Yesterday I saw an interview with Maria Shriver’s daughter who shared that her mother had spoke at her graduation from USC two years ago and the topic had been “Appreciate the Pause.” She was directing this to young college graduates who were being consumed with the questions “What are you doing next?” Her encouragement was to take some time to pause at this time in their lives. College graduation is a significant event but sadly we are expected to automatically jump into a new job and position. We do that with many events and allow limited acknowledgement of the accomplishment or the struggle we have survived.
Appreciate the Pause – those words automatically stood out to me. Since my return from vacation, I have been faced with my own internal questions of “Now What?” I realized that after our return home, for the first time in two years in my life, I am not dealing with a crisis.
Two years ago this month we were celebrating a successful IVF transfer and were 9 weeks pregnant – in a few weeks it will be two years since the miscarriage. Which then sent me into grief and dealing with what to do next. Another round? Another try?
Right before my Mom’s diagnosis, I made the decision to not do another round of IVF and we all know the circumstances which followed. Four months of treatment and care and then her death. I left my job and then went into the role of caregiver for my Nanny within two months of Mom’s death.
Since last April my life has consisted of finalizing my Mom’s estate, assisting my Aunt with my Nanny’s, attempting to teach college courses, and act like I know what I am doing.
So I returned home from my paradise island to see that there is nothing that needs IMMEDIATE attention. Emotionally and physically I have been so conditioned over the past two years to have an immediate response that I find this place I am to very odd.
I could easily make things a crisis. However, I am not one of those individuals who feels that we must have drama if there is none.
Nonetheless, I am pausing in my life.
Being honest, I daily fight “OMG” thoughts which run through my head. I want everything to be complete and done. (I’m in an awkward time with my professional life and unless God decides to perform a miracle there will not be kids) But I must wait and trust that the universe is working at it’s own pace (it has proven that to me over the past two years).
So I encourage you to think if you have been given a pause in your life that you need to honor. The pause can come in many ways – school is over and there is no more scheduling and arranging of transportation. Perhaps you have a sports injury and can’t workout like you used to, look at this time as slowing down and exploring something different. Sadly, maybe you are even in my position and have lost loved ones, changed your job and finding some calm after the storm.
As a counselor, I find that pauses in a counseling session often lead to the “Ah-Ha” moments from clients. Young clinicians often struggle when they do session observations with me and I simply sit with my client. “It’s uncomfortable.” is what they typically note.
Consider yourself lucky if life has given you time for a pause – perhaps it’s a long weekend or even the whole summer. If you can’t be fortunate enough to do either of those at least try for a day or an afternoon.
Don’t be afraid of the pauses in life. I think they might just lead us to where we need to go.