Now that we’ve all made it through January, we can do what we do ever year and say to ourselves, harumph, nothing is going according to plan. As if the change of a single digit on our calendars ushers in some magical wand of control and newness.
And as much as I am all for nixing any focus on resolutions, I am starting to become more and more tuned into what may be a human need to hit the refresh button and make positive changes. I want this, right now. Like, so badly that I I drove past the Container Store just yesterday and started salivating. All those containers to contain things that need containing. I just imagined taking my entire life, handing it over to the mad scientist in my head who then carefully systematizes the chaos in such a way that it then yields … something that works.
Something that works. Oh, something that works. In the end, this is what I want. I don’t want a new life or to be out of pain or to not experience discomfort or even to be extra healthy – certainly not to live my best life. I simply want something that works. I want dinners to get done before 9pm and dishes done before 1am and I want to not forget all the important things because I am so busy in all the unimportant-but-on-fire things.
Maybe some people have this, but I don’t. Sometimes – ok, often – I feel like a little kid in a funny comedy show. They just keep putting shit in her hands and ask her to balance it all while on one foot, the audience laughing and gasping with each new thing. Oh isn’t she so cute, trying to do it all? Meanwhile, she’s up there, terrified and looking around for the actual grown up.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I show up and I do a lot and I do a lot of it well. I’m managing maybe? NO, I am not. I am juggling and putting out fires. And then, when I do have a moment where there is ease – a moment where it might be a great time to apply self-care or meditation or nourishing types of behavior – I instead dive head first into the quickest distraction from reality I can find.
I thought at first that this was behavioral, in that finding a way to escape is actually a normal and even healthy part of being an adult and a parent. But, as I headed deeper into the guts of it, it became obvious that the roots are more layered for me and more, well, muddy. Underneath that normal human desire to distract myself is something else, a grubby grub that has yet to see the light. It’s not that I want to distract myself, it’s that I do not want to connect to anything right now.
Ooooof. I don’t want to connect to myself. I don’t want to connect to people who need me. I don’t want to connect to my kids (ugh). I don’t want to connect to my feelings. I don’t want to connect to my work. I don’t want to connect even to stuff that brings me joy.
I mean, who wants to admit this? It’s not graceful. Aren’t I supposed to be desperate to have alone time so I can hear myself think and can get grounded? And, I know, as a person in recovery from substance use disorder, that the opposite of addiction is connection. And a big part of healing is actually connecting, so yeah … time to raise a red flag for me. Time for me to say, hey there grubby grub, whatsa happenin? (I guess that’s how I talk to grubby grubs?)
And here is where a deep down deep deeeeeeeep feeling lives, one that just quietly lets me know that … yeah, um … well … I feel lonely. Not lonely like, I want to be loved and held and around other people, but lonely like I am struggling with what it is like to meet all the constant needs around me and not have another person (ahem adult) in the room to be like, whew, this shit is cray, you ok? Or maybe, to be more honest and raw, I’d like them to just simply say: I believe you. This is hard.
I believe you. This is hard.
Now that I’ve said it, I don’t think I need much more than saying it. It feels like the start of the refresh button I was looking for, or the resolution to what I labeled as a desire to distract and escape. Now I know it’s this other thing. I can work with that, in myself and probably also with professionals and definitely with people I keep near and dear.
This February, in The Hook, we will be tackling this idea of a refresh button, something we are calling the desire to “Clear the Cache” to be technological and trendy. Also, it’s not pronounced “ca-shay”, a fact you’ll hear Jya and I grieve over if you listen to our weekly Hook podcasts. We also try to do what I’ve done here, which is find our way towards this desire for change in our life while also moving away from typical wellness dogma. It’s our experience that that dogma keeps us away from the grubby grubs and, well, you know we’re deep end divers here at MommaStrong.
Ok, I think I feel tired now that I said all that. Maybe tender is a better word. But, I also feel like I’ve grabbed on to something that is not drenched in the speed of euphoric motivation, but instead just traveling at the speed of a seed.
OH YEAH, I forgot to tell you how The Hook works and how you can join us in it. It starts THIS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6th. If you are a current member, you can register by logging in to your account, clicking the “The Hook” link in the teal navigation menu and following the instructions there. If you are a new member, HELLO! Simply sign up and follow those directions above.
After you register, all we encourage you to do is to listen to one short episode of our mini podcast each week, then comment or discuss as you like in our community. OH, and you try to show up for 5-15 minutes of exercise as often as possible during the month.
Whew. That’s it. Nap time. 🙂