For the last few weeks, with my Dad's illness (again, again, AGAIN), a difficult schedule at work, the end of the PhD, and trying to figure out what my next steps are going to be, I've been feeling a little under siege. I've consciously viewed this time as a challenge, and tried to give as much as I can to the different aspects of my life which require care and attention. To me this means: staying up to date and involved with my Dad's state of health, and trying to be present to all the emotions that get stirred by the effort. Sadness, anger, anxiety. Without getting completely swept away by their current. Staying on top of work. I did not, for instance, take any leave during my trip home, and managed to submit a 'practice' proposal during the week, and revise a book proposal. Giving attention to my Mum, giving attention to my relationship.
I've sustained this for a few weeks, but it's catching up with me steadily.
No work has exited my laptop for 3 days, for example, and I've most of these three days lolling in bed. I've snapped at the Man, and at my Mother, and felt and felt and felt incredibly sad. all. the. time.
Slowly, I've tried to climb out of this. I've been thinking a lot about some of the amazing things that have happened to me over the past few years. Random memories, old dreams, chance encounters that sparked sudden changes, blessings in disguise, 'mistakes' ... And it struck me (again) how responsive the Universe can seem. Even when - especially when - we feel stuck in a 'bad' place. Every moment, it seems, the path underneath is unfolding, and bringing us what we need in order to get to a better place. The day before yesterday, I was in the shower early in the morning. I thought I would go to the office but I just couldn't move. I thought a shower would wake me up, refresh me. As I stood there I suddenly got incredibly impatient with myself. I felt like taking my insides by the shoulders, and shaking them hard, making them get up and move. I wondered what on earth I need in order to get through this time and get through it well. Not just live past it. It crossed my mind to get back into yoga, or meditation.
Half an hour later, I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee, and noticed that our mail had arrived through the door. Underneath an electricity bill (groan), a Virgin Media envelope (shred) and a pamphlet advertising Pizza Hut home delivery (toss), was a little scrap of paper, advertising, on one side, yoga classes at the local yoga centre, for £8 an hour (hmmm) and an 8-week, free meditation course.