I always loved the fourth of July, as our family usually always spends it up north, with friends and family and near sun and water. But back in 2014, my mom suddenly died on July 3rd. The day she died should have been the day she met us at the cabin. Instead, my family quickly packed up and headed downstate when we found out she was sick. I never got the chance to talk to her while she was still conscious. Now I subconsciously get cranky toward the end of June. and normally go through this day with an air of heavy sadness.
I thought today would be different!
I have spent the week, and last week too, trying to prepare and take care of myself so that I’m less likely to fall apart today. Last week was really my first week of summer and between getting Covid shots for 4 people in my house and driving my oldest to his new job (we went to secretary of state yesterday, hoping he gets his license next week) I felt super unproductive and super sad that I didn’t work on Nova (the trilogy I started last summer). It’s really hard to mentally prepare to sit and write when you know you have to get up and leave in an hour or two.
This week was much better. I still haven’t looked at Nova, but I did work out in the yard for over 20 hours. The work I did outside seemed to align with me and I enjoyed it tremendously. One day while working, a doe and her two fawns came walking through. It was amazing. I sat down by my dog and watched them explore in awe (me not them, lol) until he noticed them and I had to take him inside.
We have Cleaver ALL over and the sticky weed takes over everything. When I got to the base of the thick vine, I realize that it was often stuck to the base of the tree it was taking over, growing right up it. It’s kind of like what happens to our insides if we don’t take care of ourselves.
The Clever (negative situation/interaction causing anger- maybe overall the Clever is our anger– or fear– or both) begins to grow but is a separate entity from the tree. It’s easy to pluck out, and dispose of for good. I didn’t pluck in for years and years, and it became part of the tree. Slowly, but surely, that anger grew and grew, and took over that tree. When I started a new section all week, it was tricky at first rustling through the leaves and branches to figure out what was really the tree- and which was that invasive hate. As I hacked at the layers, the picture of the crude weed and it’s years of fierce control reared its ugly head- similar to my recovery journey. Why did it take me so long to rescue the trees? Lol.
I want to take a second to point out that I’ve recently learned that Clever isn’t just a useless weed. It actually has medicinal properties and can be used for inflammation and some other conditions. But it’s extremely invasive- similar to fear and hate, hence this entire analogy. I do plan on saving some to make tea, but would be 100% okay if it disappeared from our property forever.
Those are the before pics, here are some after:
I’ve been in a great place this week because this hasn’t been work to me. It’s soul fulfilment and giving not only myself love, but love to all the smothered trees that I’ve turned a blind eye on for way too long. I’ve gotten lost in it on multiple days. My mind running with my own words last year that wished to find an activity I could get lost in. It was said matter-a-factly, but I had no idea that my plea would be answered and I would find activities (yes plural) that I can get lost in.
So yeah, I thought I could manage today with glee, but the Universe, or God, or my mom, or whoever, thought otherwise.
Yesterday I realized that I touched some poison ivy. I’m extremely allergic and normally have to go on Prednisone or else it will keep spreading. The last time I got it, a few years ago, it didn’t get too bad and I didn’t even have to go on Pred. Pred has awful side effects and will make me gain weight- I want to avoid it at all costs. I think the Biologic medication I’m on for my RA, the one that calms my immune responses helped it to not get too bad last time. I’m praying hard that I can escape this bout without the ‘roids. However, I am so freakin’ itchy!
So, I can’t stop itching, and it’s that time of the month, a slight annoyance. And my hand/wrist is weak and sore from my RA, so I woke up last night in a lot of pain from overworking it. See, July 3rd even started out horribly in my sleep, lol, there are forces here.
It’s still early, but so far today has been okay. I woke up relieved that my ivy sores are maybe a little better, not worse. They seemed to be spreading yesterday, so I wasn’t sure what I’d wake up too (the very first time I didn’t know I was allergic and waited until half my face swelled up like a basketball before going to the doctor), and was so relieved it doesn’t seem worse.
I’m going to take it easy today. I need to make amends with my mum, and have been thinking for a long time, but more serious about it lately, that I need to write her a letter. I think that’s on the agenda for today. I’m putting it off because it’s overwhelming to think about and I know there will be a lot of tears. I also need to make those supplements the man at the bike shop in Cocoa told me about. Turmeric, garlic, cayenne pepper and ginger. Equal portions stuffed into capsules. I ran out more than a month ago and have the ingredients.
Probably no workouts till this ivy is gone, so that’s off the table for today. It’s good, I’ve worked out a lot this week and feel that my body needs a break.
I think I want to make today some sort of “soul day.” I will meditate and write outside when it warms up a bit. Maybe write that letter. I will focus on my positive connections and the activities that make me feel good (which vary on a day to day basis- which is why I can’t pre plan my summer days, well at least not if I want to be happy). It might be a lunch date with hubby, a shopping trip, working on Nova, cleaning the house, meal prepping- I don’t know what I’ll actually do, but I’m going to do whatever makes me happy at the moment.
At this moment, updating my blog is making me feel happy.
I’m going to live today, July 3rd, fully present and in the moment while honoring my beautiful mama <3