(Editor’s Note: This post is delayed due to technical hardware problems. Our apologies, and we return you to your regularly scheduled program. 😉 )
Sunday morning I awoke feeling very much anxious. Actually a level of anxiety I’ve never known before is plaguing me. I have this heaviness on my chest, which is a danger sign for me given my heart attack history (July 2007). But, having been through what I term “cardiac danger symptom training” with some very good doctors following that event, I’m pretty good and picking out what could be a symptom of heart stress versus emotional distress. Other than a stress test during my annual physical, the cardiology team long said farewell to me as a patient.
But, Sunday morning that heaviness on my heart was back and physically so. I’m very fearful, which is making focusing on joy and the good in my life, very difficult. In light of so much undoing of so much good our nation’s citizens have fought for, my month-long goal seems foolish, I fear. So, I started the day with a meditation to sit down with the fear and figure out how to cope with it. I’m trying hard not to make my two sons who are still living at home fearful. They are just beginning their lives and need encouragement and room to grow. I fear the impending Trump presidency will not give them such space. That fear will stop them. That’s not the country I served for many faithful and honorable years. For my #LifewithAutism child, this is especially troublesome. All the hard work I’ve put in to push him forward in life will be undone likely with Trump’s inauguration.
Meditation always brings me to a calmness level that leads to problem solving. I can’t undo a Trump presidency alone. I am not in a position to advise him to pick better people for his cabinet. But, I could just focus on now, today, a Sunday with my family. I made breakfast for my beloved (No. 1) and myself. The boys slept in, and I gave them that simple pleasure (No. 2). Then we went to the market to pick up supplies for our Thanksgiving dinner with family. Then it was snacks and football with my father-in-law (No. 4).
While we watched the Seahawks, I roasted a duck we raised on our own, and made a very yummy meal (No. 10). I think I’m finally getting the hang of roasting duck now. Everyone enjoyed it immensely and we are blessed enough to have another roaster in the deep freezer for later this winter season. Then we watched a documentary on going to Mars from the National Geographic station. It made me think about when I was younger and how NASA was such a cool organization, and it still is, but once again, that fear crept up. NASA was gutted during the war-mongering years of the Bush years and was just starting to get traction again. Trump, I fear, will dismiss this important work.
On Monday, I really had the blues and that heaviness was back. I felt old. I was cursing 50 years. I started the day as typical getting the family off to their various locations and getting my microfarming chores done. I had coffee. I dealt with #LifewithAutism. I meditated. I did my yoga. Then I took the puppies (No. 3) for a quick walk before taking them to the groomers. Then I came home and began my Thanksgiving holiday prep, which featured grandma’s molasses cookies (gopher butt cookies, as The Chief Engineer likes to refer to them; they taste better than that, I promise). I had lunch with the Winchester boys as is my habit on Mondays (my husband long ago purchased a lifetime Tivo because I love film and media, but can’t stop for appointment screen time). I dealt with Teenage angst (No. 2). I made dinner. We had Couch Time (No. 27). I read (No. 7).
It was in all, a very typical day for me. Not a bad life, I might add.
I recognized that over Sunday and Monday that I was still having to employ the life skill of recognizing that life has its low moments, but there is still good and you still have to seek it out (are you sensing a theme here this November?). Hello, anxiety. Hello, anger. Why are you here? What are you trying to teach me? Okay, got it, I can go back to being content and relatively happy.
There is still much work to do and my psyche is making my body rest a bit (I’m sleeping ridiculously long sessions — 6 to 8 hours — which is uber long for me). It’s making me rest to save up for the fight ahead. Back during my annual physical at the late part of 2015, my doctor asked me how long I wanted to live. “Do you want to live 20 more years, 40 years, or how about 50 years? Depending on how much longer you want to live, you have to live in that way.” That’s true for not just our health. Because you can survive another 50 years. Living is a whole other thing.