A Cathartic Awakening
There is nothing quite as cathartic as the woods of North Eastern Pennsylvania. To say I needed a proper vacation with my family is a total understatement. So when we got the chance for a 2 week vacation from the oppressive heat of Florida to go to our hometown, we jumped on that shit faster than my children jump on ice cream cones or our dogs. Those poor fucking dogs.
For the past year I can say with 99.9% certainty that I have been a pessimistic asshole. I haven't appreciated anything in my life like I should, I looked for the worst in people instead of the best, and wanted to run away from my children more times than I care to admit. But it's the truth. I turned to drinking and smoking and my 20+ year addiction to television to escape my life. Instead of embracing the sunrise everyday, I cursed it with enough fuck words to make Satan want to be my homeboy. Almost everything I have been doing for over a year has been a complete waste of time, or toxic, or just plain ol' wrong. It has also been soul-sucking and led me down a horrible road filled with negative thoughts and more emotional breakdowns than I can count on both hands. So what did Pennsylvania give me that might change this?
Well, for starters, fresh air. I played outside more. I sat by the Delaware with my family and watched how much fun Big E had wading in the cool river. I watched my husband shake all of his stress by stacking rocks to perfection as the water slowly rolled on by him. And Little E? Well she wasn't old enough to truly appreciate the beauty of the river, but when she sat on my lap in a dilapidated Eagles chair and had me sing Rock A Bye Baby 300 times, my heart was full.
I also put my phone down. Sure I still checked in on social media nearly every day, but my hand wasn't glued to a piece of technology, and that was amazing thing. It felt so nice to be present with the people around me instead of obsessed with what was going on with those people living in my screen. Don't get me wrong, I love my friends online, but I was getting to be obsessive, and that shit just ain't healthy, yo.
I had meaningful conversations with friends and family and had my come to Jesus moment that I was, in fact, turning into a miserable shrew and needed to make some pretty drastic changes. So I smoked and drank until both things made me want to vomit just thinking about them. Check. I barely watched any TV on vacation and had cancelled cable at my home in Florida on the day we left for PA. No more mindless indulging in my favorite crap reality TV during the day anymore. Check.
I decided to stop filling my body with all the shit food I was living on. Oh I still loves me some pizza and White Castle burgers, let's not front, but it was making me fat, lethargic, addicted, and slowly killing my insides. I made a conscious choice to shop smarter and healthier when I got home. And you know what? That's exactly what I did yesterday at the store. I'm happy to say I made smart and mostly ORGANIC choices! Who would've thunk it? A healthy body and mind is what I'm looking for, guys.
I have read a little bit about mindfulness and realize that it's probably something that will serve me quite well, especially in terms of my children. I want to be present and attentive and the best fucking mother I can possibly be, even if that means giving up all the vices I thought were making me happy. They weren't, obviously. They were a worthless distraction and a way to keep my boredom at bay. But you know what? I was CHOOSING to be bored. I was CHOOSING to be miserable. I was CHOOSING to feel unfulfilled. Because it's easier to get drunk and not give a fuck than it is to be proactive and care.
It's going to be an uphill climb for me, but it will be worth it. I needed a change and that's exactly what I got. And all thanks to the majesty that is NEPA. Oh Pennsylvania, you've done it again, you crazy sonofabitch <3
**So in my head I'm totally Alanis Morrisette-ing this shit and singing "Thank You Pennsylvania!" Although, admittedly, it doesn't quite have the same ring to it as India. Whatevs, I still dig it.