I recently moved into an apartment in New Jersey. While I still live in Easton, the apartment accommodates working from headquarters a few days each week. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in my new apartment having a minor melt down. Thoughts were rapid firing in my brain and it evolved into an emotional boxing match with myself. I was beating myself up pretty good too. It was starting to look like a knock out. The match continued for several more days and I just wanted to calm the noise in my head. Silence the crazy thoughts swirling around me. What if I never learn how to live on my own? How will I keep up with the repairs needed in the house? How will I ever fit all the things the apartment needs in my little car? Who can I turn to if I have any problems when I’m in either of my abodes alone? Why did I think I could manage this schedule of work, photography, helping out my son, keeping up with the EBay bookkeeping, cleaning and repairing things around the house . . . I was in my full blown Mad Hatter mode in all its twisted dark glory.
This Tuesday was the official first day of a sense of sanity returning. Yesterday was forward progress. Today – this is the Cherish I like, the Cherish that sits at the head of the table for a splendid tea party, sporting a splendid hat donned with peacock feathers and smiling a welcome to all that pass my way. Sure, I still feel drained driving from New Jersey to Easton, and I still feel a need to over indulge in late night comfort food in the form of Thin Mints from the freezer, and I’m sitting here blogging when I should be editing photos – but for now – I’m not beating myself up in the 8th round.
And for that I have you to thank – for the love I have felt from all of you. For all the text messages and phone calls friends – old and new – have sent me, not even knowing how much I needed them. For the family foundation that I could build a solid life upon. For my son who called and chatted away to me about his busy young life until I forgot my own stresses. For my mom leaving her little plastic cups with straws in every house we share as if to say “I’m here, you’ll be ok”. For my dad who came home to a dismantled toilet that I thought I could fix but didn’t, so he finished it for me. For my lost love Keith, who visits me still if for no other reason than to tell me to quit this silliness. For Gary, who was the closest witness to my emotional boxing match and chose to stand outside the ropes, towel and water in hand, telling me to get back in there and win this.
My whole life, I have felt so much love and as I drove from apartment to house, I realized something. I can think of no better Valentine than to embrace all the love we are given, no matter where it comes from, and send it back out. And if we are really smart, we’ll selfishly hold on to a little of it so that we can love ourselves as much as others do. So tonight – I send it back out – may you love yourselves as much as others do, every day.