I dreamed last night that the house was tiny and kind of wrecked and very definitely under construction. There were still preschoolers around the place, and one of the mamas was at my back door with the three puppies that she was dog-sitting. I invited her in. We stood in the kitchen and visited while I peeled up two layers of crusty old linoleum to discover hard wood. Which wasn't hard wood at all, and when I realized it was laminate, and peeled that back- we found the actual for real hard wood.
Which is sort of a lot like how life has been.
I've been peeling back the layers, and people have been coming right into the mess to keep me company while the dust and crusty bits keep flying around. It's not exactly pretty, but it isn't anywhere ugly either. I've been digging down to find the good stuff, I've been chipping through the bad.
On Saturday, there's a story that will be told to 30 women participants at a winter's day retreat. We will be in a sort of log cabin that will smell of wood smoke and baked bread. We'll be on couches and chairs, a bed and some tall press-backs and on cushions on the floor. There will be a sort of reverence in the air and the kind of quiet that comes of women gathering together intentionally. It will be time to speak out the story that my body tells. It will be the first time that all those words will line up into sentences which will march resolutely out of my mouth one by one by one until the whole story is told. It's been a bit of an undertaking.
There have been some tears. Okay, so there's been times of the full out UGLY CRY, kleenex balled up behind my glasses, snot dripping, red eyes swelling.
There's been a crap ton of reading. Geneen Roth, Susie Orbach, Brene Brown, and a few other authors have been sharing the old couch with me, the cats, and the dog on these impossibly cold and dark winter nights.
And there's been a lot of writing. And re-writing.
So we've been peeling back the layers, and looking for the good. I've not been alone. There have been phone calls (you know things are desperate if I mention phone calls. I abhor them much the way some people might dread the dentist or the dreaded internal ultrasound). I've send more than my fair share of the universe's available panic texts- Help! I'm a mess! I'll never ever ever be any semblance of togetherness and I can't even remember my name right now, oh pleasepleaseplease help! E-mails have been sent. Friends have stopped in, sopped up my distress, brought me wine. Moms of babies have handed out hugs, comforts, and rah rah rah's. (hard to come by in some parts, from what I hear) Brian has rubbed my shoulders, bought me peanut butter cup ice cream, and suspended judgement when I've gone to bed at 7:00 PM to stare at the wall in peace. And sniffle. And whine.
It's a beautiful mess, this life.
There are some crusty layers, and a fair piece of renos that beg to be done.
But if I had it to trade for a tidy package with no drop by puppies or friends, I'd tell you to keep it.
I'm digging down for the real.