“Dive into yourself and
in your soul you will discover
The stairs by which to ascend.”
Saint Isaac of Nineveh
Religion aside, this quote speaks to me. I’m constantly trying to balance an inward pull and an outward push. This weekend was particularly difficult. And not for any specific reason. I just needed a breather.
Too often people confuse me for being an extrovert.
Sure, all the signs are there. Throw me in a crowd and I’ll meet everyone. I find ways to make people laugh and my multi-passionate personality allows me to find some level of connection with almost everyone.
These are all survival skills.
I’ve got some level of ease in which this takes place but honestly some days I’d rather not be that person. It requires so much energy and the pull inward is so strong that nothing would make me happier than to stay home and be in my own mind.
I’ve had this cycle for years.
And every time it surfaces, it trips up my husband. He might not fully understand it but we’ve ridden this ride long enough that he knows it’s something I need to get through.
It has to run its course.
Of all weekends, this Memorial Day weekend is when I so badly needed to shut down. We’ve had a few weeks of work, birthday parties, broken cars, and whatnot. The thought of a three-day weekend was absolute heaven. Until I actually looked at our schedule.
Each day was packed with parties, cookouts, parades and fireworks.
On Saturday, I felt so awful for putting a black cloud over our moods as I cried on the way to my sister’s 30th birthday party. I managed to pull myself together and drink wine until my feelings caught up with the face I put on.
I ended up having a great time.
I made small talk, flung frisbees and played volleyball (again, it’s the physical stuff that brings me out of my inner funk). My sister was radiant and it was awesome to share in her special day.
Each day, I needed to muster the energy to attend another function.
And by the end of each day, I wanted to collapse into a puddle of nothingness. This cycle is certainly not fun and it requires me to look at what’s happening in my life when it occurs.
I’ve noticed my inward pull happens when I’ve been giving too much of myself away.
Whether it’s parties or the normal household responsibilities, I retreat when I neglect my inward self. These last few weeks have been pretty routine for everyone around me. And I’ve been going through the motions. The problem is I haven’t been running, painting, writing, or doing yoga.
My soul is starving.
Coupled with a possible major life change and some serious game playing in our inner circle, I’m just beat. I didn’t need a weekend full of everyone else’s stuff but when I look at the photo above, I realize that it’s not just about me anymore.
My kids had a BLAST this weekend.
It was full of running wild, playing with all the cousins, staying up late and getting so unbelievably dirty, I’m still trying to get the grime out of their faces. They jumped on that trampoline so much they wobbled on solid ground.
Life is about opportunity. There are times to stake out territory and claim your space.
And there are times put on your big girl pants and do what’s necessary to get through a terribly filled weekend. It’s also about finding the little slices of time to steal for yourself – like the kids two-hour nap I required before the next party and fireworks… time I promptly filled with music and paint.
I’m almost out of this inner funk… maybe a few more glasses of wine and another painting is just what the doctor ordered.