“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”
– Mary Oliver
Being whimsical is not exactly my strong suit. I’m working on it. I’ve come to learn that beautiful things can happen when we leave room in our lives for the unexpected and actually pay attention. The past few years have found me trying to reclaim some form of whimsy in my life. I know it’s a part of me. Unfortunately I taught myself early on to be the Queen of rumination, extreme worry and hyper-vigilance. Not the greatest combo for a whimsical life.
Some say that these attributes might result in a life of impressive productivity and accomplishment. In my case, these sneaky bastards sucked the life right out of me. No whims for this girl. I had no fire, no fuel.
The irony (and beauty!) of my present goal is this: I have chosen an activity (ultrarunning) which, at the very least, requires fuel. Energy, strength, drive, determination, courage, will, strategy, guts. Until just a few years ago, I was lacking all of these. I was, by choice, doing everything the hard way without the proper tools. Without fuel.
I spent half of my twenties sad & hollow. I struggled with a severe eating disorder which eventually found me at 90 lbs and my family heartsick. No fuel. Fast forward to my mid-thirties and I’m back on empty when my marriage fails and I am, again, unable to cope in a healthy manner. I used alcohol to fill that gaping hole. No fuel.
So here I am now. No longer empty. It’s taken me a long time to feel okay being open about my difficult times. But here is the thing: I can’t forget that version of me. She gave me some massive scars and pesky little lingering anxieties….but she is bringing the whimsy back too.
I am grateful for the empty times. They remind me of how amazingly full my life is now. I am fueled in a genuine & authentic way — which is a welcome gift.
….and super-charged by this guy.
I have the luxury of CHOOSING which hard stuff to tackle and CHOOSING to tackle that stuff in a wise & careful manner. Once that base is built, it’s a perfect foundation for a little whimsy.