The other morning when my alarm rang, I laid there for a moment to do what I call a soul check. It’s a practice I’ve done since I can remember. I take some deep breathes, I list my gratitude, set my intentions for the day, and offer out prayers. That morning felt different, though. Something felt off My inner gauge read “not okay”. I must’ve been crying throughout the night, my pillow soaked with tears, my eyes were swollen, and my “Good morning” to Chuck came out hoarse. It was one week to the day that my mom-in-law took her journey to the Other Side and the day after my brother-in-law’s Memorial.
My gauge didn’t just read sad, it also read mad. Without a Power of Attorney for his mom, Chuck and I’ve been left trying to figure out all the legal proceedings, on top of the grief. But most of all I was upset that the world hadn’t hit pause while we processed through everything. Unrealistic, but it all has been overwhelming. My email box was still filling up. The calls kept coming in. People wanted this and that. My dad wanted me to go pick berries and make him a crumble. My publisher sent me a manuscript I needed to look over. What did I want the back cover to look like? Chuck wanted to know what I wanted to eat. What he should buy at the grocery store. Which toothpaste should he buy? And yet I was over here not NOT caring, just numb and making a decision, no matter how small, felt huge.
The world was still functioning, but we aren’t and I’m scrambling to find the “remote”. I plow through, minute to minute, trying not to feel, but that morning released a hurricane of feels, and then that hurricane spawned tornadoes of more feelings. And so, I was laying on the couch, feeling sorry for myself, flipping through shows, and caught the last half hour of “Shawshank Redemption”. One of my favorite quotes from the movie is “Get busy living or get busy dying”. It spoke to me deep in my soul.
My profession consists of dealing with death and the afterlife on a 24/7 basis and sometimes I get caught up in it all – forgetting to live. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a whole week ‘vacation’, and I know I’ve never taken a whole two weeks, but I’m changing that today. I ended up re-scheduling my life for two weeks so I can take a soul-cation. I’m not going anywhere, but I am going to take that so-called remote that I’ve been scrambling to pause and I’m going to pause. You can’t schedule healing, but I’m going to try. We are going to have a small Memorial for mom. We have her Estate Sale
on the 27th
of July. Maybe we can sleep in (hear that kitty cats and puppy dogs?!) past 6 am. I just want to sit in a diner and have breakfast on a weekend. Maybe dip my feet into some water and dig my hands into some dirt. Nothing glamorous or what most would define a vacation to be, but it’s what my soul needs right now, and honestly what I think Chuck needs too. Self-care isn’t selfish, but sometimes it feels that way. Do it anyway.