It's been a tough last couple of weeks. The kind of tough that's exhausting to me.
I can do the kind of tough that requires staying up all night to help someone through a challenging spot. I can do the kind of tough that asks to stay at a task for twelve hours straight because something good is going to come of it.
The kind of tough I've been dancing with recently, is much harder. Because it comes with The Voice that says: "you're not gaining ground, you're not getting anything accomplished, you're just trying to get Back to Zero."
And then The Other Voice that says, rolling its mean little eyes: "Pffff... first world problems. You should be thankful to have to deal with this." Yes. I do get that.
I should be thankful to be dealing with a failing, excruciatingly slow computer and the eight hours I was granted with AppleCare on the phone, trying to stretch its longevity. Because I have a computer.
I should (and really, am) grateful for the crazy-making process of choosing a new computer, including research, opinions, buyer's remorse, returning one, buying another one, installing the new stuff on it - more hours on the phone with awesome people who know what they are doing. After two weeks of this, I am up at 4 am typing this with a machine that moves as fast as my thoughts. Back to Zero, says The Voice. Please say thank you.
Then, a string of strange Airbnb anecdotes, the kind that will be funny in a few weeks. Maybe. Yesterday was a 10 hour stretch or ridiculousness I look forward to writing about when I can do so with enough detachment.
Meanwhile, I missed the fact that we just had "International Refugees Day" because I spent part of that day on WhatsApp with a refugee friend of mine who was not receiving the money I had sent her a few days before. It was not in my account, and it was not in her hand. Western Union was not sure where it was. First world problem suddenly became not so first world, no matter how calm she remained, As of minutes ago, it's resolved. Back to Zero.
My credit card got some kind of fraud alert and it took time on the phone with a fraud specialist who was overly sweet ("do you hear your attitude?" whispers The Voice) to get Back to Zero on that one.
Then the bigger stuff. A young friend finds herself in the hospital with a freak stroke. As we share dinner, we are able to celebrate that after a whirl of intensity, she too is "Back to Zero" - to her normal self. Zero has never felt so good as she is one of the lucky few to be granted that gift.
My mom's "Back to Zero" has changed in the last week, and that one takes a bit more adjustment. She texts me yesterday and tells me that her emphysema has reached a stage where outside oxygen is no longer something that feels good, but something which she needs 24 hours a day. She laughs on the phone with my sister about where to put the oxygen tank while she cooks and my sister's heart hurts. Where will our mom's next "Back to Zero" take her?
The sun is coming up now and we have a new day all stretched out in front of us. In a way, we are blessed with a reset each morning. A Back to Zero.
I am going to grab my Gratitude Attitude back and apply it to all the places where it belongs, including the fact that sometimes, just getting Back to Zero is plenty. That life is not about just moving forward but also about dancing with the strange bumps that come our way and making each one into a mini adventure to explore.
But first, I am going to go Back to Bed.
Wishing you all a very sweet day.
Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.