Recently I got hit by a tsunami. I thought I might drown. Good news! I did not. Though I am still getting knocked over by stray waves, I am getting my land-legs back. And I am getting back up to my usual hypomanic magnificent speed. Down but never out. God be praised!
The nature of my personal tsunami does not matter. It needs no explanation. We all know what it feels like when the earth beneath our feet disappears. To lose all control. To gasp for air. To struggle to find a port in the storm.
Navigator, navigator, please tell me what to do. And the navigator said, Look within yourself and see. Your creator created you with all that you need. Pick up pen and paper. Write it down and make a list!
So I did and this is mine. A work in progress, not totally done.
A to-do-list for what-to-do when the world falls apart (sort of.)
- Sing in the shower at the top of your lungs.
- Dress up weekdays in your Sunday best.
- Call your loved ones.
- Eat dinner with friends.
- Write a snail-mail letter or two.
- Rattle some rosary beads.
- Go to church.
- Write a sermon or two.
- Ride your bicycle.
- Jump in the pool.
- Get your hair cut; polish your nails.
- Put a peacock feather behind your ear.
- Tell some stories.
- Perform on stage.
- Check in at the office.
- Pass on those fabulous frocks that no longer fit.
- Buy some more. (Hello, Anthropologie!)
- Weed your books and color code your shelves.
- Reorganize your underwear drawer.
- Sort through your socks.
- Vacay on a staycation.
- Get out of town.
- Clean that oven which you hardly ever use. (Baking soda and vinegar!)
- Deep clean your toaster. (Shake upside down for 10 minutes. Wash the crumbs down the drain!)
- Declutter your kitchen counters from all that kitsch.
- Alphabetize your spices.
- Retire dusty photos and frame a few more.
- Remove sticky tape from stainless steel fridge. (Equal parts vinegar/ dish soap!)
- Rearrange the art on the door.
- Shred all that stuff that needs to be shredded.
- Shampoo your clean hair.
- Pop that short story (to yet another publisher) into the mail.
- Rehab your (35-year-old) daughter’s doll house.
- Scrub the miniature floors.
- Wash the tiny clothes.
- Play with your cats.
- Read some trash.
- Binge watch whatever you want.
- Eat some chocolate cake.
- Shed the shame.
- Refrain from blame.
- Talk about it.
- Cry about it.
- Laugh about it.
- Go to therapy — as much as you can afford!
- Hand out $20 bills to homeless folks.
- Donate to your favorite lost cause.
- Be god-damned grateful for your 23,145 days on earth!
- Dance like no one is looking and shout for joy!
As I said, this is a work in progress. Never ever really done — but I am feeling my soul restored — more and more — with each and every item I check off.
So, dear readers, when the tsunami hits and your world falls apart, take a look within and make a list.
Healing is a DIY project. God built into your body and soul all the tools that you will need.