I doubt if it has been noticeable by anyone other than me, but my blog posts have been few and far between. One excuse is the fact I’m working on a book- Lose the Beige: A “Coloring” Book for Living Outside the Lines. More on that in another post. My other excuse is creative and spiritual depletion.
I’m beginning to wonder if there is some astrological configuration going on that is making my world and those of several friends a little crazier. I actually saw on Facebook a reference to the fact that on October 3d Pluto will no longer be in a retrograde mode (which I think means going backwards) and therefore sanity will reign supreme again. Considering this has been a dark summer for me, I looked up the meaning of this astrological phenomenon. Apparently, Pluto in retrograde means coming face to face with deeper, sometimes darker, inner truths. I thought the darkness was obscuring my truths not forcing me to face them.
I egotistically assumed I was the Lone Ranger undergoing fits and starts of anxiety. But then in a rare moment of emotional candor I blurted out to a friend I felt like I had lost my faith. Our lunch was impromptu as was my outburst, and I actually wondered later if providence had interceded, guiding me to this admission. “I feel the same way”, Cathleen confessed. For the past year, she has assumed the post of interim director for a major non-profit undergoing a myriad of maladies. “I’m 70 years old and, while I like the money coming in, I have absolutely no time for myself. I’m surrounded by people and circumstances requiring my undivided attention.”
Not two days later a close friend asked me if I noticed how much weight she had lost. Even at 72, Sharon has a hot body and always looks slender, so no, I hadn’t noticed. “I can’t eat. Even on the cruise we just took I had no appetite to speak of. That never happens to me,” she wailed. She admitted to anxiety about family members and accumulated stress from four years of post-career challenges faced by her husband.
Barely three days later, another long time friend, someone I ordinarily consider an optimist, confessed to bouts of depression. The reason? Disabling health issues interfering with travel and even daily routine activities.
Is this an epidemic, I wondered. I remember a line from the Big Chill, one of my favorite movies, “Where did Alex’s hope go?” I’m really not overly religious but I do recall a line from Corinthians in the New Testament: “Three things will last forever…faith, hope, and love.” I’m thinking all the loving we have been offering others is resulting in the dissipation of the faith and hope parts of ourselves.
Bit by bit, drama upon drama, and need by need, everything I’ve ever done for self-nourishment has eroded. For years I’ve carved out sacred time in my mornings, preserving it for reading, journal writing, or some other method of meditation. Creativity, a long time outlet for stress has somehow disappeared from my radar. Thus, I’ve not been writing and blogging, great coping techniques for stress and depression.
Not two days after my lunch with Cathleen a book of daily meditations arrived on the wings of Amazon. I’m committing to reading the pages of the day rather than defaulting to my Facebook app in the mornings. I’m also happy to say my laptop is back where it is supposed to be (in my lap) writing this blog to the accompaniment of a fierce ocean and a 72 degree breeze wafting through the railings of the balcony where I sit in a lounge chair, feet perched on its sister ottoman. (The glass of wine next to me is also providing some therapy as well). I also signed up for something called a “Succulent Pumpkin Centerpiece” workshop to learn how to make a fun Thanksgiving table decoration. I hesitated to even enroll in the class begrudging the time it would take away from other work activities, but now I’m excitedly searching for a “Cinderella a/k/a Fairytale” pumpkin to serve as the carriage for my succulent centerpiece.
What about you? Are you finding yourself stuck too? Let me know or share your coping techniques.