Recovering from the emotional flu, as I have deemed it as of late, has been a quiet process. There are lingering aches and pains, moments of fatigue, and waves of nausea, but that I am feeling better is undeniable.
I think I probably began to feel better the instant I allowed myself to feel awful. Acknowledging I was frustrated and sad allowed the healing to begin.
A very wise friend said recently (and I’m paraphrasing) “I think all of us could use a big healthy dose of giving ourselves a break.” So true. Taking Memorial Day off, with no commitments except to friends and fun, was something I had to reassure myself was okay. That I didn’t have to do anything in particular to deserve the day; that fun and relaxation does not have to be a tradeoff earned by hard work, but a choice that is always mine to make.
In fact, this last week has been full of fantastic experiences. I did yoga with friends in a living room and I did yoga with friends in Central Park. I drank champagne with watermelon and champagne that was already pink. I celebrated a birthday by dancing on a rug and rolling on the floor. I took a class led by a Broadway fitness guru outdoors in the rain. I saw what’s inside of us, from spine to skin, rendered by a beautiful young artist. I changed someone’s life (at least a little bit) with a cookie. I read a letter and played with a puppy. I learned that having your own postage stamp of patio can feel just as luxurious as a huge backyard. I made new friends, and I laughed so, so hard with old ones. I missed even older friends, and family, wishing I could have been there for the birthday and the BBQ and the birth announcement, but feeling lucky that I will see them all in a few short weeks. I took a workshop and learned how to literally open my heart.
There was no career breakthrough, no winning lottery ticket, and when the rain finally stopped, no grand answer came down from the heavens. But there was sun, warm and healing (and full of Vitamin D!)- and my favorite thing about the 8 years I have spent away from Florida has always been that every Northeasterner loves and deeply appreciates a beautiful sunny day. And as many times as it has been said, it will not stop being true- love is healing and laughter is the best medicine. There are many things I want to do and be, but matters most are things that I already have.
And as far as seeking the answers to all my problems, this quote happened across my path, read before but recently forgotten:
“I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. AT present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will find gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
In thinking about Memorial Day, it seems that the best thing we can really do to honor those who have gone before us is to celebrate the lives we have, exactly as they are here and now. Yesterday, today, and every day.