COLUMNS Word & Wisdom

Becoming… Myself

THE OLDER I get, the more I seem to be “more” of my younger self. I’m not always convinced that’s such a good thing.

In my twenties, I was alone, financially stressed and pretty much in survival mode. Guess what? I’m currently alone, stressed and somewhat in survival mode.

I tend to shut down a little when stressed, which translates into watching a lot of bad T.V. All the wonderful advice I hand out to clients such as exercise, calling a friend, writing down a few easily achieved goals, fall by the wayside. Yes, sad to say, I sometimes do not follow my own advice.

Spring is here though and while I may be a dormant couch potato, I’m not dead. I respond to sunshine, flowering fruit trees and a gentle breeze. I recently bought herb seeds:. Basil and thyme and oregano get started in plastic greenhouse and are then transplanted to the outdoors or given to friends. Even though my heart wasn’t into it when I picked out my seed packets, I did it out of tradition. I  know that in a few weeks I’ll get lots of satisfaction when those little green plants burst through the potting soil. My heart also wasn’t into clearing out the knickknacks from the corner curio shelf. The process elicited many painful memories. The figurine my mother-in-law gave me on my first Mother’s Day. A framed picture that causes nothing but heartache. Cleaing them out had to be done, but it was painful.

Ever since I broke my ankle last September,  my thoughts and emotions took a shift. I thought then that I had hit a new low in loneliness, but instead I learned a different lesson. People, friends and neighbors were there for me. I resolved then that when I was back to walking, Things Would Change. I’d weed out those parts of my life – stuff, relationships, and emotions – that had evolved into deadweight.

In some sense, what I was doing – and still am doing- is planting seeds for a better future. Loss and change is always stressful, which is why so many of us stick with the status quo. My seeds – my simplifying, clarifying and acknowledging – will eventually let me be “me” at my best. Meanwhile, I’m moving a bit slowly through this process.and it feels uncomfortable.

How about you? Are you up for a personal spring cleaning? Can you shed those things that take up all sorts of physical and psychological space? Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Are you willing to believe in yourself?

Something to think about…..

By Tobi Nason

Tobi is a Manzanita counselor.