Where Do I Go From Here? Or Tea in Dirty PJs

Languid: (of a person, manner, or gesture) displaying or having a disinclination for physical exertion or effort; slow and relaxed.

Where do I go from here?

I wrote this in May this year:
“So I keep fucking up. Clearly I used to be a more successful human being because I am really not used to this disappointing people thing. I am late, I’ve dropped the ball, and I promise I am trying my fucking hardest. And it is just no longer cutting it. The cracks are showing and my shit is seeping through.”

In the 6 months since I wrote that, I have done the following:
– Moved twice (the first time requiring living with friends and living out of a laundry basket for a month)
– Fallen in love, quite unexpectedly (beautiful and amazing and not sleep-inducing)
– Prepared and given a 2-day workshop in Georgia (I rocked it, and was devastatingly proud)
– Guided dear friends go through many painful losses (one friend lived with me for 6 weeks, after my 2nd move)
– Bought my first house, which included last-minute possible fall-throughs and needed daily tending for literally 2 months with paperwork, phone calls, meetings…all exhausting
– Experienced a myriad of health issues, a number physically plus one of the worst expressions of depression through my being that I’ve ever known
– Continued to get out of bed (almost) every day, and gone to work where I take care of others, either as patients or as students, trying to give them my very best and despairing when that doesn’t seem enough (knowing all the while that my version of “enough” is skewed and some days my “enough” is a vast black hole that endlessly requires more)

So my question is: where do I go from here? What does one do when they are done? I am done. All I want to do is crawl into bed and stay there. Not forever…maybe 3 months. Perhaps 6. That would be good. 6 months. I would come out to go to yoga (only gentle classes) and eat soup and graham crackers, those cinnamon sugar ones that make me feel like a kid in a good way. Maybe with peanut butter.

Here is what I would not do:
– Go on Facebook or email or have long text exchanges that feel “efficient” but leave me drained
– Buy anything unnecessary
– Eat foods that make me feel like crap
– Sleep less than 9 hours
– Watch tv
– Feel inadequate

Like a butterfly who unfurled too quickly, I would slide back into my chrysalis (a protecting covering: a sheltered state or stage of being or growth) and wait until I was really ready to emerge, strong and prepared to take flight.

I would spend time with my new cat who is shy and needs me to simply sit in the room with him for hours at a time.

I would take walks in the woods by myself. Especially if it snowed. I would bake bread. I would read books. Have tea with my friends, but only occasionally and only with the ones who would understand that sometimes we would have tea with me in my pajamas and that sometimes those pajamas would be showing signs of wear.

I would write. Every day. Sometimes a poem, sometimes a letter. Some form of written word to ease the weight that has built on my heart in the last 20 years or so.

I would clean my house. Slowly. With languidness. One room at a time, so that by the time I finished I would simply start again. I would sweep in slow, even strokes, wipe the base boards and every corner down with a cloth. I would not mop. I would sponge the floors on my knees, enjoying the warmth of water in the bucket and taking pleasure in gently scrubbing tiny squares at a time, maybe 2 feet by 2 feet. I would let each section dry before moving on the to next, simply be still next to the work I’d just done.

I would read poetry. From books. Feeling the weight of the paper between my fingers as I turned each page. I would have 6 or 7 books open at a time, left face down and ready for me.

I would walk to the grocery store and carry my goods home in a basket, shopping just for the day or two. I would not rush. I would eat only foods that make my body feel good, savoring each bite, feeling satiated at the end of my meal. I would use a cloth napkin and fold it tidily back up after each use, placing it in a small basket just for that purpose.

I would hang my laundry out in the sun, no more than one load per day. One is enough.

I would ponder the following line from Oriah Mountain Dreamer: “I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it,” and sit with my own pain in recovery. Occasionally I may invite someone in pain over to sit with me. Nothing more than sit. I will fix them tea and maybe a biscuit.

I would make meals that require no recipe. 4 or 5 ingredients at the most. I would get to know sourdough and experiment with rising times. I would ferment things that take weeks and weeks to be ready, peeking at it every few days to watch it bubble, marveling at the things that simply take time to be ready.

One day, after the winter has passed and the sun is shining, I might step out my door and decide to move more quickly. Simply for the joy of feeling my legs pump and arms swing. Not for calories or to get anywhere or for the surge of adrenaline I’ve depended on for years to keep me going, to keep me crazy and therefore “sane” in this life I’ve created, but for the pure joy of feeling my heart pump harder to race my blood around my limbs. One day, after the winter.

4 Comments on “Where Do I Go From Here? Or Tea in Dirty PJs

  1. As always, when I finish reading your words, I sit back, take a long slow deep breath, and I exhale, basking in the glow of life.

  2. This is beautiful Star. I am in a similar space right now, having finished moving the mountains I choose to move over the last 3 (really 10) years. Having only had 2 speeds (go really fast and collapse) for so long I am, now at last, sitting with you in dirty pajamas and allowing the slow to seep in. Thank you for writing this so I could know I’m not alone over here.

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