Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Brings New Beginnings

My daughter and I have been away for a long weekend at the beach for Easter Break. This is the time of year that we usually spend on Nantucket and it always feeds my soul, rejuventating me to start fresh the old goals that have lost steam since the first of the year, and creating new plans for myself to build on. But this year, as a newly single parent and newly back to the work force woman, I couldn't afford the trip. We opted instead for a beach closer to home, renting the condo of a friend, figuring it's still the Atlantic Ocean. But while it is essentially the same body of water, it is not the same experience. And the proof is in my mood. 

I have tried so very hard over the last few days to create the kind of joy we always had on Nantucket by keeping up with all our usual Easter traditions. But instead of feeling like lasting memories it seemed more like chores to check off a list. Color eggs, smile for the camera, trip to the beach, smile for the camera. A feeble forced attempt. 

Even the ocean is not breathing new life into my lungs the way it usually does. It was that subtle difference in my perspective no doubt that lead the sea to seem angry and unrelenting instead of powerful and majestic. 

But to be true to this new journey I'm on, the road to self discovery is not always going to be choruses of angels singing me to sunlit epiphanies. Sometimes it's going to be heartbreaking truths and moments of deep melancholy that feel like a boulder on my chest. 

How fitting though on this Easter weekend. Endings and beginnings. Death and new life. Sadness and joy. Our faith tells us to believe in Christ's resurrection without any proof. A two thousand year old religion built on a belief that something wondrous and profound happened without any evidence and yet it is the driving force behind Christianity. Beyond logic, just trust, that there will be light after darkness, happiness after sorrow, a new beginning after an ending. 

We head home today. And while this was not the vacation I had imagined it to be, it was no doubt the one I needed. 

I trust that tomorrow will be a better day and the start of something truly wonderful. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sometimes You Need A Cheeseburger

I woke up feeling a little off. Since finding the power of positive thinking - almost cult-like in some respects - I usually wake up fresh, renewed, and ready to begin a new day of endless possibilities for growth and happiness. And yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that sounds.

But today I felt a pang of the usual negative grouchiness that held me captive for decades. I didn't feel like getting up much less getting dressed up. I didn't feel like having the usual morning chit chat with my daughter or drive even the 20 minutes to work. I was feeling only the grey of the cloudy morning and not the potential for the sun breaking through.

I tried to put a happy face on. Sang "Let It Go" from the Disney movie Frozen, in the car at the top of my lungs with my 12 year old, much to smiles and some snickers from the other commuters on Connecticut Avenue. I chatted on the phone with a friend I hadn't spoken with in a month. I had a midday manicure. None of it worked.

I just felt like I was rushing around, not getting anywhere, running into roadblocks both literally and figuratively, and in the end, nothing was truly accomplished and I had a headache. That's when I said to myself, "Fuck it! This day has been more shitty than not. Let's just call it a loss, hit the reset button tomorrow, and for now, have a cheeseburger!"

Driving home, I called ahead to our local burger place and ordered up dinner. It was waiting when we got there, still hot from the grill, no other customers in front of me, and the cashier was pleasant and polite. And that's when I knew, it was all going to be ok.

That for all the positive affirmations, the power of prayer, and the peace of meditation, sometimes what you really need...

is a cheeseburger.