wrapping it up

NaBloPoMo Day 29:
Tell us how you feel about endings.

Today is the last day of the BlogHer prompts, which were given Monday through Friday for each week of November. (I chose to keep writing right through the weekends on whatever topic struck my fancy.) But now the month is coming to an end.

For me, there are two kinds of endings. This represents the first category: something is ending, and I have completed the task. Frankly, this makes me ecstatic. I love to bring things to a close, to cross things off my list, to feel that I have been successful.

Unfortunately, those kinds of ending do not happen all that often. The other kind of ending – the one where I have failed – tends to pop up with depressing regularity. It may have happened for any number of reasons: forgetting, messing up, falling off the wagon, inability to stick to a routine, giving up. Regardless, that end comes with guilt, self-doubt, recriminations and a feeling of failure. It’s not a happy thing.

I’m proud of my daily blogging this month. There have been nights that I really just wanted to go to bed, nights where I struggled to get something up before midnight (and nights like last night where I failed to do so – but still posted!), times when I was pretty uninspired by the prompt of the day. But I did it, and I am glad I did. I like the rhythm of daily blogging and the momentum I have achieved. This ending is the kind I hope to see more and more of as time goes by.

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still releasing…

NaBloPoMo Day 28:
How do you feel about the first blog post you ever wrote?

The very first blog post I ever wrote was the introduction to the forerunner of this blog: Breathe. Release. Repeat.

It was July 26, 2011. I’d had a major relapse of what they’d thought was Transverse Myelitis but were now convinced was Multiple Sclerosis. I was pretty freaked out. I’d decided to try to change my life by letting go of anything that was no longer needed.

It occurred to me on the [massage] table this week that I am trying to dodge pain in more than just this one area of my life.  I have decided to make it my mission to breathe and release everything that has been holding me down:  Clutter.  Stress.  Perfectionism.  Worry about my health.  Excess body fat.  Unrealistic expectations.  It’s time to let it all go.

As I shed many things, my life changed. I sold off a ton of possessions (probably about a quarter to a third of everything we had); I took a leave of absence from work to live and travel in Europe with David and Quinland; I lost 30 pounds. I became cautiously optimistic about having MS; there is no way to know if and when it will strike me down, but I’ve kind of learned to roll with those times. On good weeks, I can truly forget that there are bad weeks.

Of course, in the two-and-a-half years since that first post, life has reared its head and wiped out a lot of my progress. I still have a terrible habit of buying books, and they are overflowing my bookshelves once again. I have really been stressed at work and it has had a big impact on my health. I’ve gained back 20 of the 30 pounds I lost.

But I have recommitted to my original goals. I want, more than anything, to keep in my life only that which supports me, so it’s good to look back on this first post and see where I started.


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Not just a minor sort of accomplishment

NaBloPoMo Day 27:
What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My son, Quinland, is one of the most grounded, emotionally mature young people I have ever known. He is so loving, so kind, and so darn fun to be around… and if I have had any influence whatever on his personality and charm, I am as proud as proud can be. But I am most proud of the relationship that I have developed with him. The way that he and I get along is such a blessing to me, it’s hard to know where to begin to explain it!

I have a fifteen-year-old son who likes to hang out with his mom, both around the house and out in public; who likes to share things he is doing with me; who is willing and able to have deep, meaningful conversations with me. I don’t take any of this lightly. Of course, I embarrass him regularly; he wishes I wasn’t so ridiculously in love with Hudson Taylor, that I wouldn’t say things are “darling,” that I wasn’t quite as cheesy as I am. Even then, though, he is able to laugh at me right along with me, and he is quick to apologize and give me a hug if he thinks for a second that he has hurt my feelings.

Perhaps we get along so well because Q is an only child. Perhaps I know how to be with him because he is so similar to David, whom I have gotten to know rather well in the last 28 years. Perhaps I am just the luckiest Mama in the world. Well… there’s no “perhaps” about that last statement. I am incredibly lucky to be his mom. I’m proud, too.