Often, the things I dread or stress about the most proffer a gift.
For example, two back-to-back and very important birthdays just happened. One, a 40th and the other, an 85th. On the same weekend, one right after another and I had been asked (though would have gladly volunteered) to plan and execute decor/set-up for 50 and cook for both events. The next day I would have one of my favorite kids with me for a week. It all came on the heels of a whirlwind, dizzying end of the school year and all that entails. And, to be honest, I was grieving the evaporation of time to myself.
Naturally, I worried about how I would get it ALL done, let alone enjoy any of it.
The night before the BIG party we had decided to collectively decorate, but plans changed minute to minute about who could help and when. I fretted and wasted too much energy when it all flowed flawlessly and so naturally that each of us showed up at exactly the right time and worked beautifully as a team to transform the house and yard into our theme: flowy (hum, just like the preparations and parties moved) goddess. Theme choice is probably another blog in itself. The birthday girl arrived from an out-of-town conference just as we finished and swept us all up and out for dinner. Tired and happy, we unwound over the meal.
That party went off without a hitch, though I retired a bit early, awoke early, squeaked in an hour of silent worship and then headed off to the next party of picnicking, eating and celebrating.
It's now midweek with an extra child in the house who's has been a blessing. He's worked himself into the fold and we've even managed to have fun. Today, we stopped for ice cream and giggled as the behemoth mounds melted and dribbled down their chins.
I have actually managed to stay more present and enjoy each activity instead of obsessing on all that is before me. As I write this, it seems so petty to have internally panicked and complained about cooking, decorating, celebrating and embracing an extra person. But in that moment, in that mode, I was considering how it would make me feel and assuming the answer would be tired.
Yeah, maybe I was a little weary, but with the fibromyalgia I experience that even when I am well rested with little to do.
This time I applied what I am learning through the Alexander Technique: to know where I am now, not necessarily in 10 minutes or two days (although I will eventually direct myself there). But in this moment, I can choose to relax. STOP as my teacher says. Stop my old habits of worry and stress. Take my foot of the brake and coast into joy. I recently read that worrying is a prayer for disaster.
I think, at times, I have been saying the wrong prayer.
• How do I react when faced with challenges?
• Is there I mode to which I automatically revert?
• What happens when I relax into that moment?
• How am I able to be joyful?
• How can I transform my prayer for disaster into one for love and joy?