"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lost in Transition

I have a tendency to get lost in transitions. I long for healing, for newness, for the adventure of change. I intentionally make choices that I know will be challenging because I know the resulting outcomes will be much more abundant and fulfilling than the results of taking the easy road.

But in the middle of things, when the past is too far back to return to and the outcome is too far forward to see clearly, I get lost. I forget.  I second guess. I question my hearing, my motives and my ability to make choices that will actually accomplish my dreams.

The transition of New Puppy has me tipped and mucking around in the ditch right now. Not enough sleep. Not enough down time. Not enough of me to go around.

What was I thinking? Adding a pup. Now.

Still in the tunnel of the 20th anniversary transition of my marriage. Still in the tunnel of healing childhood wounds revealed last October. Still in the tunnel of finding the end to a career and discovering a new outlet for my talents.

I was thinking about the warmth and joy I know only a dog can bring. I was thinking about the daily reminder of the importance of being in the moment - there is no being more in the moment than a dog. Especially a puppy whose attention span is only a fraction of a moment long. I was thinking about the feeling of celebration and love that comes from having a companion who lives to be happy.

I was thinking he'd be a perfect source of lightness and fun while I did the hard work of writing my book. 

I hadn't planned on not getting to write at all.  I figured his nap times would give me plenty of time to write. The four cats and the unbelievable extra amount of mess and a fatigue-soaked brain have more than filled that time. I'm grumpy, irritable and impatient.

This isn't what I planned.

What I realized this week, however, is that there is a surprise abundance to this time. The exhaustion has left me vulnerable and less able to contain the childhood feelings that have been waiting decades for a safe release. It's impossible to maintain  status quo in a marriage when routines are being rewritten on the fly and both partners are stretched thin. The career it's time to leave has become a haven of sorts. I savor what I know are lasts and enjoy the ease of the automatic.

The book is being written - just not in the time or way I had planned. My life is being lived - just not as neatly or safely as I'm comfortable with. Change is happening - never as quickly or smoothly as I plan. 

Toby is doing his job - well, thoroughly, and with no worries about not being enough.  He is all puppy all the time. And when he got me up at 4:30 this morning unbelievably happy to see my unshining countenance, I could be grateful and almost as happy to see him.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

LOVELY! And so true.

BTW, love the new look of your blog! It's cheery!

FrecklesandDeb said...

I loved this post! I get frustrated at times when my life isn't going according to the plan I thought I had made. You and I are both in this transition time, where part of our brains are telling us we are transitioning, but the other parts are saying, "but you have to do this stuff first!"

Once you get through this puppy phase, I think Toby is going to be your salvation in your writing. Animals have so much to teach us about life, and I think your path led Toby to you for some particular reason. We'll just have to have patience and see what that is. (Yeah, like we're going be able to do that!)

La La said...

Yes, beautifully written and expressed. When I read your writing, I always think, "I wish I had written that!"

You capture the complexity of feeling and the contradictions we experience with such grace and ease.

Love the photo of puppy and cat! Awesome!

kario said...

Balance, my dear. Remember the yin and yang: the yang is the power that propels us forward toward our goals - the yin is the power of believing that good things will come to us. You've used the yang to write the book over the past year. Relax back in to the yin and revel in the knowledge that sometimes it is best to just be.

Love you so much. I am in such awe of your ability to continue to move forward. Love, love, love.

Jerri said...

This, too, shall pass. Toby will grow up and you will again be free to write and write and write.

When I'm lost in the middle, I forget the middle won't go on forever.

Blessings for this journey, Deb. Blessings on the endings. On the beginnings. And the middles.


Anonymous said...

You are in the most wonderful time of transition! Declare peace in the midst of chaos. One, of many, things I have learned from you is patience is being at peace with the process of life, knowing that everything happens in the perfect time.

I love the photos!! Toby is so cute, what a face. I am sure it is not that cute at 4:00am, but he won't be a puppy forever! The unconditional love and joy he will bring, will be worth all the stresses of the new puppy stage.

As always, your writing is so beautiful. When I read your posts, I am always reminded of the widsom in life, the ups and the downs.


Kim said...

So beautiful and inspiring. Learning to actually embrace unexpected change, and to welcome the way it can turn your plans on their head, is so valuable.

I am also loving the new look of your blog!

And Toby is beyond adorable. Plus, I happen to be partial to sweet little apricot heads.

Jess said...

Such an interesting process. I'm happy for you that you are being so present with it.

And that top picture with the puppy and the kitty is so damn cute. You got a very handsome little family there!!

jen said...

Hi Deb!

I'm so happy and comforted having read this post. I, too, just got a pup. Right now he's bouncing around the room after a ball. I am all those things you said...grumpy, tired, not writing (not that i was before), vulnerable. I, too, had my eye on all that bright light and love. Being such a caretaker has reminded me of how much i hope and wish for care too. I was feeling kind of ashamed that even a puppy can bring up this darkness. So, thank you for reminding me of the process
...maybe we can get our boys together sometime!

much love, Jen

Mark said...

As I read this post, I was so happy that you finally got it. The joy of what life is really all about. The joy that a little puppy can bring even in the midst of the sleep deprivation and grumpiness and interuptions that his arrival has brought you and Walt.

You brought joy to my heart through your words. It was a poignant reminder to me of the wonderful ways that God uses to bring healing into our lives. Ways we would never have predicted. I have no doubt that Tody is more than a mere chance. He is a gift. And through him, I truly believe you will find healing that has been waiting for the right moment and right circumstance to come.

I love you...and your story.

riversgrace said...

Oh, I can SO relate. Only my pup has two legs, not four.

It just forces us to live and stay engaged instead of reflecting and writing. What to do.

What a cutie, though!!!

1933margaret said...

Love your new bundle of energy and what he has brought to your life. He is helping you through this process of writing and feeling. Feeling everything from the past is intense and Toby is there for you. I am too.

Suzy said...

Nice to have Toby around for the "process".
He can only add to it.