June-The Awkward Leavings

June’s highlight reel feels shorter than previous months. I’m leaning toward quality over quantity as an explanation. Let’s get the Fails out of the way first, shall we? I wouldn’t bring them up at all except that I prefaced them in May and built up your expectations.

Fail #1:  The Seven Days of Devotion was a total bust. It didn’t work out. The prompts involved interacting with the public. This wouldn’t have been a problem except the prompts came in by email during the afternoon (while I was at work). After only a month on the job the Higher Ups sent me a trainee and we had one of those super-stress-fest mega-important inspections. I didn’t check email until after I was already home for the night and not likely to interact with the public. I could have gone back out to satisfy the prompts but I didn’t. My trip to Florida also came right in the middle of the Seven Days so I didn’t check email on the beach either. I didn’t alter my normal routine to accommodate these acts of devotion. I wasn’t very devoted to being inconvenienced, I guess. I’m not sorry. We passed the inspection and my trainee is running his own branch now.

Fail #2:  Although I did complete this one, the Live More Challenge didn’t yield more than the one blog post you saw back in May. It was lovely little program but in the end I just wasn’t the target audience for it. I’m already completely in love with me. I’m not struggling with my weight. My wellness practice is strong and includes a wealth of self-care. I am already the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, remember? And brilliant. And divine. Most of all, when I’m in crisis I don’t ask Facebook for help. Not that I begrudge anyone the help. Just because I’m a little further along on the journey doesn’t mean I cast dispersion upon the methods that other women come to healing. The path to enlightenment is paved with the placed we stand along the way. I’m not judging the way-points of anyone else. I think the program probably helps a lot of women every year but it felt like work I’ve already done. I would recommend it though. I left some links in May’s Manifest if you’re interested.

Now for the successes! <– That feels awkward but I’m leaving it.

Success #1:  As promised, come hell or high water, I spent a weekend in Navarre with my family. That’s Dad, sisters, brother, and all their kids and spouses–all seventeen of them. I traveled alone; The Chef had to skip this one. We reunited by bunking in rental huts on the beach. I scored my own room in the cabin but did very little sleeping. I flew out Friday and flew home Sunday so it was a tough turn-around. It was so worth it. We bonded. We reconnected. We forgave and forgot. We investigated and resolved. We partied and played. I was so busy getting to know them and staying present in our shared experiences that I took almost no pictures. Seriously, me. Five pictures? Maybe six. That’s it. I spent those fly-by hours looking at faces and vistas and the solstice and Ft. Pickens instead of my smartphone. I came home with a suitcase full of sand but a heart full of glee.

It took a total of four flights to get there and get home. On the last flight I sat next to a fascinating man originally from Nigeria. He lives about an hour away from me now. As we talked we discovered we both lived in Washington D.C. at the same time . Although he is married with children here in the US he still flies home to see his mother and siblings in Nigeria every year. Every single year. At American Thanksgiving. He was quite amused with my sense of accomplishment that I had just come from seeing my father and siblings once in the last ten years. All the standard cop-outs became immediately lame and pathetic–time, money, travel hassles, work, distance, etc. This guy manages to get home to see his family in Africa every year despite all the crap I use as an excuse not to see mine in a decade. In America. If the magically delicious good time with my family hadn’t been enough to change my ways, the lesson in this guy’s example certainly compelled me.

Success #2:  There is a new and sparkly commitment to staying in touch that did not exist before the trip to Navarre. We barely acknowledged birthdays before this. Maybe an email flurry preceding the Race for the Cheese, but after that it would be a long drought until the occasional holiday greeting. Now there is longing to stay connected.  I mean to honor that commitment but I’m not content to text or email. Seventeen phone calls felt too cumbersome as a first step so on a lark I made a video when I got home. I sent it. They loved it. So I made another. And another. They’ve begun to send me videos back. I get to see them and hear them and watch them do things like jump into lakes in Alabama or fly their drone thingys or cuddle their new puppies. I am so loving this. What comes naturally to most families has been unnatural for us. Until now. And nope, I’m not sharing the videos here (or anywhere). I have no secrets and no shame but for the first time ever it feels good to reserve one thing as special; just for family. The only way I can grant you access is to adopt you. Which means you have to meet and gather with the whole famn damily too, so be careful for that which you wish. <– That feels awkward too but I know it’s right.

Success #3:  Although I’m still having trouble renaming it, the Selfie Project continues.

Success #4:  I gave myself a Time Management Make Over. Time Management as a wellness practice? Mmhmm. It was one of my goals at the beginning of the year. Back in January I wrote it as Sacred Time Management. Back in January I thought I had it all figured out. By the time June arrived life changed and I had to figure it all out again.

You know how it is with time. We tell ourselves we’ll find a way fit things in but when we relegate things to whenever we have time we somehow never find the time.

I’m talking about writing. Adjusting to my Renaissance Heart has meant major shifts in scheduling. Add in a new job, a vacation, a short-notice family reunion and suddenly I’m scrambling to cram writing in wherever I can. That might work for a week or two but after a little over a month the cumulative effect of no structured time for quality writing is taking its toll. You’ve heard me preach ad nauseum that we make time for the things that are important to us. There is no such thing not enough time. We have exactly the same amount of hours in each day. Whenever we complain that we don’t have time for things we are pretending we didn’t choose how we spent those hours.

I had to give up early morning running, at least for the summer. Humidity spikes to its highest level just before sunrise. That’s too high for folks at elevated risk for heat-related illness, and “folks” now includes me. I’ve had to get used to running at sunset instead, when the temperature might be the same (or higher) but the humidity is usually half. Sweat can evaporate. I can breathe easier. More shade. You get the drift. So far the biggest challenge is learning to eat less dinner so that I’m not running with bricks in my belly a few hours later. The second biggest challenge is that my ultra-early bedtimes are a thing of the past. The sun doesn’t set until around 8:30 pm this time of year so I’m obviously not going to make it to bed by 9 pm. A later bedtime means a later wake-time because adequate sleep is as integral to wellness as fitness and diet. All of a sudden my tidy little schedule for all the important things has gone to hell.

A new job meant new work hours. I’m off earlier in the afternoons than I used to be. Problem solved, right? Just shift everything a few hours to the left, right? Yes and no. Shorter work hours leads to the temptation to squander away off hours because I think I’ve all this extra time to spare. I’ve had to learn to shift gears at a different time of day so that those reclaimed hours don’t slip right through my fingers. This probably sounds like a small deal, not a big deal, and certainly not big enough to celebrate as some kind of major accomplishment. The consequences are a big deal, let me assure you–so big that when I do find time to write I suddenly don’t feel like it. I’ve lost the edge. I keep letting the fire go out. That’s a huge deal. I don’t want that.

So this called for some tough self-love. Time to practice (again) what I preach. Break my slump. Sliding into home here at the very end of the month, I’m beating the tag. Shaking the dust. Effective immediately, Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings are on lock down. That’s officially Writing Time. I used to call it Running Church. Now it is Writing Church. I’m choosing to make time for this very important aspect of my wellness. I’m setting a timer too. Oh yes. I will gradually adjust to using the time I’ve made most effectively because I know it is finite.

I’ve got 7 minutes left so it’s time for the benediction. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be peaceful. May you be free from fear. Good night, Assassans. Be well.

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