Sunday, February 12, 2012

And Then, This.

There's an old saying that goes, "There are few problems so great they cannot be resolved with cuddle puddles, hot chocolate, and stove-popped popcorn."

Ok, fine...I just made that up. So it may not be an 'old' saying, but it's my saying, dammit. And I'm standing behind it 100%. Last week, I needed this kind of healing. It had been a rough day that ended in my crying at the kitchen table while my kids looked on, confused. So when Darrick had to leave to go recruit middle schoolers to his high school's wrestling club, I did the only thing I could think of to help me get through to bedtime while feeling really, uncontrolably emotional.

I found a new kids' movie on the DVR, propped the kids up with pillows, stuffed animals, and a soft blankie, and went into the kitchen to make hot chocolate and popcorn. The hot chocolate was extra chocolately, and the popcorn was a stove-top recipe I've perfected in the past 2 months, lightly salted and delicious. And then I settled into the corner of our big sectional couch with the kids curled beside me, pulled their little table over close so they had somewhere to put their mugs and bowls, and lost myself in the smell of Rohan's scalp and the feel of Luca absent mindedly rubbing her toes against mine under the blanket.

This doesn't mean I was suddenly in a fantastic mood and the world was sunshiney. I wish it was that easy. Instead, last week was spent contemplative, pissed off, sad, confused, and resolute. And I wish I had some amazing explanation for all those feelings that would make sense, but the truth is I don't. I think sometimes we walk dark paths not because there is a lesson to be learned or a metaphor to be gleaned, but because it's part of life to struggle now and then. We don't always understand why we're feeling down or confused or stressed, do we? But at some point, we're coming out the other end of it. And if cuddle puddles and pop corn make it more bearable in the interim, then I'd be a fool to deny myself.

Something happened this week, and I don't know exactly what it was. The anniversary of my dad's illness + my own aging + worries about health + sleeplessness + stress + more and more and more = a shit week with lots of tears and long venting sessions and quiet moments of introspection. And then, suddenly, I was on the other side of it. There was no epiphany. No moment of clarity where I saw the way out of the things I'm feeling stifled by and into a future of bliss and perfection. Not even, sadly, any clear and rational understanding of what the hell was wrong with me and why I was feeling so out of myself. What there was, though, was a feeling of peace at the close of the week. I'm not sure what it all means. I'm not sure what all has changed and what will continue changing. I just know that this week challenged me emotionally in a lot of ways and made me think a lot about myself and the things in my life and how they make me feel. It also gave me pause to remember that how I react  - to people, to feelings, to situations, out loud, in my head - matters.

I'm walking into a new week a bit more introspective than I've allowed of myself recently. I'm trying to let myself just be and think and feel and process whatever comes into my mind. I am trying to open myself up to the possibility that there is a lot of possibility.

And if I get there through cuddle puddles and hot chocolate? All the better.

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