The past two months have sort of vanished into the grief abyss. I feel like a ton of time has passed, but at warp speed. Part of this, I’m sure, is that my memory is fairly shot right now.
It’s like everything I used to remember has gone on vacation, far away, without me. I don’t know if it plans to come home to my brain, but I sure miss it.
Bit by bit, I am reclaiming routines that feel normal.
I heart routines.
As I settle in, I’m also trying a few newer things to see how they feel. Some things are working for me, and I am finding that more than just getting checked off a to-do list, they are freeing me up to be more available for community and for rest in my life. It’s also teaching me that in many ways, I process grief through the more tangible things.
This is not to downplay the emotional, by any means. But it’s not just the emotional. It’s just that grief is the reason my toilets are growing goobers right now. And when I finally manage to de-goober those things, it will make me better able to talk about my sadness over coffee.
Accomplishing a few concrete tasks in a regular ways is almost akin to constructing the walls or roof of a house so that the inside can be a place of warmth, safety, honest conversations, and good sleep.
I’ve noticed two routines in particular that are working for me right now, that are freeing me up for the better things.
One, recommitting to exercising in the morning and walking the dog at night. On the one hand, this makes sure the main exercise gets done, which helps me sleep better, stress less, and get back into my pants. On the other, the evening walk gets me moving after a fairly sedentary work day and is a transition point from work to home. I breathe deep, swing my arms freely, and start to unwind.
Two, doing my housekeeping things on Thursday after work. This is a 4 item list: dusting, vacuuming, dishes, and putting stuff away in its home. If I just get started right as I come in, it’s all done before I know it. Really, I do not need to watch TV or check Facebook anyway. Once it’s done, some friends come over for dinner and the Thursday night NBC lineup. This ritual basically extends my ‘weekend’ into 3 days, because when I come home Friday, it’s all done.
What about you, friend? What do you do to create space for community and rest in your life? Is it a routine, or just a trick you pull out when the occasion arises?