I’m sitting here listening to the rain falling gently outside my windows. The colors that remain in the woods drawing my attention. There is a young squirrel wandering around my backyard, searching for acorns under the leaves. Ever so often, a leaf will break free from its branch and drift downward in a display of nature’s ballet. Inside the house is quiet, the dogs outside on the porch, on high alert for anything at which to bark their warnings. Inside, I have my coffee, I have my time of introspection. Soon enough, the world will fire off into full swing and the moment of peace broken.
October was an odd month, but then this has been an odd year, so it fit in well.
For me, I felt as if I were on a roller coaster ride for which I never remembered standing in line. The ups and downs of the ride I could handle, it has been the story of my life. Good days and not so good days balancing themselves out. It was those unexpected, corkscrew turns that ended up blowing through tunnels that caught me unprepared-to a degree. Like any other time though, when you are left breathless and have to take a moment to gather your balance, I’ve done so. Mostly.
Even before my husband died, I had moments of loneliness with him out on the road all the time, but there were always phone calls,lots of phone calls. Those conversations, kept the lonely feelings to a minimum. Now, those calls are long gone. We are in the midst of a pandemic making socializing difficult if not impossible with so much closed or limited in capacity. This making the loneliness I feel a demon on my shoulder, haunting me, reminding me moment by moment how alone I am. A demon, that is difficult to battle.Alone.
Along with loneliness, there is the feeling of crippling anxiety. The demon, What if? What if people don’t like you, what if you do something stupid, what if you trip and fall embarrassing yourself, what if, what if, what if?
As a Christian, I believe the Holy Spirit resides within me, so I am not alone. Ever. Yet, as human, in human weakness, I forget. I forget or I get vain and want to do things on my own. Free will means, God says, okay, go for it. I’ll be here when you figure out its easier my way and that I have better waiting.As a Christian, I believe the devil works overtime to distract and disturb us. By standing back whispering those demeaning thoughts and ideas, undermining our belief in ourselves. It seems much easier to believe a lie about ourselves than the truth sometimes.
In October, I began to fight back. In October, I regained some of the inner strength and faith dropped along the way. In October, I began to step out of my comfort zone and enjoy the experiences of living. I began work on a manuscript that has been waiting for that right moment to announce itself to me. I knew I was supposed to be writing, I just couldn’t figure out what exactly. Nothing I had started, went anywhere. Now this work is flowing well.
Then, there were the back to back Trunk or Treat events. The dressing in costume to hand candy to the kids in amazing costumes. The kids of any age, all got candy. I am still feeling the energy of the hours spent in the company of so many people having a wonderful time. The kids, the youngest still a bit confused, still excited with every piece of candy that dropped into their bag or bucket. The smiles that could light up Broadway and more. The appreciation of the parents or guardians with the kids. So many, most actually readily saying, “Thank you”. Two words, that were expressing so many things. Thank you, for that small piece of candy . Thank you for the excitement in their eyes as their bags or buckets filled. Thank you, for the giggles, the expressions of wonder as they looked at the decorated vehicles. Thank you, for helping keep a moment of childhood alive.
No, thank you, for you have gone a very long way to reminding me that hiding in my comfort zone, is actually not all that comfortable. You are reminding me, that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. You are reminding me, to go with the faith of children that good things are waiting. I can feel, those demons on my shoulders, weakening with each realization.
Come on November, we’ve got some, breaking out and risk taking waiting.