I flew to San Diego for work yesterday, leaving in the morning and returning in the late afternoon. It's only a little over an hour's flight, and it was a smooth trip and a productive day, but I was still pretty tired at the end of it. My pattern has always been to pack as much into a day as possible; when I was young and single I often had
something every night, and occasionally two things in the same night (volleyball
practice followed by a movie, for example). After T died, I dramatically cut back on my commitments first by necessity, and then to consciously allow myself plenty of unstructured downtime. As I have come out of active grieving, I've slipped back into the always-busy mode, trying to squeeze the most out of every day. Yesterday was no exception, as I planned to go to a yoga and meditation class directly from the airport. If my flight was on time, I could just make it, and I packed my yoga clothes and mat in the car the night before.
But watching the incredibly beautiful sunset and sliver of a moon from the airplane window as we descended, I realized I was having trouble mustering the energy to go to a yoga class where mental and physical discipline were required. Was I being lazy, or avoiding my grief? Yeah, maybe, but I am learning to tune into my gut reactions and take them seriously. Maybe I would miss an opportunity, but there is always another chance, and taking it at my own pace is really important. And I hadn't seen B much in the last few days, being out late the night before and up and gone early that day. I missed her, and thought she might be missing me.
But it was uncomfortable making the decision to change my plans and go home. I took some time to think about what was at the root of the discomfort, and I realized I was afraid to disappoint the yoga teacher, and disappoint the babysitter who was expecting 3 hours of work. I had made a commitment, and I always feel the need to follow through on my commitments. I had to pause and let go of that need this time. They probably don't care, and if they do, it's their thing, not mine. I had warned the yoga teacher I might miss class, given my travel plans, so she was prepared, and I paid the sitter for an hour of her time, even though she was only there for half an hour. (Was that enough?) It was uncomfortable to change plans like that, but it felt good to listen and respond to my own internal needs. To take care of myself. And B and I were happy to see each other!