Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When Life Falls Apart


What a month.

August is kind of a big month for me anyways (August 17 I left home for the biggest adventure of my life--being an exchange student in Belarus; August 26 1998 I met my soul mate; August 15 2015 my soulmate proposed; August 2008 graduated with first MA degree, and so on... you get the picture) but then this August, things got a little crazy.

August 2016 we made the move from Iowa to Colorado, and then we found ourselves moving again this August, but thankfully only about 4 miles away. While being less traumatic than the last move, this one was still hard. Even though I know we have so much less stuff now, we still have too much.

So, we found the new place the end of July. We would get the keys on August 16, but we were leaving to go back to Iowa for my grandfather's 90th birthday on the 18th. The cost to fly back and rent a car was too much, so we drove.

I. Hate. That. Drive.

But, we made it back to Iowa, had a busy weekend with friends and family, and then came the long drive home... through all the traffic from all the stupid people trying to view the damn eclipse!  (Our 11 hour drive took 14...)

Then, when we got back, my dad was here visiting, so we didn't really get to start moving until the 23rd. We did hire movers who did most of the moving, but there was a surprising amount of shit that was not boxed and therefore not ready to move.

It was down to the last minute, but we got everything out and then waited for the walk-through with our landlords. We waited for an hour the first time before contacting them and having them say sorry, something came up. The next day we met successfully and handed over the keys.

I've been working hard to establish some order in my room and I am bound and determined to get rid of shit!!! I had already donated one bad of clothes and we had donated a couple boxes of books, etc., but yesterday I got rid of another bad of clothes.
I am just so tired of shit everywhere!

I've recently been reading a lot of nonfiction, which is kind of unusual for me. I read Pema Chodron's book When Things Fall Apart on the advice of my best friend, and I appreciated the wisdom that I found there. Just a few days ago I finished reading Daphne Kingma's book The Ten Things To Do When Your Life Falls Apart and I got a lot out of it. It helped reinforce that we are all struggling at some point, and that there are things I can do to relieve some of the pressure.  One of those things is simplifying my life.

This is not a new concept to me. I started trying to do this a couple years ago and I have made progress, but not enough. In Kingma's book there was a chapter on living simply and one of the things she suggested is setting a goal, such as getting rid of 10 things every week. That's perfect! That is my new goal. I will get rid of 1o things a week until I feel like things are under control. Then, I can reevaluate.

Another chapter was about letting go, and as I am still searching full force for a full time job, I realized how much anger I have from the past. Yes, I was screwed over pretty badly, but what is being mad about it now gonna get me. Yes, it has made things difficult for me for several years, but I can't change it, I can only move forward.

Some other lessons from Kingma are that crying is healing, to get different results you can't do what you've always done, remember who you are, you have to be persistent (something that I'm gettin' really tired of), you need to integrate things that have happened and accept them in order to move on an make things better, we all have a signature strength--go back to it and use it as inspiration, and also if you don't have love in your life...find it.

I was encouraged anew to pursue my writing because Kingma said that most people end up doing, or their dream job is, something that they wanted to do when they were 6 or 7. What did I want to be? A writer.

Something to think about.

And so my fellow sufferers leave you with a quot from the end of Kingma's book:
May the depth of your crisis remind you of who you really are. May your pain bring you into the light of awareness. May your journey through it give you hope. And when you have made it through the storm, may you feel great peace and joy.

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