Yesterday I did virtually nothing. I stayed in my pj's until the late afternoon, had a 2 hour nap (I literally cannot remember the last time I did that), read, tried to relax. I was very conscious of the 1:00 time approaching when I would've been at my class. I knew I had made the right decision to be home and not be there, but because I didn't feel the relief and "back-to-normalness" I was hoping for, it was still a tense and strange type of a day. My friend who is a nurse explained that in times of high stress, your body produces both adrenaline and cortisone. Adrenaline helps you get through in the short term, and when the stressful situation abates, so does the adrenaline. But the cortisone stays in your system for much longer, and needs to dissipate over time. That's why I still felt like I was fighting my way through a fog for most of the last few days. It's not a great feeling.
Last night, after the kids were sleeping, I began to feel a bit more like myself. I could see that pinprick of light at the end of the long tunnel, and I began to step toward it. When I look at the positive side of not having a difficult University course this semester, I see that I have been given a gift of writing time. I gave that gift to myself and I must not waste it. Three months in which to write; to set goals to write articles, stories, blogs and screenplays, then more goals for sending them off for publishing consideration and attempt to make my dream of being a professional writer a reality.
Hope stirring is a beautiful thing to experience within yourself, or to watch happening to someone else. It is fragile and must be handled with great care and affection. When a tiny flame of belief is burning, you must protect it at all costs as you do not want it to blow out. Guard it with care. It will take you far if you wrap it in layers of discipline and hard work. Inspiration without effort doesn't mean very much, but neither does hard work with no spark of creativity to ignite it. Both must be working at the same time, in equal measure. It's a little like catching lightning in a bottle, and when all of the elements are there, you must move forward, keep at it, and create something meaningful that will live on after you are gone.
This morning I feel those first stirrings of hope. When William was in bed last night, he called for me to come and sing him one more song. He requested Hobo, a haunting song from the 60's that my roommate from Southern California used to sing to her young daughter in 1993, and I picked up by listening to it over time. It's now William's favourite. I held his tiny hand in mine, singing and watching him press his ratty bear to his face, inhaling its smell which is sweet to him alone, and I realized I was firmly on the road to recovery. I felt moved by the song, by William's 3 year old freshly bathed body in his striped blue pajamas, and by his soft little hand squeezing my dry fingers (why can't I remember to put hand cream on in the winter?). This is life; being open to all parts of the human experience - the joy, the pain, the hope, and everything in between.