Grief is a weird thing. It does a host of things to you that you don’t necessarily notice. Some people stop eating, some people only eat, some people withdraw from life, and others go full steam ahead into life. Nothing is wrong and nothing is right. The terrible and wonderful thing is this: so long as you don’t lean towards substance abuse or other destructive behaviour, how you deal with it is fine. It’s the one area that no one can tell you there are rules on how to behave, or how long grief will last. There are no rules.
My particular thing is to withdraw. I withdraw from interactions, I prefer not to participate in events. I’ve gone so far that after my father died, if I went on a run and there was a possibility I would pass a walker on the same side of the road – I would cross to the other side. I didn’t want to wave my hand to a stranger, or worse yet, if I knew the person be obligated into a conversation.
Avoidance. That’s my thing.
I’ve talked about the lack of colour I wear. That has always been a truth. But, in the last 6 months, I stick predominantly to grey, blue and black shirts. Part of this is because I’ve gained some winter weight; winter weight I gained last March. (Ok, maybe less winter weight and adhering much more as permanent weight.) This means many of my shirts I think, feel far too tight on me.
Why is the lack of colour I wear important? When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008 a co-worker of mine at the time, popped her head around my workstation one day and asked me if I was alright. She was a woman that I felt I had a fairly close relationship with; but I had changed departments a few months before I was aware of my father’s illness, and we stopped talking. I pointedly asked her, do you know my father has cancer? in an abrasive manner assuming the rumour mill at work was turning. I honestly can’t recall what she said: if someone had told her or not. Either way it didn’t matter. If she said no, she had a reason for asking. If she said yes, she had asked someone. Why? She said, because you’ve been wearing a lot of black lately.
And I believe there we come to the crux of my problem. I lost a friend in April of last year. One of my closest friends, but as she wasn’t a blood relation, I felt that I should be fine. Denial is a wonderful thing. And a terrible thing.
Grey, black and blue shirts have been my attire for the last 6 months. I know that fall and winter are always a difficult time of year for me with the darker and shorter days; but at some point I should stop mimicking the darkness of the season with my attire.
This challenge is the one I’ve thought of doing for the last couple of months. I always replace it with something else. Lemon meringue pie? Ok. Coffee instead of tea? Ok. Anything else, but please don’t make me give up my black and grey shirts. It’s quite interesting – last week I only had a 4 day work week because I had taken a scheduled day off on Monday post-polar plunge. I could have made it for only 4 days. And yet, I still talked myself out of it.
This is the week.
A few ground rules. I don’t have that much colour in my closet that still looks normal on me due to weight gain, so the colour blue will need to be included. As well, there’s no money in the budget (or time) to go shopping. The same rules for this challenge apply as the vegetable saga. If I wear black or grey shirts in any of the work days from Monday – Friday, this change doesn’t count and I’ve lost all the days where I wore a fantastically amazing coloured shirt. (***Please note – black pants and grey pants are acceptable. I only promise to wear a coloured shirt. As well, there is a possibility some shirts will be repeated.)
I will post a picture of the shirt I’m wearing to work to ensure I am meeting this challenge. I will try to do this before work, but with snow forecast for most of this week, please forgive me if I do not post it till the end of the day. Hopefully, everyone knows by now that if I fail to meet this challenge I will accept it. It’s called Pushing Boundaries after all. I guarantee as I’ve already proven, I will not be successful with everything I try.
The point is simply this: TO TRY.