Today I am joining with Honoré and sharing an update on my journey with my 2020 One Little Word, Open.
I chose this word late last summer during a guided meditation. Part of the meditation was to visualize a box and see what was inside. When I did this the word Open floated up out of the box. At the time that I chose it I had one specific thing in mind: Hannah’s wedding plans. I haven’t talked about it here at all but Hannah and her fiance Mikey are planning to get married in August of 2021. It will be a super small wedding. In Iceland.
Friends. This is not even close to anything I ever dreamed for my girlie’s wedding. And accepting and adjusting to the fact that this is her dream has been challenging for me. Of course I understand that it’s their wedding and it’s about their dreams and not mine. But I’m her mom and I’ve pictured what her wedding would be like many, many times and it sure wasn’t in Iceland. And it certainly wasn’t without us being surrounded by lots of family and friends. So the word Open was initially about being open to this destination wedding. And beyond that being open to ideas that aren’t my own and dreams that don’t match the ones I’ve had. I’ve made a lot of progress on this front, Hannah and I have had some heart-to-heart talks about what this wedding will look like and how it will work and I have definitely found myself being more open to the whole thing.
But this word. Oh, this word. I feel like each time I make progress with it the universe throws something else at me to challenge me.
You are good now with your daughter’s wedding plans? Great. How about coping with a pandemic.
You are acknowledging your feelings surrounding the pandemic and actually enjoying being at home with your husband and your daily routine? Awesome. How about your husband gets hit by a car?
The lessons in dealing with Dale’s accident are new and changing every day. The overarching one, though, the one I picked up on almost immediately, was that I need to be open to accepting help. Help in handling the work that Dale usually did that is falling on me. (I’m looking at you, heavy ceramic containers that need to be filled with plants and placed on the deck.) Help in coping with the trauma and emotional fall out of this experience. Help in the form of food and gifts and flowers from our friends and neighbors.
Learning to be open to help is a tough lesson for me as I tend to view accepting help as a form of weakness. Despite that, though, I am seeing that allowing people to help me is actually an action of strength, for it takes strength to say I need help with this.
Being open to help is a whole new world for me and I’m seeing the benefits of it daily. But if the universe decides that this is the last big lesson I need to get from this word I’d be okay with that.
When we are . . . (ahem) OPEN . . . these silly little words have some incredible lessons to impart, y’know? I know you fought hard against the word OPEN this year, but I’m really glad it chose you – and that you listened to it. You’re dealing with some hard stuff — but it’s all a bit easier when you’re OPEN. XOXO
(And please tell me you didn’t lug those planters around AFTER you filled them with potting soil and plants.)
My stepson and his wife have been trying to immigrate to Iceland for a few years. So, I identify with your struggle to understand someone else’s dreams when they are such a foreign concept. But, as you say, it is their dream. You should be very happy that you have continued to use your journey as an opportunity for further self-growth, Carole. I hope that the universe gives you a break soon!
Being open to accepting help is something I need to work on too.
My thoughts of “open” this morning just keep leading me to the anagram “nope.” First it was just a clever sign I saw in a local shop (they just moved the “n”), but now it seem kind of apropos for this pandemic. Congrats to Hannah and Mikey!
Wow! You’ve certainly had your share of rough times Carole. I say it is high time for you to have a break! I also think OPEN is the perfect word for you right now!
Oh boy. I confess I chuckled a bit at the pandemic thing… but only for a second. It just sucks. Period. But accepting it makes it less angst-creating. And, who knew that I did not really “need” to go to the grocery store once a week. The amount of time wasted shopping has been an eye-opener!
Your openness has been very visible to me for a very long time, I am so glad that you are seeing it yourself! XOXO
Sounds like open was the right choice, but please, universe, no more challenges! A wedding in Iceland, pandemic, and Dale getting hit by a car are really more than enough. (Iceland, really?!)
I feel your wedding plan pains. Our daughter got married last October, all the way across the country (Washington State), on top of a mountain (hiked up then changed into her dress), with four of her best friends in attendance. (One was the officiant and another the photographer.) It was everything they wanted, though different than we had always imagined. (Her dad, her brother, his girlfriend and I had already planned to surprise her for her 30th birthday the following week, so we celebrated as a family then.)
That said, I still work on OPEN every day.
And, I agree with Becky. Time for you to get a break… Sending love from Florida.
I know you never dreamed you’d be going through everything you have in the last several months, but it just goes to show you how wise you were in choosing your word. Everything you’ve talked about in this post can be hard to take, but you have faced them all beautifully by being open to possibilities, to optimism, and (yes) to accepting help. You are doing a lot of hard work, physically and emotionally, to remember that you also need to be open to what your heart and your body are telling you and take a break when you need to.
This has definitely been a challenging year for you on so many levels, but you are doing it and getting it done. There is never any shame in accepting help, even when it is so hard for many of us to ask for. I hope that Dale is mending daily and that you are also taking care of yourself. <3
You are a rock star Carole. Funny about those wedding thoughts huh? It really sounds quite exciting and the best part is Dale will be standing tall and strong right next to you.
Donna N says
Funny how things workout. Your challenges remind me of when we moved to NC. I retired early and packed up my 6 room house for movers. I found I needed help and good friends were there for me. Once I In NC it was like being on Mars. Knew no one and no neighbors. Very challenging and difficult leaving my family behind. A year later I fly back to MA and helped my daughter move with us to NC. It was January and snowy but we set out in her car with 2 cats and a cage of rats. (Only me). we stopped once to eat and realized we had to drive straight through. Strength and resolve helped me but at the last two hours of 17 hour drive I had to ask for help. My daughter drove the last leg. We started to settle in and in April my husband had an accident with a lawnmower and broke his leg. It was a mess rural firefighters who couldn’t help him started showing up, ambulance was far. My daughter accompanied him in ambulance where the thing overheated. Strength. I got to hospital ( luckily able to see him). Surgery next day. Rod from hip to knee. Our whole lives changed. Like yours in an second. I’ve already gone on way too long let’s just say hospital bed, nurses and now machines took up our home. You will need help and you have many people to help. It’s been 10 years for me, but the memory is always there. I pray for you and Dale and hope that all will work out. Asking for help is good for your health and you need to take care of yourself now too. That’s very important. God Bless.
Katie @ The Cozy Burrow says
The word “open” has served you well so far this year! Who could have known what was in store in 2020?! I’m so glad you’re still finding it helpful. It’s nice to have a mantra to fall back on when things feel unbearable.
I hope you manage to keep using “open” in June – but for more mundane reasons. No more super scary months like May!!
Robby H says
My dad spent a fair amount of energy teaching me I was an independent, capable and resourceful girl/woman when I was young. He also carefully made clear that sometimes people need to feel relationships are fairly equal for each person to feel valued. This is an important gift to our friends and family and it looks like accepting help or their expertise or kindness and expressing gratitude. The same is true in accepting compliments instead of denying their validity by deflecting. When I think of these things and how important the person is to me it’s easier to accept help as the expression of caring that lies underneath. Maybe there’s something useful here.
Carolyn Seymour Thomas says
Wow, what a post. And what a word. Something tells me that there was a lot at work when that one floated out of the box. (And if things come in threes, and it seems they often do, consider yourself across the finish line!)
Barbara Seiver says
Saying “I need help” is something the pandemic has taught us. We need our son-in-law to take our cat to the vet for her rabies certificate and labs (she’s elderly and has several chronic diagnoses). We also need him to take our car to the dealer for the 24 month service (free if we get it on schedule, or we forfeit the service). We also need the spare propane tank for the gas grill filled before hurricanes become a threat. All of these things would require us to break isolation and risk health and life.
Margene Smith says
Iceland sounds like a lovely (and unique) place for a wedding, but destination weddings are a challenge in the best of times. Your year has been too full of hard and negative happenings and I hope things turn around and give you a break. I hope your world is filled with all that is good and helpful and filled with extra love. xo
Oh Carole, what a year (and I know, it’s only May). I’ve said before how much I appreciate your openness and honesty in these posts (and your blog in general). Thank you again. and I am lifting up all the positive thoughts that these next months will not present more challenges. (also, Iceland sounds like a wonderful place to explore – with plenty of social distancing options?!)