Loosening the rope

Friday, February 08, 2013

When I sit here in the mornings with my cup of tea and delectable sprouted English muffin, the cat runs like a bat out of hell, skidding around corners, surfing on the scratching board and stopping only to stare outside or be trapped by a box (I like to keep a cat trap around only to marvel at how effective they are). This is all normal. This is what the cat does morning, noon, and night. She is quite possibly the most self-entertaining cat I have ever laid eyes on. But lately, during these reflective mornings, she's taken to doing...something...in the middle bedroom. I am not sure what she does in there. I here banging and clanking and gigantic noises that no small animal should ever be making, but when I rush to the door, she is always sitting innocently on the floor, licking her paw and nothing looks out of place. I can't figure it out. What is she dooooooing in there? She also has a knack for stealing my little marble scarab off my desk. This, she takes down as soon as I put it back again. But, she messes with nothing else on my desk. It is covered with tantalizing rocks and feathers and trinkets and all these things no sane person should keep out with a cat like this, but all she takes is the scarab. And she even has to pass through these other things to get to the scarab. These are the things I wonder on my days off.

Today, I am being kind to myself. Last night, as I cycled home at 3mph because I really didn't feel like riding, I thought, we all have our troubles. Some people are faced with more hardship than others, suffer more losses, more challenges. It's irrelevant to compare, because we are all impacted in different ways, and those dealing with little can be terribly stressed, and those confronted with a million obstacles can be comfortable and functioning. I've always felt like the former, even when my mother was diagnosed with fully-disabling MS just as my father was barely recovering from open heart surgery and I was just a teen, trying to excel in work and school and life and and figure out a future, I still felt like it wasn't enough to warrant any stress I felt. It wasn't enough to complain about. Instead, I rattle on and on about the little things.

But today, I cut myself some slack. It's been only 6 months since I moved so I big, giant city (which I've never done), been working in a serious, weird, government job (which I've never done), and moved in with a weird boy whom I have nothing in common with (which I've never done). This is after 3 years of constantly searching for work, working 4 totally different jobs I hated for 4 totally different reasons, training for and attempting a career change, moving 3 states away (twice!) in 4 different homes. It's been stressful. Most of my days are hard and even the easy days are merely only enough to recover from the hard ones. I came to the realization, that if any one of these things didn't happen, the other 2 would be infinitely easier for me to adjust to. I've spent so much time, adding to the stress of it all, blaming myself for not being more happy, more "like myself" because, when you look at it, my life is quite good. I have a nice home and tons of opportunities in this crazy big city. I am appreciated, valued, and I have a retirement package (always was a goal) with this crazy weird job. And the alien boy is the most thoughtful, giving, tirelessly caring person I've ever known. All of these things are good things, but, they did come about me all at once, and that is enough. Had it just been 2 big changes, well, then I'd have no excuse to feel this frazzled, I could think like I've always been. But, no, this is 3 big changes. And that is enough.

The last time I made 3 big changes all at once like this was when I graduated college. I moved to a town I'd never been to before, took on some weird random job managing a store that sold boring shoes (WTF?!), and severed a relationship I'd been in for years. That experience was very hard, and I never really acknowledged that. After 6 months, I didn't have that job anymore, moved into a different city, and yet, I still wondered why I struggled with friends, health, spirituality; all the other aspects of life. I am doing a lot better this time around. I'm not going to wonder what's wrong with me any more. I am not going to wonder why I'm deprived of social time, or exercise time, of a decent meditation practice. Other people do these things, but usually not all at once, and even if they do do them, it usually only happens once in a lifetime, and still, they are stressed, too. I've started many new "chapters" in my life, and some were easier and some were harder. That's ok. This one is harder, and stress leaks over to many of the things that are "supposed" to be fun (diving, skiing, riding, Zumba) as they are logistically stressful, if not strangely scary if nothing more than surrounded by all this other newness. So what if other changes have been easier? There still have been others that were much harder than this.
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