Did you ever watch Wizard of Oz? You know how the movie goes from black and white (well, sepia, really) to color when Dorothy opens the door of the cabin? How she steps out into a vivid new world? That's pretty much what 2016 has felt like for me. None of it happened overnight - not like Dorothy opening that door - my life isn't that exciting. It was more of a gradual onset of vividness; incremental in nature. By the time I realized what had happened, I was eyeball deep in the color of this year and loving every minute of it.
Thanksgiving gave me some time to slow down and really take in all of the blessings of my life. Slowing down is not something I've been able (or willing) to do much of lately. With my state boards and my NREMT exam coming up in less than a month, there is much to do and not much time in which to do it. Recently, we had the Regional Planning Conference for my Team Rubicon region and I came off of that into the holiday weekend, which allowed (ok, forced) me to stop and breathe for a moment. And I realized a few things...
This year has been FIERCE. Intense, powerful, fierce. For some people, that might bother them. Me? I find that I need it; I crave it. That fierceness brings out the color in my life - color that had been lacking in me in so many ways: in my thought life, in my home life, in my relationships, in just about every aspect of my life. It has been, as Glennon Doyle Melton would call it, 'brutiful': brutal in some ways and beautiful in so many others. And I wouldn't change a single, solitary moment. The people this year has brought into my life are in my blood and in my bones - I'd have to tear myself apart to let them go. The experiences of this year have changed me fundamentally and I will never be the same. Nor do I want to.
At church this past weekend, Pastor Eric read through a book, 'A Walk One Winter Night' and it tells the story of a man who goes for a walk to clear his head one winter night, coming across a Nativity scene. It leads to the rediscovery of the joys and wonder of the Christmas seasons. I feel like I'm living that rediscovery of life and of Christmas right now, and part of me is hesitant for the holiday season for a few reasons:
- I don't like to slow down. Slowing down means I wind up inside my own head far too often and that's not a good place for me to be. Staying busy keeps me out of there.
- Everything feels overwhelming at the moment...even the good stuff. And while that sounds like a good thing, I'm finding that's relative. Ever get the spins? Maybe after having had too much alcohol? When I overindulge, I get the spins. The room spins and I feel like I'm going to be flung off, like being on a merry-go-round. I usually wind up with a hand or a foot on a wall to help steady myself. Physical contact does the same for me - grounds me and keeps me from feeling like I'm going to be flung off. That's how I feel when things get overwhelming - like I'm going to be overtaken and flung off. The challenge during the holiday season is to be around people I trust enough that I can stay grounded.
- my people (family, friends) are spread out all over the country and the world and I can't have them all over for dinner. This makes me sad.
But there is SO much to be thankful for and SO much to look forward to in 2017 so that is where my focus will remain. I'm all over the place in this blog post - forgive me. You're getting a glimpse into my brain. Scary place sometimes!
I'll leave you with a book suggestion. If you have a few hours, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann. Absolutely incredible, transformative, insightful book. A little more than 120 pages and worth every minute spent reading it. It was a gift during our Regional Planning Conference and probably one of the most valuable books anyone has ever given me.
Go do good $#!t!