Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A New Normal

This morning, for the third in a row, I woke up with an absence.

A change. A variance from a routine I'd grown accustomed to, and very much enjoyed. Something I cherished and looked forward to, each and every day, throughout the day, and into the future.

Now, like a puff of smoke, it and everything associated with it is gone.

I have my morning coffee in silence, with a heavy heart. This is a new normal, and I have to get used to it. I take a deep breath.

In an article from Elephant Journal titled Everything the Buddha Ever Taught in 2 Words, Suzuki Roshi is asked to sum up the Buddha's teachings in just one phrase. The response is simply "Everything Changes".

The article is powerful. Read it if you have a moment. As humans, one of our biggest sources of suffering is that we forget this simple reality. We become attached to our routines. We become attached to people, places, even television programming. We become attached to expectations and hopes. And the reality is, all of this is fluid, moving, always in a state of flux. Situations change, and people change. Or rather, sometimes people don't change. In any event, our perceived normal is always subject to fall right out from under us, leaving us to pick up the pieces and start again.

All we have is the moment. And while this new normal is hard for me right now, it is not as hard today as it was on Monday, or yesterday. In January, I wrote with joy about what turtles, knitting and life could teach us. I didn't realize that those lessons were not complete yet. In 2011 I was rocked to my foundation by the same events happening now, and perhaps the final lesson from this long, sordid chapter of my life is that the past doesn't get to repeat itself a second time. In the same situation now that I found myself in 3 years before, I do not react the same way. There are no Sad Eyes this time around. Life is short. Far too short for that.

Today I am so grateful for my friends Debby, Beverly, and Dana, who have encouraged me the past few days and reminded me of so many things I already knew, but needed to hear again. They will be there for me if I slip, and hold me accountable to my intentions, empower me with their support. I am grateful also for my other friends who, reading my previous post, saw between the lines and reached out Monday and yesterday,  letting me know they were there if needed. What a blessing, really and truly, to have. I am grateful for my son, who told me yesterday, when I explained the situation, "Mama, don't be sad about it. It's so not worth it." (God I love that kid!)

And I am grateful for my readers, who follow the journey of my life through my words here. I could not do this without you! I would love it if you shared your own experiences of confronting new normals and dealing with change. We all go through it, in some form or fashion, and it never is easy, even when the changes are desired. When I participated in Hannah Marcotti's Making Space Cleanse in April, I never imagined I'd be making space for this in just a few short weeks. Ah, but that goes back to Suzuki Roshi's words, everything changes. And we must allow space for it.

I didn't know how to do this in the past, but thankfully, I have now learned. It's finally come full circle; the lesson is complete.


Virginia ("Ginn") said...

The new normal - I have a lot of experience with that concept. Not so much in my long-term relationship (but yes, I have had to make brave choices there at times too). The nature of my adult live has been about change, after change, after change - frequent global moves,changes in employment and positions, the death of my son, dealing with the crap that comes with breast cancer and shattered dreams. My heart is with you as you face your new normal - I feel it in my heart. But you have space to breathe and people who love you. There is a saying that I'll paraphrase here: when the shed burns down, you can see the moon. (Butchered that quote, didn't I?). But of course you know that there is always something discovered in any change and something to embrace with joy, yet knowing you may have it for only a short time. You can love fully and happily even in a world where things are transient, the heart is forever. Text or call if you want to talk - come by for coffee. <3 XO -_Ginn, Thinking of You on the Wednesday Morning

Mari ❤ SaimaaLife said...

A hug for you, Amy! I don´t know the details of your life, but I recognized a lot of similar feelings in your post that I´ve gone through. Life is all about the change. As you wrote, everything changes. Everyone of us need to face a lot of difficult changes during our lives. Changes that we would not like to face. It´s hard. To have the energy to do that, it´s so important that we´re able to keep in my the other side of the coin. The fact that life includes also a lot of positive changes and surprises. You´re a beautiful and strong woman, Amy. Focus on good things in your life and you´ll get the energy needed to go over the hard ones :) Thank you for a great post! "I loved the thought about "a new normal".