Wednesday, February 24

Just Focus

When I first moved back to Seattle and Ben passed away, I said Yes to everything.  Kept fluid, had adventures, didn't reflect or stay home for too long.  And it was freedom and a lifeline, and so many wonderful people participated in the journey

Slowly, I started to reflect, to meditate, to be silent - a little more each time.  I traveled by myself, I made commitments.  I kept saying Yes and Hello whenever I could. 

Then last year, I started to commit to more things and to work on bigger projects, and thus to say No sometimes.  Oh it was painful!  The sorrow was in the death of possibility.  I remember that visceral reaction the first time, and how foreign it was, and how surprised people were by how hard it was for me.  Didn't I used to say No?  Sure, but in grief I had lost my callousness. 

But I did it anyway.  Now, I have a surprising and fantastic job, a lovely boyfriend, am settled in a unique apartment with an unexpected and wonderful roommate, and got to take the perfect trip to Italy and Spain with my sister.  In hindsight the investment was worth it!

Facing 2016 (though) I could see the truth: "No" would have to be taken to the next level.  I was not nearly done with the word.

In December 2015 I had been eligible to take the seven exams toward becoming an architect for six months but made exactly no progress.  Also, I was considering a job that required more hours and allowed less exercise and was dealing with a couple minor health problems.  I kept the job, scheduled an architecture exam, physical therapy, and exercise - and thus added an extra 10-25 hours of commitment to each week.

So, I'm cooking less.  Sleeping less (though I'm trying to fix that), socializing much less, volunteering less. It's satisfying to be improving my health and additive to pass exams!  I mean, chemically there has to be a noticeable endorphin burst when I get answers right.  And it's only for a time, only for a time.  Mentally, I couldn't have been this solitary two years ago and stayed so sanguine.  So I'm thankful that I can do that now, and thankful that I can keep learning, and exhausted and a little lonely and try to remember that God has always been my friend.

A conclusion?  People write about the power of Yes, and the power of No.  Both are true!  Both have a freedom to offer, both have a loss and a gain.  The true power is knowing what season - what moment? - am I in?  That's the way of wisdom.   Lord, I'd say grant it to us - but then we'd talk to you less.  So guide us instead.

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