Life is lived in the in-betweens, in the messy, in progress, in the here and now, one moment at a time.
Hello my dear Doodle Soupsters,
I was just thinking about the things I’ve learned from my husband:
How to cook eggs over medium. (Wait to flip until the egg is cooked enough on one side that it can move around. Turn the heat down so the eggs don’t bubble and burn. You know you did a good job when the egg breaks nice and yokey with the fork. It doesn't matter if it’s not quite right. Turn it into a fried egg if you cook it too much. Or, just try again next time. All you can do is your best. Take the pressure off yourself and it’ll be easier to keep trying.)
How to fold the laundry quicker. (Focus on one task at a time. So what if you just realized this right here is disorganized and this other area needs to be cleaned? It’s alright. It can wait. One moment at a time. One task at a time. And if you don’t finish, that’s alright too. Life is not lived in the immaculate, the complete, the perfectly done, the spotless. Life is lived in the in-betweens, in the messy, in progress, in the here and now, one moment at a time.)
The meaning of true lightheartedness. (It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to struggle. It’s just as okay to laugh about it as it is to cry about it. True lightheartedness is not forcing a smile or looking for the silver lining or looking on the bright side. True lightheartedness is letting things be what they are. Making peace with that. The embodiment of when you can’t tell if you’re laughing or crying and it’s kind of a messy mixture of both. Being in conflict, making a funny face, laughing together, still having a discussion of how we feel and what hurts, feeling even closer afterwards.)
I used to push, push, push. The only way I knew how to get anything done was through forcing, turning myself on all the way to 110%, using more energy than I had inside of me, living in survival mode.
I used to think there was a clearer division between being happy and being unhappy. I used to think I needed to protect others from my feelings, my needs, my messiness, my complicatedness.
I used to throw myself into each task with furious gusto, not realizing it was unsustainable to do so all of the time, with each and every task. I believed I couldn’t have worth unless I was at 100%, and ideally, 110%.
I still have my furious gusto. I still worry. I still doubt myself.
Yet, I’m accepting the in-betweens. I’m allowing myself to exist naturally and still consider myself capable, even when I’m not at the level of my best on my best day.
I try my best in each moment and I make space for rest, for times when all I need to do is exist.
I understand that a life where I’m constantly trying to measure up to my best on my best day is not the life I want to live.
This is the life I want to live.
Today, I made a great over medium egg over rice with sriracha and some leftover cooked veggies. I’ve also overcooked many eggs. And my husband and I ate them anyway. The other day, I tried making popcorn on the stovetop and I burned the popcorn so badly that the smell lasted until the next day. And the smell went away. It passed. We live and we learn, right? I’ll try again another day.
This is the meaning of true lightheartedness.
I let my grief be heavy. I let myself be weighed down by it. I lay in bed and stroke my cat Milo’s sweet little furry head. I try to release the pain and tears don’t come out. Not yet. That’s okay. The release will come. The catharsis will come. It always does. I know the cycle and I let it be what it is. I’ve found the wisdom to honor this.
Last night, I looked over at my husband, already asleep. And I just smiled. Natural. A private moment saved in my brain. I’m making new memories. How simple, how true.
I’m alive. I’m living. I’m here, existing.
Nicole Sylvia Javorsky