It feels like spring is in the air some days - and then the cold wind starts to blow and it changes everything. Life can change on a dime.
A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law passed away suddenly. Marty was her name and she was quite a character. My sister-in-law and I were lucky to have her care for both of us deeply and be so grateful that we were there for "her boys."
Losing Marty is a constant heartache for my family. It's an odd thing when someone dies and you walk around wondering how other people are still just going on with their day. When your world stops, it seems like other people's lives should too.
The emotion seems to wash over me during times I least expect it. Cleaning up the kitchen, boiling water for tea, or looking at all the new flowers starting to come out of the ground. She loved her plants (and was a Master Gardener, as she liked to remind me). So many little things remind me of her every day.
Relying on My Trusty Mantra
As I struggle to resume my "normal" daily life, I think about the old saying that I didn't make up but love to use all the time. And that is (if you know me, this won't be a surprise): When you look good, you feel good. Now, when you're dealing with grief, let's be honest - it's not really that simple. It's not like the flu or a stressful day or the seasonal blahs. It is truly a quiet, reflective time that can feel like it's here to stay. But as they say, time heals all wounds.
So in the meantime I'm making a point every day to get rest, eat well, and as I like to say, "dress for my life." For me right now that means not wallowing around in yoga pants on the couch, with my recent loss as an excuse. It means that I'm doing the daily things that make me feel like me. Things like my regular morning run, showering, and getting dressed in clothes I feel good in. And I'm reminding myself that a little retail therapy goes a long way - but that a LOT of retail therapy is not actually better.
Bringing Color and Vibrance into Life
I'm also tuning into the reality that spring is just around the corner - a season that my mother-in-law loved because of all the beautiful blooms. In the spirit of spring and new beginnings, I'm going to do my best to wear something bright every day. Marty was not interested in fashion, but she did love color in nature and she loved me.
And for all of the reasons above, I'll keep moving forward, with a new appreciation for the seasons of life: what's behind and what's ahead. And I'm going to keep smiling - because I know Marty would want that, and also because I know that a smile is one of our best accessories.
And that very thought makes me smile.