of doom and dread….like someone is chasing me. The burden in my chest compels me to run, but it is also the reason I am running in the first place. And so I stop and listen to the reason of my mind. I ask myself What can I change? What can I not change? How do I find peace in the here and now?
There is no mystery in what I cannot change. I must accept that my dad’s health is on a teeter-totter, balanced at present, but also tenuous at all times. I accept that Mik is now at home, full time with me and schooling. I like this, though it daunts me too. I know that I can drop some of the obligations from my life – the charity lunch I am to organize and chair, the duties at my association. I will not attend a council meeting today at strata and will not do anything about the emails and complaints that will result in the lack of mediation that might incur as a result. I will continue to cook vegetarian although the meals will be less thoughtful and more packaged. I cannot change that two of my children are stressed as they are looking for work in this economy. Their anxiety oozes into the family and infects it with negativity. Mostly, I have had the armor and defense to prevent it from affecting me, however, of late, I feel the stress has permeated the air with acridity. I cannot seem to change the fact that my children – adult children – do not pick up after themselves. Claims have been they have every intention of washing a pot, putting dishes away..blah, blah, blah….however, every morning I find things undone. I seem powerless to change this other than through my own physical efforts at controlling the chaos.
How do you know peace when there is no peace? How do you purpose to calm yourself in the stormy sea you are drowning in when panic has already set in and arms and legs are flailing in an effort to keep afloat? Logic knows that turning on your back in calmness will keep you buoyant, but the same mind and logic will not let your limbs rest. Doing something seems optimal and yet fatal. And herein is the key - I think. There is so much I cannot do. So much I must accept with resolve and grace to walk through. And so, I should not run, or thrash in the sea. I need to turn on my back, look skyward and see the beauty of the clouds. I like to run. It has been my escape and not my enemy. I know how to swim. I am a good swimmer. I will not succumb to the sea. I will breathe and accept the things I cannot change, and realize that living is often cleaning up the mess that others make and choose to ignore.