Surrender or Stay the Course?

Surrender or Stay the Course?

You know those mornings where everything seems to go wrong? 
Of course, because it seems that everyone has one from time to time.
Well, I had one this week and it went something like this. Wake up ready for a happy day, only to discover cat pee on the kitchen mat after I stepped in it. Went to grab a towel to clean it and found that a cat had peed there too- yikes- old cats- what’s a cat lover to do?

Well as you can imagine, the morning spiraled down from there. I was running late from trying to clean up pee puddles, which made me stressed, which in turn, was when I started fussing at the kids to hurry up, even though I was the one behind schedule. In the end, the kids got off to school on time, but I was left in grubby clothes, hair a mess and no time for my morning walk- which is what keeps me sane (well, relatively) on a day to day basis. 

And this time of year, I feel like we all get knocked off our routines and patterns. Maybe it’s not from cat pee, but from being ill or having loved ones who are sick. Lately, I’ve been exploring the line between surrendering and staying the course when these unexpected challenges arise. 

I got pretty sick last month and while I was ill, I was asking myself what does it mean to surrender or stay the course. And I was wondering if it’s even possible to do both simultaneously. Here’s what I discovered….

I tried surrendering to not having energy, to letting other people in the family step up around the house. In some ways it worked. Everyone seemed to survive, even if dinner was often pasta or eggs from Chef Feisty Girl.  And in some ways I couldn’t fully surrender.  

I told myself I was ok letting the home maintenance go, I didn’t have the energy to be on my feet for very long at a time, but I still clung to the desire for it to be picked up- so I was bossy to others, trying to get them to meet my expectation. Gratefully,  I was kindly told that I wasn’t being nice, which quickly got me to retreat to my bedroom and be quiet. I learned that I can give up/ surrender to the action- i.e cleaning the house,  but not really surrender to the desired outcome- wanting it clean. Surrendering is not just knowing you can’t do it, surrendering is also letting go of the expectations. 

Stay the course and Surrender:
Yet, in my business, I’m a one woman show. There’s no one to keep things going but me when I’m sick. I needed to stay the course while being pulled down into a total lack of energy.   I attempted to surrender to getting “all the things” done while still generally staying pointed in the direction I want to go in business. My idea was, even though I wasn’t actively paddling the boat, I could keep it pointed to where I wanted to go, and then, maybe, just maybe, the current would help me along. I’m still not sure how successful this was. I had to postpone somethings and scale back others, but one thing I did notice is that by giving in to the fact there was no energy to paddle, I didn’t wear myself out even more getting no where. And when I emerged from the daze of being sick, I found I wasn’t too far off course.

Stay the course (or at least redirect quickly):
And as far as staying the course, remember my horrible cat pee morning- well, I managed to salvage a bit of sanity time for me.  I couldn’t get off for my walk, but I took a breathe and sat down for 20 minutes and painted- and boy just grabbing what ever was left of my “me time”, was the best thing I could have done for myself. 

Through all the cat pee and illness, I discovered there’s no surrender OR stay the course, there’s tiny variations on all of it, a dance we must dance to get by and get through until easier times. 

I hope you’re in easier times and staying healthy.