I have been reading my past blog entries from 2014 leading up to the anniversary of my Mom’s death. Writing for those 30 days leading up to the anniversary helped so much. It was cathartic. That is why I am writing again.
Three weeks ago I jumped off a cliff and went to CrossFit. I was so scared but in classic Linda fashion, I jumped in and then yelled as I was falling. The landing was fine though; in fact it was like a trampoline. I bounced back and went the next day and the day after that. I took the fourth day off and went back again. I am now on week three (or four, it doesn’t matter). What does matter is that I feel more alive than I have in a very long time.
I find myself looking up the WOD (CrossFit lingo for Workout of the Day) the night before and then googling any moves I haven’t done before in preparation for the next day. I look forward to working out. I don’t find myself making excuses in advance on why I won’t be able to get there. In fact, I build in contingencies so if I can’t make the 5:30am session I have another option. My gym bag is now a regular fixture in my car. (No worries, the clothes are clean).
I can feel myself getting stronger day by day. And the best part is I don’t just mean physically. I feel stronger mentally as well. I truly believe you need to rise each day and choose joy. And not just choose it, but protect it; not let anyone steal your daily joy. I defend it like a mother lion defends her cub. Each day is a new day with new joys, new ups and downs. I can proudly say, in this moment, that depression is something I had. It is not something I have. I know all to well how quickly depression can sneak up and take you by surprise. And that is why choosing joy and exercising are so important. Today was great and who know what tomorrow may bring. What a difference each day makes.
Mother’s day is nearing and I have been thinking about the day and what it has meant to me in the past vs. how I may feel this year. My mourning process is only eight days old, yet, I am light-hearted. I feel more connected to my mother than I ever remember being as an adult. Why?
Since I have consciously, and unconsciously, started to celebrate her life, I have a few more memories. I have spent more time looking at the few pictures of our family, smiling and and being happy. I haven’t dwelled in the past when she wasn’t physically with me. Instead I have tried to keep her memory alive in my head and my heart. (I don’t mean to sound sappy).
Ah ha! Just writing that last sentene made me see another difference. I am keeping her alive in my heart. I am starting to breakthrough the pain and anger and envy by realizing that to keep her alive I need to keep her in my heart. It doesn’t mean I won’t have sadness and miss her, but, I will also experience joy and laughter. Missing her doesn’t you mean I have to feel guilty being happy.
Marianne Williamson, author of, A Return To Love, says we approach life either by fear or by love. If I am feeling anger and envy, I can’t be feeling love. And if I fee anger and envy what do I fear? Until just recently, I was afraid to feel anything but sad when thinking of my mom. If I tried to look at her with love, and did not feel loved back, what would happen? It was easier to be fearful and remain numb. But now I have experienced joy because I am looking at life with love. And I want more of it.
Loving is so much easier than fearing.
I was awakened this morning by my dog, Roxy. She just had to go outside and would not accept “No” for an answer. My husband always gets up early on the weekends so I decided to do dog duty today. Roxy was exited and running in circles as I put on my shoes and her collar.
I opened the door and she was off, smelling every inch of territory she covered. I just meandered along watching her in a zombie-like state. Suddenly she stopped. I looked in the same direction as Roxy and saw some robins on the ground pecking for morning breakfast. As soon as she moved the robins flew away. I kept looking in the direction of where the birds had been to keep watching the beautiful streams of sunlight. They were shining on the grass, the plants and through the tree branches. I just stood and stared. And then it happened; I felt myself smile. I was awake, alive and happy. But how could that be? It was only 25 days until the anniversary of my mother’s death. I was supposed to be mourning.
Roxy and I came back into the house. I was awake and couldn’t go back to sleep. I could still feel the smile on my face. I remembered Mark and I have plans to go to the beach with Roxy today. And then zoom! I remembered something else. One of the few pictures of my mother that I have is of her at the beach, sitting on a blanket. I smiled again. Without consciously knowing it, I was smiling. I had experienced joy in that moment and decided to choose joy for the rest of the day. I am going to celebrate my mom’s life while at the beach. My heart is already lighter.
To everyone that read’s this, I wish you a joy-filled day.