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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Take a Deep Breath

Whew. June was a busy month with half of it being consumed by travel to Colorado, Illinois, and KC. Sometimes people confuse me for an extrovert and I can see how that could happen, given the fact I work in HR. Honestly, I’ve always been an introvert but the pandemic and over four years of working from home have amplified this.  Which is to say that after a week of attending a conference of over 26,000 HR professionals and four dinners with work people, I had reached my people saturation limit. Now I’m home and recovering.


Andrea managed to keep the pets alive and preserve most of her sanity while I was away for a week. Renovations began in our backyard this past week. The prior owners planted something in every square inch of dirt and spent a shocking amount of money on brick pathways (they left us a copy of the invoice). This gave the yard an overwhelming, sweaty, tropical jungle vibe. We’d attempt to tackle it, by trimming back the snarling thorns from the bushes that choked the back path. Moreover, we mainly avoided the back yard & it’s suffocating, claustrophobic feel.


This spring, Andrea read our neighborhood newsletter and learned about a local landscape design company and made an appointment for a consultation. I’m not great at visualizing some things and a backyard renovation certainly falls under the category of some things. Andrea, on the other hand, could see that the yard had possibility.


Quick progress has been made of the yard -Andrea sent pictures of the progress as the week went by. I took a look immediately on Friday and the pictures didn’t do it justice. I told Andrea this and suggested she shoot a video. Andrea doesn’t think this will work, because it’s a feeling. It’s true - the suffocating feeling has abated. I wish we had taken a before video - but we did take before photos.


Today we worked on the inside of our house which had devolved a bit - packing to leave home for a week didn’t help. I’d folded clothing and left what I didn’t pack atop our guest bed. I mean - that certainly wasn’t the only issue.


Personally…well, I feel like I got a bit away from myself. This happens to people, and when it happens to you, here’s what you should do…


Only, it’s not that easy, is it? I wish it were that easy, hell, I even published a book that touched on a lot of what I’ve been churning through and I’m not sure I remember who the fuck I am yet. I’m not sure you can remember who the fuck you are on your own. Chances are, you have someone in your life whom you’re close with who can help you remember.  This person can’t be too close to you, like your spouse, because you may not believe them. After all, they are contractually obligated to tell you all the reasons why you’re a bad ass.  I’m grateful that I have a friend who took almost an hour of their Sunday to listen to me, she remembered who I was - even when I forgot.


Another consideration?


Therapists are good too. Coaches. It would be easier and less expensive if we could believe the people who love us the most. Because to benefit from a therapist or coach, you better put in the work.


When does the work end? I’m going with never - often, the lessons are new, other times, you’re re-learning the same lesson because you didn’t really learn it the first several times. Or maybe there are small lessons that we need to learn and put into practice that support and contribute to a bigger lesson.


It can be impossible to know the lesson as it’s unfolding. But if you create space for quiet and stillness, you may hear answers.

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