My Holding Pattern

We are in a holding pattern. We have two amazing opportunities and one more hurdle to jump before we will have to make a decision that will further define our future, but we have weeks to go before this happens.

What I do know is that how you hold yourself in these times of uncertainty is really how you hold yourself in general.

I have a confession to make. One day after I discovered that it seemed pretty clear we were going to have to move, my writing group was scheduled to meet and I was scheduled to present. But I was a mess because I had just learned that our one chance for staying in Winona was not going to happen. I cried and talked and my face was red and blotchy and my heart was so heavy. I must have talked for thirty minutes. My friends held me in a safe space that felt more like a warm cocoon than therapy. As I look back to that day five weeks out, I can see that sometimes we just have to go down to the darkest places before we can rise. It isn't pleasant or pretty, but it is real. Just as real is my climb up where I gain perspective and appreciation and a clearer head. Some people hide this part. Some people make their dark days darker by shutting out or themselves away. Somehow I had to ride all this out in front of people because a set of life circumstances just kept throwing me in situations where I could not hide. I could not fake it even when it seemed like that may have been the best route to go.

Being vulnerable in front of people, allowing them in even when you might not want them there might be considered brave, but to me it just is. I don't know how to act or to speak in any other way but honestly and from what is in my heart in the moment I am in. I have had a few moments where I felt mild panic or a tinge of regret, but I haven't lingered there too long because it serves no purpose to me or those I encounter.

That dark day was not the darkest, but it has gotten better. I know hindsight will eventually show me that this will be a mere blip in my life. I also know that when something feels big to you, you have to find a way to honor those feelings.

Right now I am reading "Glitter and Glue" by Kelly Corrigan, a memoir about how Kelly viewed her mother as a kid, as a young adult, and now as a mother herself. At one point Kelly says, "It occurs to me that maybe the reason my mother was so exhausted all the time wasn't because she was doing so much but because she was feeling so much." Her mother was a doer and did not make time for emotions.

I can tell you that hiding your feelings is far more exhausting that letting them out. Life is too short to deny how you feel. If you stuff, ignore, or dance around your feelings, they do not go away. I can see now that by letting things out I was actually giving my own self the ability to move ahead.

I still don't know what will happen or what our lives will look like, but I know I am dealing with it as honestly as I can and this is my holding pattern.

What's yours?

Defining Our Moments

My kids have been asking me about my job. I can see that what I do does not fit with what they hear at school or see in their friend's parents lives. They feel a bit mystified at having two parents who are turning some of life's big questions inside out right in front of them, and they aren't quite sure what to make of it. While we have explained that many years of hard work have prepared us for these rainy days we are in, at least one of us having a job title seems important to them.