Limbo, With Helium

This photo is captioned, “1971 Jamaica Vacation” and I love everything about it. Image: Wikipedia.



Now that school’s really over, I feel like I’m taking sips from a balloon full of helium. Just sipping helium from a balloon, on and off, all day. It’s sort of pleasant and buzzy, but also I do not like it at all. Does that make sense?

Mind you, I don’t want to be back in school. I’m good on school for awhile. It’s too soon for me to miss it, you might say. And it’s not like I’m out of school and unsure what’s going to happen next. I think we all know there’s plenty happening that has been happening for awhile. Uncertainty is not my problem.

But this huge … opening has arrived. Not just in my schedule, but in my mind, too, I suppose. What do you do with an opening?

Does an opening in life make changes possible? Big ones? For instance: Is it time to devote some of my recently-acquired free time to volunteer somewhere? Start that quilt-related non-profit I’ve dreamed of for years? Perhaps I should go vegan or take up jai alai. Or squash. Maybe I should eat and play squash. Perhaps I should dye my hair a different color or sign up for tap classes. I’m feeling like any of those things are possible, in theory. That’s how open it all feels right now.

Many wise people would tell me — might tell me now — that I should just put one foot in front of the other and relax for a minute or two. But when you’re sucking helium out of a balloon, it’s hard to relax. You get a little hot. You feel funny.

16 Responses

  1. Liza Alton
    | Reply

    Eat, play squash and dye your hair a crazy color and then plan that quilting non-profit. In other words enjoy this empty thinking writing creating time that you have

  2. Rachel
    | Reply

    Go make a quilt!!

  3. Lisa Floyd
    | Reply

    Yes make a crazy dye quilt.

  4. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Mary- I suggest you prioritize your ideas of what to do with your new open time! What sounds most exciting? What would be best on your resume? What do you feel you NEED to learn? I believe that your best option would be to take a breather until you’ve cleared your mind, and prioritized things!
    Good luck, best wishes, and congratulations on finishing your Masters! I’m so proud of you!
    Brenda King, Bend, Oregon

  5. Nancy
    | Reply

    Dye your hair, or put some streaks of other colors in it. I streaked my grey with purple and I love it! And so does everyone else. And then make a couple of quilts to donate. Here in Wisconsin, my quilt groups do a lot of quilts for Project Linus.

  6. liz
    | Reply

    Relax! Enjoy this time, be quiet and think before you jump again…
    I think I’m giving advice to myself : )

  7. Mary Dusenberry
    | Reply

    Join the Great American Read project on PBS.

  8. Sam Faeth
    | Reply

    There is a best case/worst case scenario exercise in Martha Beck’s book, “Finding Your Own North Star.” I redo the exercise when I am in a liminal place and have recommended it to others on several occasions. It is not a ponderous exercise but can be helpful in getting your bearings when you feel a bit…stuck. I think it is pretty normal to feel some disorientation after achieving a significant and demanding life goal. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

  9. Jenny Allen
    | Reply

    Now is a perfect time to go get Phillip Larkin.

    • Liz
      | Reply

      Agreed! Go apartment hunting for a dog-friendly place, move in, and then it’s Phillip Larkin time!

  10. Jane
    | Reply

    Go visit Klaus!

  11. Lisa
    | Reply

    How about dyeing your hair a squash color?!

  12. Pat Hicks
    | Reply

    I agree with Jane so see Klaus for a short visit!!!

  13. Patricia Gottshalk
    | Reply

    Sometimes, lack of action is the best option. Celebrate where you are at this minute the next hurdle will be just around the corner.

  14. […] wanted an opening, I wanted a “new view.” Item by item, book by book, shelf by shelf, I’m making […]

  15. Sarah
    | Reply

    I agree with Brenda, Sam & Patricia. Well done, Mary!

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