I'm not sure if the fact that I started to get sick last week - and I'm a little hormonal to boot - made me more aware of my actual self, my body, my health and my mind, or what, but I'm sure that's part of it.
I am also seeing friends, family and loved ones experience personal heartbreak, emotional highs, and face heart wrenching decisions that *no one* should ever have to even consider.
As I struggle to make sense and find my place and role in it all, I have come to understand and contemplate some basic things. Things that many of us know, but often take advantage of, take for granted or, let's face it, completely ignore.
In the past few days ...
I have been reminded to be grateful for *all* things, big and little. I am grateful to be surrounded by a circle of love made up of friends and family. I am grateful that I have my health, a home and a way to keep it warm, with or without power. I am especially grateful that I have all that I need, and more appreciative for all the extras that I am blessed to have.
I have been reminded to take care of myself. That it is okay to say no. That it is perfectly acceptable to sleep when you need it, eat when you're hungry (even if it's not the healthiest choice for you at the moment) and not push yourself if you think you're only going to make things worse. I have been reminded to be more vocal when it comes to this; it is sometimes helpful to remind others that you can't take care of what they would like you to until you take some time for yourself.
I have been reminded to cherish what you have and hold those you love near. To say I love you often. To give and accept more hugs. We all know, yet often forget that we never know if it will be the last. Treat every goodbye like it is.
I have been reminded to try and balance taking care of others and taking care of myself. To keep reaching out to let others know you are there, without letting them pull you in. Otherwise, as my years of life-guarding and swim instruction have taught me, then you have two victims. In this, I have been reminded that even though I've never been one to walk away easily, sometimes it is necessary. Even if I have physically walked away, it's usually not that far. And it still hurts. A lot.
I have been reminded to find the balance in many things. Between living in the moment and appreciating the moment. In finding the beauty in the disaster - and sometimes the reverse. In going with the flow and letting the flow go around you. Between holding on too tightly and letting go too gently. Between fighting to the death and not fighting at all. And, just as importantly, how to make these decisions mindfully and with grace.
I hope that whatever this weekend of tragedy and destruction has brought into your life that you are able to find a quiet moment and reflect on not only what you have lost, but all that you truly do have in your life. I sincerely hope that you have what you need and you are surrounding yourself with love, grace, understanding and patience.
Above all, I hope that you are safe and well.