Captures

I actually have something helpful to share today. Instead of scrolling endlessly through the news, I tapped on my photos app and selected years at the bottom. I then selected a year, which began with 2017, and tapped on the first selection and scrolled until I got to the end of 2019. Some of the photos were video snippets interspersed with other stills, I got a flashback overview of how I’ve spent the last several years, wow! It made me appreciate just how fortunate we’ve been and I was filled with gratitude and joy reliving it all through the captures of all the precious memories we created together.

I thought about how I’ve been feeling concerned, a tad more worried than usual, on the negative side about the world, (how could anyone not feel some despair) then seeing the last few years flash before my eyes gave me some groundedness, at least we’ve lived a beautiful life so far, we have that, we have each other and we’ve weathered everything else, so maybe there’s the possibility of rainbows and lighter days ahead. It lifted my spirits considerably, I was smiling and marveling at all of the beautiful, happy times we’ve enjoyed and felt relieved to be done with some of the more challenging situations we’ve endured. We’ve come a long way, I’m so proud of us all.

I also awoke feeling more like my usual self today, lighter, more energetic, less congested, recovered from the mini-relapse caused by the walk I took last week. Some spark has returned. Yay.

I took a vacation from my routine and now I’m ready to get back into making progress on some projects. Time to draw up a new list of things to focus on. Less reading/writing and more music and art. I finally got some guitar picks and I have art supplies too, time to have fun and draw some awkward still lifes and play some pitiful sounding chords, then practice until I get better. I have attempted drawing and playing guitar in recent months, but inconsistently. I’m gonna try again. I feel the need for more fluid forms of expression like art and music. Being cooped up has me wanting to free up some of that trapped energy. Art and music will be a substitute for my inability to engage in my usual physical activities of walking, yoga/pilates, or dancing.

I have all of the photos and videos of the kids that I need to digitize too. Maybe it’s a good time to look into doing that. I feel like accomplishing something concrete and tangible, where I can immediately see the progress, to see something taking shape like when drawing, or learning a song, or completing a hands-on project. I did that with my balcony garden, the wildflowers I planted from seed are now beginning to bloom, I love it!

I suppose I can’t always be in go, go, go mode. I’ll count this year as a sort of a forced sabbatical. I haven’t found any tricks to make this go faster, I’ve really had to surrender, to give in and let go. I have to trust what my body is indicating for me to do, so much rest, more rest than I could dream of, though I used to long for rest over the years working nights, multiple jobs and overtime. Some nights all I wanted was my bed and the minutes at work dragged on for an eternity while I fought to stay awake, it was torture. Now I have the chance to rest, but I don’t want to, lol. I want to go for walks and do Jillian Michael’s workouts, and learn the WAP dance, just kidding, lol, I don’t want to hurt myself, plus I’m grandma aged, omg.

It’s gonna be so amazing when all of this is behind us. Everything is so up in the air yet. We’ve grown accustomed to the staying home, masks, and social distancing, but there’s no end in sight so there’s an undercurrent of uncertainty and instability. It becomes taxing. That’s when it’s helpful to do something grounding, like looking at my photos of all the happy memories on my phone. And to do some projects where I can see completion, it gives me more of a sense of control which further grounds me, increasing my feelings of agency, security, confidence, and wellbeing.

Skyping with the kids helps too and getting back into normal routines in whatever ways possible, like grocery shopping with Drue. It also helps to give myself permission to grieve, be afraid, to acknowledge my feelings of vulnerability and loss. When I resist them it lies beneath the surface, festering, better to let it out, releasing it. That way I process and integrate everything more easily and quickly. I give myself more downtime and space to be with it all. Sitting outside on the balcony, journaling it out, being in nature even if it’s just sitting outside, it helps. The clear blue sky, soothing sun, the fresh air, and birds swooping and singing helps regulate my system, it’s like medicine for my soul. Caring for something, like a garden also helps, watching new life grow. It’s therapeutic.

I will be engaging in more therapeutic activities instead of trying to rush and push myself into completing things I might be able to monetize. I’m dialing it back into more leisurely creative exploration mode while I do my unemployment work search activities.

I’d like to capture more joy instead of pressuring myself to hurry up and figure it all out as fast as I can. Reliving the past few years in those photos on my phone reminded me of what’s really important. It’s easy to lose sight when you’re immersed in the thick of it, so it’s a good idea to stop and take a break, a little vacation from all of your doings to be able to see clearly. Maybe all of your doings are blinding you from seeing what’s true, what’s most beneficial, and joyful for you. Sometimes you have to stop, disconnect, disengage, get some distance so that you can see the truth.

Maybe that’s what’s happening with the whole world right now? It’s a chance for us to get clarity. What’s most important?

Michelle Miyagi
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