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I’m Comin’ Up For Air

“There’s an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet
Found a way to make it silent
I’m comin’ up for air”

There's an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet, Found a way to make it silent, I'm comin' up for air, comin' up for air

Last week got the better (best) of me, and I’m still comin’ up for air.

Last YEAR got the better (best) of me and I’m seeing how all of the pieces play a part, fighting against, for, and with all of the pieces of myself playing their parts. It was just too much. I can sometimes do it all, and THRIVE on it. I’m ok not settling myself down to rest, and eat, drink, and breathe. I always figure that stuff will catch up – I’m like a cat with nine lives left. I can go on the prowl for hours on end, can leap higher than I’d expect, and I can fall without pain. I’ll just shake it off and stand, not flexible, but absolutely, positively limber. I’m always surprised at my age, at how quickly I bounce back. No stretch marks, pretty much my pre-pregnancy weight, but more toned, and still no broken bones or sprains. It’s the invisible scars, though. The internal bleeding. Somehow, sometimes, it’s too much and I don’t even see it coming until it’s actually happening.

Drowning from the bruising and the bleeding, and totally unable to ask for help.

There's an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet, Found a way to make it silent, I'm comin' up for air, comin' up for air

Until this time.

This time was actually different, and this time IS actually different, and maybe next time will be too. After the week had gotten the better, better, best of me, with its double camp schedules, appointments, meetings, interrupted or non-existent baby naps, housework, work work, and my looming birthday, I honestly thought I might be dying. I believe birthdays often make us feel like we’re dying, because even though we are slowly dying (and that’s if we’re lucky), we’re also not so slowly living. So we are cats, with way more than nine limber lives, and I do believe you can start again, make big changes, mix up your methods, routines, and tricks – and then create a whole new way of thinking, doing, and reacting. So I asked for a time out, after I was utterly beat down, for the FIRST TIME in well over a year, with stress stomachaches. They’re the reason I once started probiotics, and I had inconveniently run out only last week. Grinding, gritting teeth.

Doubled over by the weight. Astonished I thought I could go without.

“There’s an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet
Found a way to make it silent
I’m comin’ up for air”

Sometimes I wonder if it’s all a rather flimsy house of cards, and one wrong move, gust of wind, errant virus, tense argument; and the whole thing doubles over and collapses under its weight. I’d like to believe we build stronger foundations as we go, and heck if this last year hasn’t given us our new and still drying foundations, or in some cases, crumbled our very foundations to the root, to the floor, to the ground. Gone. Just gone. Luckily, most of us are pretty darn great at rebuilding. Laying out the fresh cement, and making sure to steamroll it one, two, three times. Carving our initials and our secrets (IKYR), so we don’t forget where we came from. Maybe we do. We get disoriented in place often. We lose faith and trust in our most sacred loved ones, and sometimes, in ourselves. There’s a feeling, though. There’s a heart at the root of all of us, and a root at the heart of all of us. We carve our initials so we never forget. We were there. We’re here.

So I asked for a time out. I needed an entire day (or weekend) of not so much stress. It’s weird to ask for it, and it’s weird to receive it. Not because others aren’t willing to give it, but I’m not so great at taking it in. And it’s hard to tell yourself not to be stressed, when the big beast is not even necessarily stress. It’s anxiety. Who knows where one begins, and the other ends, and I know they’re not the same, but they are the same, and different. I consider one of them more external and controllable, and maybe if you help that one first, it helps the more internal one.

The more uncontrollable.

There's an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet, Found a way to make it silent, I'm comin' up for air, comin' up for air

And it made me realize I should do this much more often. Listen to my gut and my heart, the rhythms and palpitations of heartbeats and breaths; breaths and heartbeats. Remembering sweet times, hoping for sweeter times, and living in the sweetest, most rich and satisfying times.

Living slowly and surely in the now.

There's an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet, Found a way to make it silent, I'm comin' up for air, comin' up for air

We carve our initials, so we never forget. We were there. We’re here. We leave our imprints and our handprints and our heartprints, and then let it set; let it dry. We build over and from these foundations. Frames and fillers and paint and insulation. Imprints and footprints and soulprints. Everything just so. Too fast, too slow, just in time. Big gulps, shallow breaths, then, get it right.

We’re all just comin’ up for air in our own ways right now.

There's an ugly buzz that hovers just above the quiet, Found a way to make it silent, I'm comin' up for air, comin' up for air

“They hold my hand and ask me to pull through
A voice I know says “Dear, he probably can’t hear you”
Comin’ up for air”

“Air” was song #36 on our birthing playlist.

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9 Comments

  1. Wow. I feel this so hard. The past few weeks, months, year + have been so difficult but the strangeness of all of it comes and goes in waves. And sometimes it just BAM, hits out of nowhere. I’m glad you knew when to finally (finally!) ask for help. An afternoon to yourself sometimes can do wonders.

    Thinking of you and always here ❤️

  2. Aw, I hear you and even being away last week I came back and jumped back in a bit too quickly. So, now today I am definitely feeling like I could use a time out. Hoping to take a bit of time this weekend to just recharge and refresh. Even if it is just an hour by myself shopping as I am tired and just need a break I think in all honesty.

  3. You rescued yourself Tamara! That’s a clear sign of deep inner strength and you reached deep down and brought it to your surface. Right There is your coming up for air, and now you know you can do it! “There’s a heart at the root, and a root at the heart of all of us.” That is so clever, and so true when you really think about it. I have to tell you that these pictures make me smile out loud! “Air” is from the remastered version of their second album which features several bonus tracks, and you’ll also find this song on the Godzilla Soundtrack album.

  4. I really feel this. Sometimes, I feel like I’m doing okay. And then BAM, I’m hit with this overwhelming sense of dread and it just eats at me. Right now I have this feeling like something’s wrong, and I guess it’s just the rising Covid numbers again. But I don’t know… nothing ever feels totally okay anymore.

  5. Happy birthday lovely lady! I forgot we share July birthday’s.

    This month I realized I am a heck of a lot closer to 50 and so hmm….. I’m just gonna live and try to be happy, take the bad, but look for the good. That helped a lot with the drowning feelings. they could get overwhelming. I told them to go away and so far they have been listening. Or I have been listening to my self talk? 🙂

    Take care and enjoy the sunshine!

  6. Yes, so important to take time for ourselves. I sometimes sneak time each day just to be alone. I find I really need it daily. It is so much harder to do so when the kids are small. Hope you get the time you need!

  7. I’m glad you asked for help. I often wonder how you do it all. And, all of it so well! Such sweet photos. We really are all just comin’ up for air.

  8. You share so much wisdom, Tamara. I just love this post. The song is wonderful, too. Knowing when to come up for air is the thing. I forget sometimes. I often take great reminders from your Friday posts. <3 <3 <3

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