Thaw & hibernate

Thaw and hibernate, typically seasons apart and never the two shall meet. But if you didn't know it, I'll let you in.. I rarely do anything the typical way. It's not a decision, it's just the way I roll. My driving instructor's words 'I've never had a student quite like you'. That makes me laugh still but also smile because he took the time to find a way to teach me so that I could learn and I'm thankful because after dancing, driving is the way I groove. Seriously people turn around in their car to look in utter bewilderment. Why, I'll leave to your imagination.

But back to spring and winter. My adult life has been easy enough with very little setbacks or bad times, actually railroading ahead, but it changed so drastically this past year that I went into survival and renewal mode. To get up, keep going and build new/reinforced foundations requires strength and a lot of it. Strength I've had to utilise before, strength I didn't know if I could find for another round. I mean even sports often only have two rounds, for as much as I know about that subject. To do that though, I used everything I had. And that brought me good things; more confidence, less self-doubt, physical and mental strength and pride in the tiniest of accomplishments. 

But to build one, something else has to give. I pumped everything into doing things, learning things, being better and stronger, finding my own, that there was nothing else. All that go, meant no stopping to see and none to feel. I ran to get somewhere, anywhere as long as it was farther. I made big meals and bake loads to be busy cooking, not to show my love and affection. I ate to not fall over. I did projects for doing projects. Everyday a long list of things to get checked off. It was all about checking them off for checking them off. Odd, because as rational as I am in my work, need to be as mom and is required as an adult, I am all about feeling & intuition. I feel everything, I absorb it, often don't show it or know what to do with it but I sure do feel it. I'm basically a breathing emoticon that only the smallest handful of people would even know.

It's only the last few weeks that doing start giving way to feeling again. Th feeling behind the doing. After I did my longest run, I was so anxious and I couldn't place it. Eating was so joyless, where meals were my joy as a feeder, that I couldn't chew the smallest of bites. But I started to think because of the confusion and to feel little twinges. The little joys throughout the day that my kids used to bring me instead of just trying to make the best and make it through the day to get to the next. I felt it so suddenly as I sat going through their drawings for the gallery wall. I looked at most of them before but I did not see them. Didn't see the colour, the progress of colouring in the lines and going from squiggles to perfect hearts. When I saw that something cracked and fell away.

That curtain around the me that you don't see fell and I missed them so much because they make me smile, laugh, cry, scream (hey kids come with mess and frustrations) and most of all just feel. I realised I missed feeling, knowing that means feeling the not so good as well. I slowed down just a bit, enough to feel what I'm doing. Trust me, not all good, not by a long shot. That standard question and answer 'Alles goed', 'ja, prima' does not apply. Few ask it, even less want a real answer, almost none reach out a hand and the ones that do..well those are the ones you least expect and are all the more valuable for it. To that though I can truly answer 'prima'. Why? Because I feel. 

The last thing I do with my daughter before she drifts off to sleep, is climb in with her, talk about the day, cuddle and be 'samen meisjes'. Just a few minutes but some of the best of the day. I tell my son each time I tuck him in, 'I love you' and the other day he suddenly stopped wiggling and saying 'neeeeh mama' like and embarrassed teenager being smothered in public by his mom and sighed so contently and softly 'I love you mama' before he turned to his side and went to sleep. Nothing else compared that day and few things at night since. I  look out my kitchen window at the garden I'm making, the movement of the wind in the grasses and the still beauty of the slate pebbles makes me breathe. I ran early Sunday morning with my headset but not for the music but for the quiet of my mind. I didn't complete the planned 80 minutes, not because I couldn't physically or mentally do it but because I wanted to walk a bit, look at the quiet of the grey mist over the fields, the rabbits in the woods, feel the rain on my face and the tears on my cheeks. Above all the life beating and bursting in my chest.

All the joys, pains, struggles, triumphs, small or large mean I live. To live is to do and to feel. I strive for them both now equally. Feeling came, heart thawed. Limbs slowed, peace appreciated, survival mode slowly hibernates. I didn't cook a big, new or fun dinner for the kids this week.We ate sandwiches and ordered pizza, but we had dinosaur roar matches again and a robot dancing contest at the table to the sounds of 'mama, je bent zo mal'. We didn't bake but shared a store-bought chocolate muffin between three. I felt hunger, ate a breakfast, lunch and dinner and savoured each bite slowly but truly. I made less blog posts, did even less around the house, skipped a workout for a nap, but felt like I achieved more. It is not a race or a giant checklist, life. And saying that doesn't mean I will slow down completely or wear my heart on my sleeve. I mean I caught up that training a day later and I have plenty on my living bucket list. My (perfectly toned) buttocks are still going for two hours running this block. But I do it not only with gusto but with equal heart. 

I do most things better than most but always wanted one thing to be exceptional at. Maybe that thing is not my drive, determination or any single trait that got me here, whether that be good or bad, but the whole of it; and that is not strength, it's humanity. It's not OK, but it will be and more, it will be great. I have weaknesses and strengths in equal measure but they are entwined and equally part of me. Humanity? My humanity; Not to be overwhelmed by the now but to belief in better. To show more of your faults than your virtues. And what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful. I lost alot along the way, rather not have felt all that I felt and still feel, wonder if there is a soul out there that rejoices in the depth of mine, worry I might not always be able to find my superwoman, but then I remember Superman was also just Clark Kent, as big and as shy a geek with his own issues as me and then I smile my true smile.

Lisa, just human..

P.S. the picture is from eons ago when I was in the great cheese state of Wisconsin for work. I have never seen so much snow and I loved it, treacherous and annoying as it was. But that too melted and was followed by a sunny beautiful spring. It was also the first time as an adult that I had to make a go of it. So in that way a fitting picture.

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