While I've heard mothers of small children experience a phenomenon called "mom brain," I'd have to say that I'm experiencing, "army-wife-photographer-who-misses-her-husband (AWPWMHH) brain." While the cause is different, the symptoms are identical. My mind has switched into a mode that is somewhat not all there, but is also capable of tasks that under normal circumstances I frankly wouldn't have the motivation to accomplish. It's like I'm a special agent for my own life, defying space and time in order to tie up all the loose ends in Kansas before I depart for the final... I mean last frontier.
It's difficult to notice you're growing while you're growing, as the pain of change can fog your vision. My pain (strangers packing up my house, losing things, never knowing when the goodbyes will end, final haircuts with trustworthy stylists, early mornings, getting poked by doctors, having fleeting conversations, selling cars... etc.) has fogged my vision to the point of struggling through basic encounters. Real example:
"See ya later."
We can blame AWPWMHH brain for that one.
After an incredibly empowering time of conversation with a close friend on my last (kind of) day in Manhattan, selling both of my cars yesterday (which feels like days ago), driving home through a slushy snow storm, and finally arriving just in time to sing "Happy Birthday" to my father... I find myself able to breath.
This morning I slept in. Late. Even if it means I fell asleep with the lights on and my contacts in. I then treated myself to a mini Lush facial. Thank you ocean sea salt scrub. My word. My face is like a baby's.... face. I've taken time to be intentional with my moments, appreciating my food, ignoring my phone, and hugging tighter, knowing that everyone benefits. I may be avoiding some of those cookies I made with my mother (I'd like to give a shout out to the good ole doctor's office weigh-in), but I'm so glad I took the time to dye, roll, and twist dough with her. Christmas: the season of cookie dough and meditation on the prospect of jogging. (For real though, last night I had a dream that I woke up from sleep wearing running shoes.)
Who knows where Alaska will take us in the next several years. I certainly don't, so I would prefer not to miss a beat here, even if it means I'll be a little sleepier. What I'm experiencing is a type of pain that births growth, which will be evident weeks, months, and years from now. My character is shaping, my heart is refining, and my perseverance is strengthening. Goodness knows I would never willingly put myself through trails for my own betterment, but I will endure what I need to if it means that I'll be pure and spotless at the end of my days.
Pray me out of AWPWMHH brain, be blessed this holiday season, and have strength to endure. I know these days can be rough for everyone, so I hope that your capacity to love, as well as to forgive, others increases.