This has been one of the toughest weeks I have had in my life, which has made keeping work at the forefront of my brain a challenge. I’m actually surprised I am submitting this blog on time, but that very appropriately aligns with my reflection on self care this week.
I am someone that has trouble knowing when it is time to take a step back. I hate feeling like I need help, comfort, time, or anything over and above what is being offered to everyone else. In coming home to Pittsburgh this week, I have found I get this toxic trait from my beautiful, yet very stubborn mother.
After learning of my Nana’s passing Tuesday evening, I laid on the couch crying into my boyfriend’s chest. After a couple of hours, I got up to start making dinner, do laundry, and get my clothes ready for the following day – my usual routine. He must have seen that crazy, stubborn look in my eye (that he has seen only a few times, bless his heart) because he grabbed my hand and said, “You need to slow down. You need to go home.”
I knew he was right and that this was a time I needed to take a step back, recognize what my mind, soul, and body needed. Going to the Fellow Meeting wouldn’t be productive if the inspirational words of our esteemed guests went into my brain and got lost in a sea of memories of my Nana. Going to work wouldn’t be productive if I couldn’t see the screen through tears. There comes a point when taking care of yourself NEEDS to be the priority in your life, and I am disappointed it took an event of this magnitude to prove that to myself.
I was able to spend the last couple of days assisting my mom and sister in cleaning out my Nana’s home. We have shared memories, laughs, tears, and discoveries. It has been such a special experience to really take time away from the busy world we all live in to focus our energy on the person that helped raise me and my sister, and of course my mom. To uncover never-before-seen notes she wrote, her old concert tickets, paintings she had done, are irreplaceable and unforgettable moments that are necessary for our hearts to heal. She was an enormous part of my life and she deserved this time from me.
Granted, here I am today in a Starbucks, working remotely for BBBS and submitting my blog before the service in a few hours. But I am proud of the progress I have made this week in recognizing the need for self care, allowing myself time to mourn with my family, and being completely present and submersed in my memories of her. Now matter how busy our lives get, we need to know when it is time to disconnect from our emails and connect to our rawest and most vulnerable human emotions and connect to people instead. Next week is a new week, and I will feel stronger, and more confident pursuing every challenge I face knowing I have an angel routing me on.
Below is a photo we found in the depths of her closet from her wedding day in the 1940’s that not even her daughter had seen, along with the photo display I put together for her service.
I also wanted to thank you all as fellows for allowing me to be vulnerable (and kind of rant). If every human was as respectful, accepting, and generous as you all, the world would be a much more beautiful place.