After the immediate flush of joy is over once the diploma has been earned or the job has been offered….
After the pain begins to subside after the death of a loved one and you begin to come up for air…
Once the weight has been lost or some other goal achieved…
Once the sick child or other loved one is well……
Just as you are beginning to come up for air, there is this overwhelming feeling as you get back to your life.
I once read that one of the loneliest times in a persons’ life is after a major achievement. There has been the push of getting to the end, making something happen which is followed by encouraging souls coming out of the wood work which is followed by the realization that life goes on. The mundane is waiting the next day. Worse, now you have to face all of those things you had ignored while the blinders were on just trying to finish the race.
It is overwhelming, just the day to day. You thought the struggle was in the challenges you were facing but now you face a new challenge. The transition out of what I call “survival mode.” You are no longer treading water or pushing forward in your lane working to finish the race. As you come up for air, put your feet on the ground, hang the diploma on the wall, bury the one you loved, send the kid off to college, you have to get back to life. Now you have to deal with the messiness of your house, now you have to deal with the emotional toll the illness took on your mind, now you have to actually rise to the occasion of the new job, now you have to move on. Sometimes it is not just the mundanethat overwhelms but the big the things you’ve been putting off, like losing weight, getting the job, finishing the assignment, cleaning out the attic, getting your finances under control, healing your marriage…..
That overwhelming feeling can be enough to paralyze you. You have all of the time in the world and you have no idea where to begin. You have the new job laying out in front of you and you don’t know where to begin. You have a life that feels more whole and you don’t know what to do with it.
Some can’t handle the pressure. They retreat into some other form of drama. Rather than making the decision to move forward, they find something else to fight or begin going around in circles. Some disengage from everything and when they have the opportunity to soar, their fear keeps them grounded.
I remember the movie “What About Bob?” whose premise is that a man with severe physchological challenges learns how to live his life by taking baby steps. I remember him being overwhelmed with even the small act of leaving his house. He would walk along and chant, “Baby steps, baby steps.” Just focus on those words, just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
We have to remember that if we are going to continue to move forward in healthiness, move beyond the trauma, live into the opportunity we have to just allow ourselves to take baby steps. We can open the doors and let the flood in, overwhelming us. Or we can take droppers and deal with it a little at a time.
“Baby steps, baby steps.”
Good words! This closely describes how I’ve been feeling. Last Spring brought graduation, ordination, and my first grandchild. Now I’m struggling a bit with where my focus needs to lie. I’ll remember to take baby steps.