I’m not sure what triggered the realization that I was stuck.
Most of my adult life has been spent doing. A lot. And what I did could be measured at the stations where I was on the air broadcasting news or hosting talk shows. Five years ago I left that life to return to Denver, move in with my new husband and help care for my aging parents, one of whom had Alzheimer’s. After developing a number of websites, launching a television program, publishing a memoir and speaking in public on why your story matters, someone asked me this week if I was retired. Funny how that question at a table where 26 of us had gathered for dinner prior to watching a local theatrical production of “The Crucible,” would send my mind reeling.
No, I’m not retired.
Then what do you do?
You see my doing is a lot is different now. I’m like one of the 337 bulbs I planted last week. (Yes, for better or worse I know how many I put into the earth.) There is something happening underground with those bulbs and with me, but I certainly can’t see it, nor apparently can anyone else. And sadly, that mattered to me right then and there. In fact, I found myself defending my new life with unnecessary fanfare.
I’m working on research about Post Traumatic Growth, waiting for news on a television pilot called “Thrivers,” writing occasionally for my husband’s company, engaged in the lives of our blended family of five with two grandchildren, volunteering, and making sure my 86-year old mother makes it through each day with a sense of belonging.
But the words felt hollow.
It happens. Sometimes feeling like you’re stuck creeps up on you slowly and you don’t notice it until you wonder if something is draped over you, like a spider web, which while weightless seems to prevent you from making a move. That analogy is even closer to home at the moment because we have one of those really large fake spider webs in the front yard ready for Halloween trick or treaters. Stretching it out one final time this morning to make sure it looked ‘webby’ enough reminded me of how stuck I felt this weekend.
While I watch so many around me moving through the responsibilities of their lives and work, some more happily than others, I realized I envied their motion. Their ‘doing’ that is visible.
And then with one final pull on that springy spider web, I became un-stuck. It dawned on me that nothing is holding me back, no one is holding me down. Like those bulbs now several inches underground in our garden, I, too, can spring back to life even after appearing to lie dormant for months. So what if no one can see what it is I’m doing? There is something going on. I’m no longer stuck.