Tag Archives: lessons

The slow down bug

I fell victim to it. Just like we’ve all fallen victim to it before. And I can guarantee that I hated it just as intensely as the rest of us.

Yup. I fell victim to the stomach bug. On the morning of Easter Sunday, nonetheless.

Uh. Excuse me while I shiver away the nightmares of this past week.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t just the illness that threw me for a loop, it was the anxiety that came with it. Because it threw off my plans, took me out of work for a few days, and made me wonder if I was even born with an immune system to begin with (it’s been a rough year in the sickness department for me).

While I cannot express how grateful I am for a supportive boyfriend who took care of me every day, a twin sister who hand-delivered an ice pack for my aching muscles, and my “Mama Saint” for bringing me bread to make toast, it was still a long few days.

Today, however, was the first day that I went back into work (and the first day I went outside for that matter). But even running one errand in the morning and then walking into work was enough to make me ready for a nap.

I was exhausted. Correction: I am exhausted.

My body has been in shambles for four days and it felt like I was just learning how to use my legs again.

But as I made it through the day, a pretty little lesson slapped me upside the head: slow down.

And not just today, but across the board. I really need to take a step back and slow down. We all need to every once in awhile.

I need to slow down so I can boost my energy and my immune system back up.

I need to slow down so I can re-prioritize my overall well-being and reduce my anxiety (aka, get my butt back to yoga and meditation).

I need to slow down so I can swap my cell phone for a book (damn you, iPhone).

Heck, I need to slow down so I can write more frequently! I hate when I look at my blog and realize a few months have gone by since my last post. Although i’m doing more journaling and freelance writing now (which I love!), this is an important outlet for me, too.

Honestly, I just need to slow down so I can be happier, healthier and make more time for the things that truly fulfill me.

And if it took being sick on Easter Sunday to teach me that, then so be it.

Lesson learned, stomach bug. Lesson learned.

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Lean

1,095 days since my brother passed away. Three years.

Three too many. Three too heartbreaking. Three too surreal. Three too confusing. Three too stressful.

Three years. 1,095 days.

There’s a piece of me that is permanently sad without him. Most of the time it’s a small piece that I can compartmentalize and keep control of. Most of the time it’s manageable. Most of the time I can keep going.

But I’m human. And sometimes I can’t.

Last night I cried so hard that I had a headache within minutes and it took all the restraint in me to not rip my hair out. I missed him hard. Maybe the hardest since the day I found out he was gone. I thought about the specific instances where looking back, I could have done more. It was daunting. I couldn’t breathe. I broke down… I just completely broke down.

But after awhile, I slowed down. I kept breathing. And then I did two things: I accepted the comfort of my boyfriend, and I called my twin sister.

I leaned on someone else so that I could stabilize myself. Stabilize my mind, my aching heart, and my battered body.

The tough part about grief is that it’s so sharp that you don’t want to share it with anyone else for fear of hurting them. It’s too painful. It’s too risky.

But surprisingly, grief also gives us a great opportunity. It allows us to connect with others in a way that is so raw and so real it’s practically impossible to ignore. If your grief is honest and true, it can bring you closer to those you lean on.

Grief can even bring us closer to those who are gone, because in a way, we lean on them, too.

We lean on them to give us signs that they’re still with us in some way, even if they’re signs that no one but us understands.

We lean on them to talk to when we have our quiet, private moments of prayer or reflection where we are absolutely sure that they can hear us.

We lean on them to still be here for us in those milestone moments, even if it’s in a way that’s not what we originally imagined.

We lean on them to protect us as guardian angels in times of strife and hardship.

We lean on them all of the time.

So the next time you find yourself in a dark moment of grief, lean into it.

Let it catch you and cleanse you and bring you closer to whatever and whoever it is that you need to keep yourself going in that moment.

Go ahead, lean. You’ll find yourself standing soon after.

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