Completely Ridiculous

For the past few months, I’ve felt like most people I know; living life at pace that is well…completely ridiculous.  If I am really honest.. it’s not even months but years… decades.

Yes, it is a full, wonderful life. One that I am grateful for. But one that needs to slow way down in order to learn, reflect, and be able to stay in the now. There are thousands of articles, blogs, pretty little pictures on social media that talk about the importance of this. I see them, nod my head in agreement and then rush off to the next thing and the next not having absorbed any of the message… not having any self awareness of the ridiculous way I am living.

Tomorrow I will start writing again even though I love it and have so many ideas in my head. Tomorrow I will spend 5 hours painting even though my hands and heart are itching to get lost in color. Tomorrow I will purge all of the crap in my basement for simpler living even though I can’t think clearly with all that meaningless stuff around me. Tomorrow I will get to the gym even though my body is telling me to stretch and become strong. Tomorrow I will call my friend even though I know the sound of her voice saying hello will fill my soul.  Tomorrow… tomorrow.. tomorrow.

Well, once again, it has become all too real that there is no guarantee of tomorrow. On my birthday last week, our sweet friend Ben, the son of our dear friends from Colorado Springs, had a massive seizure followed by brain surgery and he never recovered. He was suddenly gone with no more tomorrows. Ben had been born with Spina bifida yet lived a life full of learning, adventures with friends and family and really had the biggest heart. We were fortunate enough to go say goodbye to Ben while his body was being prepared for organ transplants. It was an honor to be with his family who loved him so completely.

Yesterday, the five of us went to his service. It was lovely and of course so very sad. It was the first funeral that they boys attended. It was hard but beautiful. We sat in the pew holding their hands, wiping away tears and giving them shoulders to lean into. At the end of the service, as the last music played, my 6 year old just lost it. He looked at me and said “this is so sad” and then sobbed. My tears couldn’t stop. I held him while he cried. It felt like his first real life cry; one that wasn’t from scratches or bumps, or being mad at an older brother over legos, or from being hungry or tired. It was a cry that came from a broken heart. It was a cry that showed me he is understanding that life is hard and complicated. It was a tremendous moment for me as his mother that he could share with me like that. It was a gift that I will never forget.

It is completely ridiculous that it often takes moments in time like this to bring me back to pure intention, true awareness and clear perspective. I can hold onto or rather find these places when I paint. But I lose them in the daily grind. How does one stay in that space. Constant gratitude? Humility? How does one let go of all that doesn’t really matter?

First of all, I am going to start by slowing down. I need a constant reminder… perhaps I should tie weights to my shoes? put on rose colored glasses?  What do you think? I’d love some thoughts on how to turn completely ridiculous into completely … well how about….. somewhat balanced?

I’m off to paint… that I know will be a good start and I’m not waiting for tomorrow!


5 Replies to “Completely Ridiculous”

  1. Oh Cat~ I am so, so sorry to hear this. Those words you wrote are so real. The emotions little Chachi and your family felt, so raw. I have already been so down in heart due to the memory of losing my sister last December through cancer, and this family losing their precious son just made me break down and sob. There truly is no guarantee for tomorrow and I will do my best to try and live my life filled with more intention and gratitude. Thank you for the reminder and much love and best wishes to you and yours. Vicki

  2. Beautifully written Cat! Very touching and yes, so very sad to have lost Ben. He was a joy to be around and lived life to its fullest. Slowing down is so very hard and all at the same time so important. I think when we all slow down we really begin to notice the true moments in life that combine together to make the big memories. I think that your writing and painting tell amazing stories of when you do slow down and relfect on the times that really count and make you “feel.” I say for you, continue painting, listening to music, enjoying food, friends, and family.

    The cleaning will always be there, the garden will always need to be tended, the laundry will never stop…, you should take a step back and give yourself permission to slooooooow down. Tell youself that it is okay to stop, to say “no” when you can’t do one more thing, and to delve into what makes your soul sing. . . Stop cleaning the kitchen and have a dance party with your boys, quit doing the laundry for a moment and take a walk in the neighborhood, and slow down at night and cuddle your family with you whole heart.

    You have so very much to give (and are constantly giving to others) that you deserve all the time in the world to slow down.

    Go get em Cat! Ben’s spirit will help you to dance your way to a somewhat balanced life : )
    Love ya,

  3. Cat, so sorry for your loss and what a tough life learning for your boys. A simple idea for staying focused in the present and on the important things….get a blue poker chip and let it represent the most important things you intend to focus on doing for the day. Put that chip in your pocket/carry it with you. Each time you reach into your pocket at random times throughout the day and feel that blue chip, stop and check in with yourself/ask – Is what I am doing right now this minute an important blue chip activity? If not, stop doing it and start doing something portant. Probably won’t help deal with all those things that have to be done that aren’t “important”, but it could help to stay focused on what you do feel is most important.

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