It’s finally spring. I’m finally cleaning. My house, much like most of my life, has been in an upheaval and it has taking this long for me to give a damn and do something about it. I am not kidding when I say there’s no place where I haven’t let things go. My books. My bedroom. My social media. My writing. My workouts. My plants.
Dear god. It would be overwhelming if I hadn’t lost interest in that, too.
I think there were a number of factors to my proverbial circling the wagons this fall. The accident. The anniversary of my father’s death. The election. The overload. The vitriol that seeps from all the cracks in the foundation of our world view. The combination’s been brutal; almost hopeless at times. Like most other people these days, I struggle. But
winter Pennsylvania life has started to relinquish it’s dark grip on my heart and slowly, I’m seeing a lightness around me. I’m beginning to notice there’s something bright that sometimes burns in the sky now. Days are starting to get warmer. We’ve moved clocks forward for the most part — still with no real benefit I can discern — and I’m moving forward too, even despite the analog clock I overlooked which got its revenge by lulling me into a false sense of timeliness that resulted in missed breakfast bacon.
Which reminds me. I should really pitch that damn clock.
April means picking up the pieces of a life that I dropped when things shattered around me. Interestingly, things aren’t quite as recognizable as they once were. Given enough time, I thought life would return to its previous levels of insanity, but apparently I was wrong. I don’t think we’re going back to Kansas, Toto. I think where we find ourselves now is the new normal. There’s less exterior motivation, more focus on the internal. What feels right? What is right for me? What does that mean to the world around me? What do I really care about the world around me, anyway? Sometimes life’s motivation can be succinctly distilled to focusing on not stepping in shit.
So now I’m watching where I step. Let’s call it progress.
I’m pitching clothing that I haven’t worn in years — the respectable suits, the uncomfortable heels, the ‘just lose another 20 pounds’ clothes. (Life’s too short.) I’ve tossed the houseplants that, regrettably, just can’t survive my forgetfulness or my guilt-ridden over attention. (Life’s too short.) I’m speaking at fewer conferences this year and, for the talks I’m giving, I’m putting in the effort to bring my A game. (Life’s too short.) Writing has been rough, and there’s been far too much drama both in my life and on the page. I post less, but I reflect more — sometimes for my eyes only. (Life’s too short.) I stopped being on Facebook
hourly daily constantly, and removed notifications from my phone. I check it every so often when I think of it, as opposed to being ruled by FOMO. (Life’s too short.) I locked down my privacy like burping Tupperware for the perfect seal and shaved casual connections. I seriously doubt they’ll miss me; I know I won’t miss them. (Life’s too short.) I’m saying no to jumping through hoops because someone says I should. I’m done making everyone’s happiness my responsibility. (Life’s too short.) Time to say yes to people I care about and things that inspire me — even if they scare me — and opening myself up to the reality that now’s the time to hold close what’s valuable and precious, and letting everything else go. Let that be what drops to the ground and shatters around me. I’m finally comfortable with being able to walk away, lighter. Lose the baggage and be in the moment.
Regret less. Live more. Embrace love. Walk away when you must.
Welcome to the new normal. I could get used to this.