This is the take away from today’s therapy session. If there are a series of stressors all lined up in a row and you don’t take the time to recover…then you break.
I think over my 37 years I have had a series of stressors, but then I also had some down time, some places of peace. My Grandparents, of blessed memory, provided for me a retreat, a physical removal from the chaos that was my childhood at times, into this amazingly serene, restful place. Now that’s not to say that I was a Zen 4th grader, oh no, my Grandparents were saints to keep taking me back up to Silver Lake and putting up with my crazy. I am convinced now that it was these trips that kept me sane. When I found out my father was addicted to drugs, when my parents divorced, when I had to change schools, when there were child custody and child support hearings…that seemed to happen so often, when my parents both remarried, when I went off to college. I spent two wonderful weeks almost every summer with my Grandparents.
There was this amazing pattern to their lives that soothed my chaos. We would wake up early just before sunrise and arrive at Granpa’s aluminum boat just as the sky started to lighten. Bundled against the cold we would make our passes across the lake towing flies that Granpa and Ray our neighbor had tied themselves. We would typically not talk till Granpa’s coffee kicked and at least one layer of our bundle had been peeled off. On good days we would catch our limit, on bad days we would both get skunked, on really good days we would catch a whopper 2 maybe 3 pounds and go off to the Store to have our pictures taken and posted on that year’s wall of fame.
Then off to the cleaning shack to clean and filet the fish and home in time for breakfast. Granny and Granpa were of the generation that the kids were kicked out of the house for day only to return for meals…so out I went. I would walk around the campground talking to all the Senior Citizens, one summer I was 12 or 13 I launched a dog walking business, I would play for hours at the edge of the snow-fed creek, playing with stones and imagining fairies and Indians and being the only person ever to find these amazing quiet places. In the evening, after dinner, and Happy Hour, we might read our novels, listen to the Bluegrass channel or watch an old western on the extravagant 9in TV. Day in and out this was the pattern and I believe it refueled me, built me back up, set me back on track. Thank you Granny and Granpa.