On December 26th, Zoya and I got in the car and she said she was so excited because we were going on an adventure. That statement announced the beginning of a new season for us that really began the day before when we said yes to a sister-in-law’s invitation to go zip lining.
The seasons don’t always change with the changing seasons, but this year they very closely tracked the seasons. Fall was brutal. If I wasn’t at work, I was almost always home laying on the couch. I felt a great need to preserve energy, and nearly every encounter zapped my energy. I was enjoying my job, but it took all I had. I don’t know why this season came when it did. I don’t know if it is the dying season of autumn, or starting an intense job that I loved, or a faith crisis, or Zoya beginning to ask the hows and whys of her daddy’s death. Some things are caused by triggers, but other seasons have to come regardless of any trigger and must be struggled through.
Our new season of life and adventure did not start on December 25th, completely out of the blue. Things were gradually improving. The scriptures of hope in dark times during Advent rang true and they led me into remembering the things God had done in the past, especially in the days surrounding Shah’s death. “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” Psa 143:5. The Bible is full of scripture encouraging us to remember things God has done in the past, so that we don’t loose heart and fall into despair. I didn’t remember those verses and follow them, but when I did start to remember just why my faith was so full in the days, weeks and months following Shah’s death, my hope began to return.
I also started making some deliberate conscious choices to do things that bring energy and avoided things that brought extra pain. I hosted Yalda and planned a trip for Zoya and I after Christmas. I say that cautiously. There are choices we can make to some points in a grief depression journey that can really help, but there is also a tendency from the outside to think a person grieving just needs to exercise their willpower, make better choices, and start moving. Grief can be like an injury. You have to be very sensitive to know when you need rest, when you need pain medicine, and when its time to start rehab.
I started realizing it was time to stop living with a scarcity mentality. For me, the scarcity mentality wasn’t related to finances, but was totally related to interacting with others. If you are an Enneagram person, you will understand why I thought I was a 5 during this season. Everything was evaluated with this is mind: if I go to this party, take this phone call, or spend time with this person, will it leave me with enough energy to do the must-dos in my life.