“The only thing constant is change.” – Heraclitus of Ephesus
Today is, for the most part a typical Sunday morning, the clouds are abundant and the streets damp with the rain that fell last night. It’s early at 5:15 a.m. and I didn’t go to sleep until midnight.
What is this energy I feel that isn’t typical? Ever-evolving I am.
The other day I was looking for something and ran across an ancient pedometer that I believe my husband had brought home from some golf outing he attended. Like most things fitness, it either went into a corner, was given away or thrown into a drawer. This is the most basic of pedometers that you can find. It tracks your calories, kilometers and miles. Not steps, but that is okay – any step forward is better than back.
I went to that pedometer which seriously has to be no less than eight years old and pulled the small piece of paper attached to it to see what type of battery it would take. In doing so, I pushed a button and the display came on. “Some battery” I thought to myself as I began pushing the buttons. 0000 meant I had an awful lot of work to do. It’s a balmy 60 degrees Fahrenheit, a nice breeze. I can do this.
Like my husband’s death, we planned for it. We knew it was coming and it would change my life in ways I had only imagined. But I could have never imagined how much it would change. I’ve lifted the covers from my head to the point I can breathe a bit easier. I no longer need that filter to embrace the daylight.
Last week I took the incredible challenge to change. I began a weight loss program and this morning, I used that pedometer. I promised myself when I moved last year that I was going to do this. I need to get healthy again. I did try but often met neighbors who walk their dogs and wanted to chat – once that happened, my walks never continued as I need to walk alone at a pace that is comfortable to me. I need to do this, I want to do this. I am 4 lbs. down … and today I logged 0.778 miles on that pedometer. It is baby steps. I have a long way to go but when I realize my grief began with my husband’s diagnosis, I’ve been living this heavy burden for six and a half years. Indeed it is time for change – my habits, my health and my life are as important as the man I loved, cared and advocated for. As I walked this morning, I imagined him telling me “honey, you can do this and I am with you every painful step of the way.”
I don’t care much for change, especially when it is out of my control, but hopefully, the tools of faith, hope and the desire for change, will bring me further into the light of joy.
On Friday evening, I was privileged to return to the site of the Beloved retreat that I attended in January. This time I was able to carry the luggage of new retreat-ants and light their path in the darkness to knowing they are beloved. As I came together in community with others I had met on my own retreat, others who had attended at different times and once again my daughter at my side, I was able to share with them just how much I grew from my own experience there and that I did in fact keep my promise to find joy.
We do not always know when we go about our own lives how we sometimes affect others. Sometimes, out of the blue, you can be called upon and a split second decision to say yes or no can make or break a person or situation. I used to be a constant yes. Grief began to change that and that is not the person my husband fell in love with. Yesterday I said yes again to someone, to help them sort their feelings, their fears and angst and talk them through a situation that otherwise may have ended differently. We do not know when we will be called – either spiritually or literally, but if we open our hearts to the possibility that carrying the load for others when they are burdened with the weight of the world, we can become the change that another person is seeking.
A step outside of our own comfort zone does not need to be a heavy task. I can say with a smile in my heart, I am beginning, truly beginning to find joy.