UPSIDE DOWN

My lovely mother-in-law passed away on Saturday, and while we’ve been losing her to Alzheimer’s for several years, the final goodbyes were still understandably painful. The whole family will miss her tender touch, sweet smile and loving embraces.

As might be expected, the days leading up to her passing and for several days since, have been turned upside down. Working through the emotions of losing her, coupled with managing the planned activities of everyday life have been challenging.

With running my own business, I tend to be a fairly structured person - I plan my days and have daily goals and make sure I “walk my talk” by including self-care like exercise, meditation and healthy eating.  When such life-altering events occur, that structure flies out the door.

And that lack of structure, that inability to accomplish what I plan to do is - {gulp} - really hard for me.

I feel commitment to my goals. There were appointments and meetings and so many things I planned to get done. Of course, none of them was as important as attending to family. Yet the cancellations and uncertainty of knowing when I’d be able to reschedule really weighed on me.  I felt so much anxiety. 

So many unknowns – who’s coming in town and when, who will be staying with us and for how long, the funeral arrangements, who will notify whom..... 

It all became a personal growth exercise for me.  I cleared my calendar and To Dos and made myself available. Lots of self-talk - “take a deep breath,” “go with the flow,” “it will all work out.” 

I’m not saying it was easy, but I did it. In fact, one day I found there was nothing I could do, so I experienced the spontaneous reward of taking myself to a park and going for a walk. Beautiful sunshine, brisk clean air, a few rustling colorful leaves still remaining on trees and the lovely scent of pine. On a trail, an adorable toddler asked his mom if a Siberian husky dog (taking its owner for a walk) was a coyote. When she replied no, he didn’t give her a chance to finish her sentence and blurted “it’s a werewolf!”  Those moments provided much needed lightness for my heart, my mind, my spirit.

And it is all working out. The rescheduling is all coming together (Thanks!) and all the To Dos are still there.  At this point, I’m quite proud of myself. I discovered that my training and coaching skills worked on myself - It’s not often we can say we took our own advice, and yay - it worked!

There’s a quote that I use quite often, that has been especially helpful to me through this time.  I’m not certain of its origin, so I’ll credit Mike Dooley, from whom I originally heard it:


“Do All You Can, With What You Have, From Where You Are.”

And that’s what I’ll continue to do - Do All I Can, With What I Have, From Where I Am.

P.S. I’d love to hear about you manage the big upheavals in your life.  Please share your Comments below or send me note!