With everything going on in my life lately, I’ve been thinking about resilience a lot.
Resilience is the ability to keep going in the face of adversity or overwhelming odds. I’ve been relying on my resilience a lot in the past month. Starting a business, packing up my house, helping my kids through this traumatic time and dealing with walking the minefield that is the end of a marriage.
There are moments when I want someone to come by and just take the burden or lift it a bit so it’s not quite so heavy.
I’m reminded that thinking about the weight I carry is me feeling sorry for myself in the moment and that solves nothing. That is not resilience but self pity and I’m not here for that.
So how do you become resilient and then nurture it?
Because of how I grew up, I learned very young not to rely on anyone else. If something went sideways, I fixed it. If something was impossible, I found a way or lived without it.
But I’m learning now that resilience is more than fortitude and adapting, it involves being connected and having faith in the big picture. Stay with me here because I’m not talking faith as in religion but faith in things turning out.
I know I’m not alone in life’s upheavals, the forties are a decade of divorce, among other things, so I’m going to share what I know and how I cope.
There’s shockingly little alcohol in the coping, just thought I’d clear that up!
Find your tribe. First and foremost is reaching out and asking for help or a shoulder or whatever. No person is an island and the only way to get through some things is to build a multitude of bridges.
In doing so, you are not a drain or a vampire friend, but in receiving you’re giving your friends the opportunity to give.
Self care is important. I am chronically sleep deprived, now more than ever. I’ve taken lately to spending an extra hour in bed in the morning to try and lessen that. When I’m rested, or less exhausted, mountains become mole hills.
Listen to your body. I put down painting, outside of my freelance work, because it’s too much for me right now. By paying attention to my limits, I have more of me to go around.
Accept the situation you’re in. And I mean coming to terms with it. My situation is pretty fucking shitty right now and will be for a few weeks. What I can’t change, I live with.
Gratitude is key. No matter how shitty it is, I practice daily gratitude without fail. And you know what? Even when things hurt or get difficult, I am alive. I have the ability to make things better.
Look for perspective. I lean on my trusted, “this time next month and this time next year.” This time next month, I will be either in my new house or very close to it. This time next year, everything will be different. Done and dusted. The hardships and turbulence I’m going through right now will be a less sharp memory.
Be open to fun and ridiculousness. I sent a friend a series of hilariously terrible selfies of me and asked her which one I should use for my Tinder profile pic. I was laughing so hard I woke up my kids. The other day I was looking at my Twitter profile and laughing at the terrible puns I post and the responses they get. I enjoy the hell out of tormenting thousands of people. I really enjoy the hell out of being tormented back.
The one thing I know is, even though I want my life to be a sitcom with problems that last 22 minutes and are hilariously wrapped up by the last commercial break, I’ll take what I have.
I’m alive. I’ve got this.
And if I’ve got it, you can too, whatever your “it” is.