On a scale of 1-10 my anxiety level catapulted to a solid 10 last month. George and I had to make a trip up to CT to clean out a barn that was top to bottom, side to side full of generations worth of ‘stuff’. We had to do it in 6 days!
Never underestimate the power of a few intentional hacks to help move a mountain!
Cold water bathing: This ancient Chinese practice is all the rage now. I’ve enjoyed its benefits for decades. At the end of every day last week, we headed to nearby Long Island Sound to swim in what everyone else on the beach seemed to think was water that was way too cold to submerge in. “Wow, good for you!” someone said as I emerged feeling energized and like I had not just lifted and shifted heavy things for the last 10 hours.
Laughter: What a relief when humor replaces frustration in dealing with the pressure of a situation.“What about this, George would say holding up a rusty tool. Cool, huh? Should we keep it?” as we had to decide what to keep from the 30 large and about 100 small containers. I rolled my eyes at my sister who laughed with me and understands the tension between George the saver and me the one who wants a clean slate everywhere!
Community: Cultivating and nourishing relationships is vital for a sense of connection. Dinner at a longtime friend’s home and a gathering with some women I’ve known for decades was a more than a welcome break in the midst of our tsunami. Also, grateful for all the people who pitched in to help. George and I could never have done it alone. Special thanks to my sister, Linda, who knows how to keep it light while working hard.
Exercise: No matter where I am, I find ways to move that help me keep my circulation moving, my mind clearer. Swimming, a yoga class, practicing the five routines (more on this soon) all help me feel better and reduce stress.
Stillness: I started each day with quiet time for myself. I was lucky to be able to go early to sit in the sun filled sanctuary of a church where I went for years when living in Ct.
Less Scrolling: Too many in person interactions and working together to check social media. A welcome break that I am continuing to foster.
And guess what? We accomplished our goal while making some good memories as well. George and I drove away from that large empty barn to head back to Arlington. Many of the contents were donated to a good cause, others relinquished to the large dumpster, and the rest we found appropriate places for without having to rent a storage unit. It seemed miraculous.
P.S. A very special thank you to all of you who respond to my blogs at email@example.com I read each and every one!