I woke up this morning feeling down and dispirited. I had an upsetting day yesterday. And yesterday’s long and snaking skeletal fingers reached their despair across the night and into my early morning. I began a number of miserable posts, dwelling on my deep sadness, and then discarded them. I tried breathing, meditating, reading my favourite bloggers’ posts for the day. It all helped a bit but not enough.
And then, I looked in the mirror, said some supportive things to myself, and went out into the sun. I determined to find and focus on the positives around me. I climbed onto my faithful bike and rode slowly through my neighbourhood.
I love my neighbourhood – its shady trees, red brick houses, the water, the quiet streets, the flower gardens that aren’t overly perfect but are perfect in their wildness. It has a quiet comfort.
In the park, one of many in my neighbourhood, couples hold hands, some people sit in lawn chairs doing crosswords, a girl stretches the length of a bench immersed in her book, and many people walk dogs of all descriptions. A surprising midday tranquility.
I started to feel better, uplifted.
I met a friend who compliments, and complements, me. She told me my mix of colours today was perfect. I walked away feeling stronger, taller, somehow a bit more powerful. And as I thought about today’s Daily Post, I imagined that a different version of me woke up this morning. One whose yesterday did not darken her today. One who awoke feeling confident and sure and strong.
Through my dream, I hear birds sweetly singing. Slowly, I allow myself to be lulled out of dream state and into wakefulness. I open my eyes. The soft golden glow of the sun falls across my face, across the top of the bed’s headboard. I stretch luxuriantly.
My husband turns to smile at me from his desk where he is working. I smile back.
Gathering myself, I swing my legs around and stand up. I feel clear-headed, healthy, light in my heart. I wander over to the closet and open the door, looking at my reflection. I don’t feel the usual critically appraising squirm – I feel content, accepting, unjudged, and only pause a moment before pulling out my yoga clothes and getting dressed. Amazing that I have the time to do yoga before breakfast. That never happens!
My yoga practice this morning is smooth and fluid and focused under the soft blue sky of late summer. An hour later, I am even more relaxed, the kinks of a good night’s sleep are all stretched out and I am still not in a rush. I have all the time in the world. How novel.
I kiss my husband on the way to the shower.
Downstairs, after I have showered and dressed, I make breakfast. A breakfast of fluffy home made baguette, rich cheeses and jam, and creamy lattes – foods I have not been able to eat for months. I put everything on a tray and bring it upstairs to the rooftop deck. My husband comes to join me and we talk about the day, the upcoming weekend, his work, my writing.
When I clear the dishes after breakfast and take them back downstairs, I realize I am not analyzing our recent conversation, I am not feeling judged, by myself or my husband, I just am. I leave the nice moment behind and move on with my day.
Once the dishes are done, I take my laptop outside into the garden and begin to write. I manage to write the equivalent of what could be three chapters of a story I have been ruminating on for twenty years. When I am finished, I feel fulfilled, inspired, inspiring. I feel I have done my characters justice.
I spend the afternoon at the local archives, helping clients find their long-lost ancestors, the histories of their neighbourhoods, old maps and photographs. I know the collection inside-out, am familiar with the documents and can usually find a photograph of a particular building with relative speed. Being among these historic items brings a fire to my eyes and I am happy, too, that I can help others like me with a passion for history.
I spend some time organizing a display, building a small exhibit on the history of one of our town’s neighbourhoods. When I am done, it is early evening and I head to the woods for a walk. I absorb the nature around me.
I like this peaceful feeling. I am doing what I love. Gone is the self-doubt, the wistfulness, and in their place is an acceptance of who I am, a confidence that neutralizes the expectations of others, that no longer hears their judgements, their “should be’s” and their “should do’s”. I let them slip past without trying to respond, to justify myself. This is freedom.
I have grown into this persona as the day progressed, moving serenely from task to task. By the end of the day, I am able to leave the events of the day happily and enjoyably in my past and focus instead on the moment. There is a stillness at my core.