It’s been one week since I lost my best friend and my light went dim.
I realize you can’t put a timeline on the grieving process but I’m crawling out of my skin with anxiety and hurt, so I am working very hard to find ways to push this process along a bit faster.
Last night while laying in a cold bed all alone, I had a brilliant idea. I plan to push myself out of this house every single day for as many days as it takes until I start to feel just a little bit better. I fear leaving my comfort zone because then I have to come back to an empty house and that hurts, a lot. But staying in this house all day isn’t a healthy option either. I work from home so without my precious pup to take potty, I really have no reason to leave the house.
I’ve heard it said that getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is where you find growth. So… I’m going to do the uncomfortable and force myself to engage with people even though I run the risk of a breakdown, and force myself to leave the house and come back again until it doesn’t hurt so much walking into an empty home.
Today was my first attempt at one adventure once a day.
Although the point of the Pen Pal Book is an ‘outdoor’ adventure, this one was indoors. First of all, it’s 60 degrees in Florida so we don’t go outside unless we have a parka and UGG boots and I don’t have either. Second, it’s Christmas time and I thought I might try very hard to find at least one gift for one person before New Year’s arrives. So I went to the mall.
I wandered aimlessly for 2 hours with a stomach ache and a fake smile on my face. Many would wonder what could possibly be written about an adventure to the mall… well interestingly enough, my mind was not focused on a list of gifts to buy because being unprepared for the holiday is an understatement this year so I have no list. Instead, my mind was just blank, which made room for listening and paying attention to everything going on around me.
Half the store spaces in this mall are empty. The ones that remain have staff standing front and center to drive you in with a sale. When I visited Jamaica for the first time, I remember the dozens of locals that claw at you to get you to buy something from them… and today’s mall visit felt like that.
While browsing in Macy’s, I overheard someone ask an associate where to buy a greeting card and since there are no Hallmark stores or the like left at the mall, she actually referred the woman to go to Publix.
An hour later as I waited for pizza, the gentleman behind the counter was bitching under his breath about how his last customer was on her phone on social media, and it bothered him. I tried to be kind and offer a positive spin by saying ‘well maybe she checked in to your pizza place and that would be good for business’ but he didn’t even lift his head to look at me. I paid for the pizza, wished him a Merry Christmas and quickly found my way out of the mall.
Now that I sit here and reflect on my first adventure, I have 3 thoughts…
One – There is a huge opportunity for small greeting card makers if Hallmark is no more… AND they should open shop in one of those empty mall spaces!
Two – As the ache in my stomach progressed and got worse, by the time I got home, all I could think about was laying flat to ease that pain… which took over the fear and anxiety of walking into the empty house.
Three - I wonder if anyone else out there feels the way I do and would enjoy reading my creatively crafted Pen Pal Adventure Book layout filled with 90's nostalgia for those who remember the good 'ole days of meandering at the mall.
Today was a loss for anyone expecting a Christmas gift, but a win for me because I kept my promise to myself and made it in and out of the house without falling apart.