Flaming Bowling Balls

I really believe all change is good. I tell my children this. I tell my set-in-his-ways husband this. But when I’m in the midst of a tidal wave of change, I lose my grasp on this guiding principle.

To be fair, one of the main changes I’ve been through recently was unexpected, and has affected my plans and perceptions of everything else. What a ripple effect losing your job can have. I’ve had to reorder my daily priorities and obliterate some long-term expectations. I suppose the universe or someone is telling me that my priorities and expectations needed to be disrupted, and that’s all well and good. Whether it’s a message from the universe or not, grappling with brand new variables and missing pieces is like juggling flaming bowling balls.

So while I slog through these days like walking through knee-high rubber cement, I occasionally catch a glimpse of upcoming events, like our impending empty-nest, and my brain frizzles, unable to compute additional information. It’s an emotional lode I’m most certainly unprepared for. With the aforementioned reorganization of priorities and resources, I have no idea how I’m going to prepare for it.

I appreciate the kindness behind well-meaning comments like “everything will be fine” or “you’re the strongest person I know.” It’s lovely that people will reach out to shore up my confidence. Social media is a wonderful tool for reducing isolation, and I’m grateful for connection.

But when you’re surveying the damage from a recent storm, and you hear weather reports that a tsunami is coming your way, verbal encouragement can only spark a small amount of forward energy. Beyond that, the real work of rebuilding and redefining takes individual strength, fortitude and focus. An internal consolidation of remaining resources. I always say I’m doing the best I can with the tools I’ve been given–right now, I don’t quite know which tools I have left.

I’ve never done the whole “community” thing very well. I wish I had that skill. But I tend to go off on my own, and fortunately, I have a husband who not only understands this character flaw, but shares it. Two loners. What a combination.

To those of you offering kindness, I am grateful. I do not mean to diminish the sincerity in your words. I know for many of us, words are all we have to offer in difficult times. But I hope you all can remember that we all deal with problems in our own way. Not one of us has the answers to dealing with all of life’s problems.

My method is to move away from the dozens of voices jangling against each other and find a quiet place to piece together my solution. I’ll get there, I always do. I’ve managed this far with greater problems than this. The speed and viciousness of my most recent “storm” has wrought havoc with my equilibrium. Regaining my balance (and annoyingly positive personality) will take some time.

And at the end of this period, whenever that will be, I am sure I will once again say, with confidence, that change is *always* for the good.

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