These past couple of weeks have passed in a blur that has included dropping kids off and picking them up, creating fun classes for my students, watching the snow disappear (sniff!), and a myriad of too many other tidbits. Among it all, I’ve noticed some very subtle personal shifts.
- I find that I am deliberately choosing the healthy food options, not because some diet plan tells me I must, but because they make me feel healthier. I had a hamburger and fries yesterday, and almost immediately noticed the draggy feeling of too much fat and salt. Even if I never achieve that slender body I once had, I feel healthier.
- I had the great fortune to escort some students to see the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It was amazing to be in there, but what was more extraordinary was when we took the students to the 9/11 memorial. Standing on the site, I suddenly understood the magnitude of the shock and the terror that literally a million people in the local area would have felt. It was eerie to stand at the edge of the reflecting pool and realize that it had been the basement for the building where thousands of people worked. Where once I would have been thrilled more by the trip to the Exchange, what stayed with me was the profound sorrow that I experienced.
- I have had two situations within the last 24 hours in which I felt justifiably, furiously angry. In both cases, I allowed myself to feel the anger, but instead of allowing it to burn on, I let it burn out and chose to be calm. In one case, the calm was for myself so that I didn’t allow the weight of the anger to weigh me down. In the other situation, the calm was for my daughter, who was so terrified that she was somehow unlovable because I was angry. In both cases, the shift I noticed was that I didn’t experience the physical side-effects of the anger (i.e., a tension headache) because of a prolonged reaction to the event, and my calmness influenced the mood of my home.
- I’ve also been dealing with a fairly uncomfortable medical issue (not the un-friend RA, but something different and definitely TMI) that has required a significant amount of patience for me to handle. Tonight is the first time in about three weeks that I’ve felt relief from the pain and discomfort. Through it all, I have been patient and hopeful that the doctors and I would arrive at an appropriate solution. Where once would have been anxiety, there has been hope and endurance.
What has caused these small, powerful shifts? Maturity? Perhaps. Wisdom? Again, perhaps. The answer is that I simply do not know. But I am grateful that they occurred. I feel calmer, healthier, and more content than I can remember in, well, ever.