I’ve been back to committing to my daily meditation this month, after a few lacklustre months, and feeling like the regular 9-14 minutes of time spent in quiet contemplation, being gently guided by Jeff had actually been benefitting me more than I had realised. I started the “daily trip” on the Calm app with Marty back in December, when we both expressed the desire to form a meditation habit. There have been some meditations that have really hit home and been exactly what I’ve needed to hear on that particular day; there have been some, where, at the end of the 12ish minutes, I have no recollection of anything Jeff has said, but am happy in the knowledge that I have at least taken some time out for myself to just be; and there have been plenty that have landed somewhere in between.
Sometimes there have been phrases that I have repeated, either directly after, that have helped me through a tough spot, or some time in the future when I’ve had an “ah-ha” moment. One such phrase that I repeated to Marty straight after we did the meditation together the other evening, was “I’m having a hard time.”
I really like this phrase, because it doesn’t demand that I name what I’m feeling, just that I’m having a hard time with something. I sometimes find it hard to put words to my feelings, so this is a great way for me to work through something instead of trying to find the right word for the feeling.
Today is Frith’s birthday. And I had a bit of a hard time in the lead up to it.
Days like this creep up on me and always catch me off-guard, even after four and a half years. It then takes time for me to get out of my “fight or flight” response, and to step back and allow myself to feel what I’m feeling. This is generally a mix of unease, frustration, sadness, and agitation if I’m being perfectly honest. Not feelings I’m particularly comfortable with, but I know that the more I fight them, the longer they will hang around.
So I sit in the shit for a bit once again, and let the feelings in, just for a visit, not to stay. They always get the hint, when, after a while, they are met with gratitude, acceptance, and even joy, at which point they know their time is up. Not forever, but for now.
When I reminded the kids this morning that it was Dadda’s birthday, their immediate response was “yay! Measuring day!” This made me smile.
I measure the kids heights and mark them on the wall on my birthday and Frith’s birthday each year, and it’s a lovely way to mark the occasion. There was also cake. Of course.
And I told the kids the story about how I proposed to Frith on his 26th birthday. I realised yesterday that many people in my day-to-day life now never knew Frith, and wouldn’t know that story. It was nice to re-tell it. I think the strongest emotion I feel around days like these, is unsettled. Feeling like I don’t know what I “should” be feeling or “should” be doing to mark the occasion. Very wise people close to me assure me that there is no right or wrong way to “do” these days, and that whatever I choose will be fine. So I kept it simple this year, spending the day watching the kids at their school athletics day, chatting to my lovely school mums, drinking hot black coffee out of a flask, sitting in the shade to keep cool then heading into the sun to warm up.
It was enough and that’s all it needs to be.
Happy birthday Frith ever the Peter Pan never to grow old.