I'm a big proponent of giving yourself time.
Our world and our minds move so quick these days, but still there are things that take more time than you'd like. Healing after a loss is a big one, for example, be it a death or heartbreak.
People rarely want to give themselves the time these things often take.
2009. 2010. 2011.
These were very challenging years for me. Romantically. Careerwise. Financially.
When I got my current job in October - after one hell of a summer - I decided that the holidays would be the holidays, and 2012 - ALL of 2012 - would be my recovery year. I would get through things one by one, step by step, and I would be kind to myself.
I'm slowly getting through various items on my life-repair to do list.
Routine medical stuff. Financial stuff. Car air conditioning that I *seriously* should have fixed last summer no matter what it took, was finally fixed last week.
Spring cleaning: check.
Creative work: in progress.
Long overdue dental work: next up.
I currently make 20% less per year than I made in 2009. And I am damn glad to make it - let's be clear about that. I crazylove my job right now and about a million things about it.
But, I have to remind myself about that 20%. When I'm frustrated in the supermarket because the money left in my checking account will cover my last few needs of the pay period, but not a frozen pizza. I walk down the aisles mentally moving between sincere gratitude that I have money to buy good food, and deep negative feelings about the fact that I can't afford a treat.
It's really quite absurd.
I promised myself a whole year of recovery, I promised myself kindness and understanding and acceptance, and part of me could barely wait until March to feel angry, frustrated, impatient. Who is this person who's right back to 2002; counting pennies to have enough to pay for parking? Again.
But with 2012 barely four months in, the best of me already knows: This is a very good year.
Even if progress is slow. Even if lessons are painful.
I earned this year. I earned some time. I *will* give myself kindness and ease.
So when part of me looks around and wonders what happened, most of me can only laugh at how life pretzels, and what it takes to learn lessons, and what I've discovered about happiness. The single most important lesson I have learned in life, is that true happiness doesn't come from anything outside of yourself. You have to be happy first, from the inside. Otherwise, you'll achieve some goal, some dream, and then you'll sit and wonder why you're still not happy. And then you'll just strive towards something else that will do the trick. Except it won't. At least, that's how it is for me.
Every day in my shower I give thanks for warm, running water. That's a little miracle so many of us experience every single day. Life is amazing.
My recent successes are small, so small, but they're mine. My life may not impress others, but it sure brings me joy. I'm so grateful for my blessings, and my challenges.
A whole year. A good year.
On my mind this week, and this is an absolutely beautiful cover by Kappa Danielson: