It’s raining here today so I started messing around with the look of my blog. I’m never very happy with it, so every so often I change it. Then I think about moving over to WordPress. Then I think I should maybe make my own page. But I don’t know how to do that, and I have lots of posts I want to write but then I don’t and so I’m going to start there.
I heard something the other day on NPR about survival of the fittest and how that it really isn’t based so much on being the fastest or the strongest or the best, but on the ability to adapt. It went straight into my brain with a zoom and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
I have a friend who gives up drinking every several weeks or so. I don’t really know why, but my guess is that things go sideways and in that way we drinkers do he has that moment of clarity: Hey… things are fucked up because I drink too much. And so he quits for some days, but always goes back.
He was complaining about being bored. There’s nothing to do, he says, if I’m not drinking. I say be patient, you will think of some things. Not drinking takes practice.
It takes practice, and adaptation. I feel like I am just now getting to the part where I am actually changing my life: where I am totally comfortable being sober and my foundation is really strong and I’m much less afraid to try new things. I think about the ways I adapted when I first quit drinking: giant glasses of seltzer and grapefruit, going to bed right after dinner, up at dawn to write and do yoga because that made me feel needed and like I just had to be sober. I think about the ways I am adapting now: I’m finally, finally comfortable taking care of myself.
I am slowly but surely adapting my life to fit my idea of my life. I am only working the job I don’t like for six hours a week. I have been keeping promises to myself- this has been HUGE and all started almost three months ago with my tiny promise to floss my teeth every day. Then I got bigger and promised to write three pages a day. Then I promised myself I was going to eat right and start running again. Then I added meditating every day. Writing them out like that makes them seem so….small, sort of; maybe more like simple. But it’s working. I still don’t quite believe that all it took was to keep one small promise, but it was all it took.
I run in the woods. I have three birch trees that rely on me to be there, and when I get to the last one I stop and make a circle with my water around her base. She has a strong trunk that branches out into four smaller trunks that reach into the sky and make all the branches that make up the whole tree. A trunk for everyone in my family-me, my husband, our children- united by the strong base. After I make my circle I press my head to her side, place my palms on the bark, and close my eyes. I say a prayer of gratitude. I cry every time. I don’t care if anyone sees me. I let go of the world for a minute and reach deep inside to really feel my gratitude.
With these smaller promises have come moments like this: moments when I am brave enough to pray at the base of a beautiful birch tree, moments where I am brave enough to run, when I have the courage to let myself be guided by my heart and not by the what ifs of money. Because I am seeing that I can change I am changing. I am not the strongest, or the best, or the fastest. I am the one who is adapting.