Christy Writes: On Stress, the Void, and Press-On Nails

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Christy Writes, Recent Posts | 0 comments

Christy Writes: On Stress, the Void, and Press-On Nails

I have fairly small hands, and consequently, small fingers. I’m not complaining, mind you, because if I had small hands and giant fingers, I’d have a whole host of new problems I don’t think I want to contemplate.

But what this means for me, I’ve recently discovered, is that if I should want to buy a set of artificial nails, my options are pretty limited. The adult sizes are all huge on me, and while the child sizes fit me beautifully, I can’t begin to imagine what my life would be like if I showed up to my seminary classes with bright yellow nails emblazoned with “QUACK” on the thumbs.

Anyway, things have been a bit quieter this summer than what I’d gotten used to, although I am still preaching every week and studying for my ordination exams. I’ve also developed this habit of taking a nap nearly every afternoon. I don’t plan it, I will just be in the middle of doing some thing that I’ve deemed Important – like organizing a drawer or making a list – and I’ll just suddenly stop and go to sleep. Type A meets narcolepsy. This is your brain on summer.

I suppose the reason for these spontaneous sleeps is the same as the urge I’ve had for the past few weeks to purge the clutter from my life. I’ve gone through my house room by room, cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer, and made a pile of things I no longer need, no longer want, or that have sad memories creating negative energy around them.

It started, I think, when things began to shift in my life. Seminary classes ended for the summer, then Guy was declared cancer free, then not long after that The Rev got sick, and as soon as he was out of the woods, I found myself facing this giant void. My world had been filled stress and worry and fear, and all at once it was just all gone, whooshed away like bath water down the drain.

And I balanced there for a bit, on the rim of that void, unsure of what to do now that everything that had occupied my mind and heart was gone. And that’s when I discovered how beautiful a void can be. With the stress and worries gone and nothing in their wake, all of the things I love came rushing back in like the first breath of spring.

My husband is cancer free. My Rev is healthy again. My classes went well and I finished the semester strong. And I so, almost without realizing it, I began to immerse myself in the things I love most. Reading (not textbooks! Susan Sontag and John Updike and Agatha Christie… oh come here you magnificent literary bastards, talk fiction to me!) and cross stitch and practicing my flute and clearing clutter and redecorating my house and writing and learning sign language and running and planting herbs and bee-friendly flowers and taking long baths and watching House of Cards and Dr. Who and Bosch (my newest obsession, because Titus Welliver – yes please) and spending time with friends and, apparently, taking long and spontaneous naps.

None of these things are earth shattering but they are what I love and they are what fills my life right now. It makes me wonder why I let stress and worry and fear squeeze them out.

This past Friday night, Guy and I had dinner with two of our closest friends, and we sat in their garden and watched the sun set, talking and laughing and drinking prosecco and the deliciously plummy summer night air. There was no stress, just love and friendship, and damn if I didn’t even think to look at my phone until I got home.

There’s a lesson there. There’s a lesson in all of this. It’s about life and love and balance. And I think it’s a lesson worth learning.

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