I am a forward thinker. I've probably said this before, but it's so true to who I am that I'll say it again. I process everything in the future, and often have trouble connecting it to the past. I would so much rather think about what will or what could be than what is or what was.
A couple of weeks ago, my dad was diagnosed with dementia. Being the youngest of four siblings, and wrapped up in work and daily life, I'm feeling pretty helpless to do anything but wait. In times like these, when all I can do is take things day by day, my future-minded self gets really lost. I feel abandoned, not by people necessarily, but by my usual company of options, plans and ideas.
My counselor and I made up a mantra a couple of years ago, one which I don't think I'll ever be done learning:
Appreciate the process.
I had it on a piece of paper I carried around in my purse for a long time. Then I had it hanging on my wall for awhile, drawn onto a dry-erase board that never got erased. It's been marked in my mind ever since.
For some reason, the goodness of process always eludes me. I just want to fix it, get there, do what has to be done to push through. Maybe that's why I write about it so much, following the idea that "those who can't do, teach." I'm not a teacher, though, I'm more of a woo-er. For me, it's really more like, "those who can't do try with everything in them, while pulling everyone else in for the crazy transformation party."
If you're just starting out with Giving Rhythms, welcome to the crazy transformation party! If you've been around for awhile, pull up a chair and make yourself even more at home. In times like these, I'm thankful for friends (even the ones I don't know yet) who will take this messy, wonderful journey with me. Last week I wrote about what happens when rhythms break down. Practicing life-giving rhythms, those things that give energy and joy on a regular basis, can be challenging when life hands you a whole new reality.
For now, I'm just taking care of myself as much as I can and letting others take care of me as much as my stubborn self will let them. My rhythms right now are pretty basic, just the essentials. I go to work, I come home. I call good friends to talk about our days, or watch some of my favorites on Netflix (currently binging on 30 Rock all over again). I order dessert when it looks lovely, and keep fresh flowers in my office so I've got some low maintenance beauty and creativity around. I've said no to some of the extra activities that I can normally to do make room for the necessary. I'm still saying yes to good company and good food whenever either is available. I'm living day by day as much as possible (I told you about my nutty future brain). I'm not appreciating this process yet, but I'm definitely starting to give in to the process.
I'll probably be writing a little less often, yet sharing a bit more of my heart as I sort through what these next stages of life might look like for me and for my Giving Rhythms.
What do your Giving Rhythms look like in their most basic expressions?
What do you do to take care of yourself while you're in process?