Comfort in Accomplishment

I'm a creature of habit. I enjoy structure, routine, and getting things done, one check list item at a time.  Like my dad did, I find comfort in knowing what will happen next, what I need to do, and what my day/week/month will look like.

This personality trait and way in which I manage my life left me feeling extremely disconcerted when I found myself in the position of not knowing what the hell to do with myself.  When my dad was first diagnosed, I'd spend what seemed like long periods of time doing nothing.  I was stuck, paralyzed with the news and unable to manage much of anything, much less lead a productive life.

But day by day, out of sheer necessity, I started getting things done.  It started with the most simple tasks, like:  Get out of bed.  Put food in your body.  Brush your son's teeth.  Take a shower.

A shift occurred when we moved in with Dad.  Things needed doing and we were there to do them.  I remember every meal I cooked, even something ridiculously simple like a box of pasta with a jar of sauce, felt like a monumental feat.  "I did it again," I'd think.  I managed to get us all fed.

And I started taking comfort in those accomplishments.  So I started doing a bit more and a bit more.

Practice yoga.  Check.  Take the boys outside for a walk.  Check.  Wash some clothes.  Check.  Do some cleaning.  Check.  Take a break to breathe, or cry, or scream because you must.  Check, check, check.

Now that I am more than four weeks into the next stage of this process, the part where he is actually gone, I have noticed a natural progression towards doing more, recapturing some normalcy for my children, my husband, and myself and yes, making to-do lists of things that need doing.

And again, I'm taking comfort in these accomplishments.

True, a list that would have normally taken me a day to knock out now takes me at least a week.  True, I daily find myself in moments when I'm unable to breathe, dripping unstoppable tears down my face, unable to accomplish anything but my grief.

But also true, I'm making progress.

Slow, steady, naturally human progress.

And I take comfort in that as well.

Image credit Zorbits Math.


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