Episode 52: Deciding
Good morning, and Happy Brunch Sunday from Florida, the most coveted state this week due to weather across the continental U.S.
I'll raise a tall, condensating iced tea, while the rest of you lift steamy mugs... Let's clink a cheers to a bit of connection between work, notices and ads in your inbox. Written with a London accent in my head. Reading with an accent is completely your next best decision.
Many Floridians were not aware of the "big storm" last week across the traditionally warmer states.
Friends' postings of white Texas on social media was our first clue.
I have sympathy. Many people retire in Florida for the very expectation of amazing winter weather.
No more snow. No more ice.
Sure, we have hurricanes, but not that often.
After a few years, newbies join the rest of the neighbors in having Hurricane Parties.
(I like to start a new canvas painting for hurricanes, each time hoping the lights stay on.)
Across the board, traditions are changing.
Change and fear do not have to be married.
A few Texans decided in the earlier nineteens that joining the national grid was not a good idea.
Avoiding federal regulations has been a long standard in the south.
No matter how they got to this circumstance, Texas now must decide what is their next best decision.
There was a wide strip of Rocky Mountain fires in six states last summer,
Earthquake tremors continue to increase in Oklahoma, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas, linked to hydraulic fracturing wells.
In 2020, a new virus intersected with the old ones of racism and unequal justice.
Each of us were slammed with a little disruption, and became aware of the suffering of Others.
Some allowed it to wash over them, rinsing the debris of the past, and they forged what they could in response to it.
Some chose to resist and fight any modifications to the way things have been.
One year ago, February 2, 2020, I wrote a rather short, two-minute email to twelve "followers."
In response to a discussion with my husband of 26 years, I wrote quietly.
I wrote reluctantly, still hiding a bit from the light of being seen.
But I started.
I wrote: "Self doubt is just a sign you are doing something you haven't done before."
I didn't create that sentence. I heard it from someone who heard or read it.
If you google that sentence with quote marks, it pulls 192 million results.
In my year of emails, turned to blogs, I may not have said an absolutely new sentence.
I have, on the other hand, created a few new words that I am thoroughly blissed about.
I was disrupted, and I decided.
In this year, I have connected more with my adopted family of origin.
I have made new, lovely friends.
I have swaddled and loved existing friends, caring for the space between.
I have been helped.
I have vented, not always in a becoming manner.
I've been honest. Genuine.
There have been feelings. Because I have had thoughts.
Much like the Kubler-Ross/Bertrand Grondin X-Y axis graph,
or the embroidered blanket/loop edge stitch,
we dip, cycle around and rise.
The disruption can be very uncomfortable, even more so if we resist it.
Accepting the disruption into reality helps incrementally.
This is happening.
I am getting divorced.
It is snowing in Texas, enough to cause a power outage.
Some of us adore having our feet on the ground. But, like the moments seated in a roller coaster car, just as the engine starts and our bodies are trapped as we edge forward, we are disrupted.
We can accept it. First we remove the word trapped. Remove the panic.
This is indeed happening.
We must make our next, best decisions.
Personality types vary.
While some raise their arms, fingers extended, and give a liberating Woo-Hoo.
Others tense every ab muscle, clench their buttocks, and with elbows pressed to ribs, they close their eyes and scream.
Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.
While living in Indiana, I heard a saying--actually Mark Twain first shared it:
If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes.
There is no emergency or alarm in this sentence.
I'm finding it somewhat silly, to "disagree" with the weather.
How do we argue with it?
There is a global system at play here, with streaming currents, meandering on invisible lanes, modifying away from it's average paths.
Things happen. Sometimes we half-expect them to come about.
One receives news of cancer, just before a planned vacation.
Hurricanes do disrupt outdoor weddings.
Covid cancels conferences and business trips.
Texas blacks out.
"Grey Divorce" entirely recreates the third act of retirement years.
We have expectations.
Which are met just enough that we rely on them, making us feel an illusion of safety.
What do we do?
Hmm. Do I have any tips, at all?
We are going to dip. And loop.
It's going to pull and slam us into our seat.
It will feel like your insides are now out.
But if you sit and take it, let it rip you in half, it passes.
I have never been great at this.
Stretch out our arms, or keep them in--it won't matter.
It will not pass faster if we get all tight.
We just get tight.
If you enjoy the stressful physical reactions, and they serve a purpose for you, keep them.
Realizing they are not necessary is a bit freeing.
Angst is optional.
Some do party during a hurricane.
Until next time,