I read this lovely post on one of the ever increasing number of blogs that I follow entitled "Ten Things I Can't Live Without." Trouble is, I don't remember who wrote it or who to attribute it to. If you wrote it, let me know! I'll give you props!
Anyhow, I've been thinking about this post a lot. I've learned over the past few years that a lot of the things that I thought absolutely essential really aren't. But there are certain things that I must have in my life, or I quite literally fall apart. They are, in no particular order
This really is my number one. I need lots of sleep, though not as much as I used to. Before my residency I tried to get 9 - 10 hours a night. Now, if I have a few nights where I don't get 7 - 8 hours, my husband knows that he has to take care of things around the house so that I can sleep and recharge. I have literally come to pieces over lack of sleep. 4 hours of sleep at night? I'd be a crying, shaking, screaming mess. You really wouldn't want to be around me. I don't know how people do it.
I am a very internal, introspective person. When I lived alone, it wasn't unusual for me to spend days without the TV or radio on. When the house gets too chaotic and noisy, I often have to find a quiet space to recover in. It's the reason I spend summers outdoors, with just the sound of the birds and the occasional lawn mower. I'm just a quiet girl.
Just a touch. Or an arm around my shoulder. A smile across the room. The look in my son's eyes when he wakes in the morning and sees me there. There have been so many studies about the need for affection that I won't bore you with them, but people can't live without it. They wither and die, like flowers without water.
My backbone. The thing that keeps me from collapsing. The only people who truly get me, all the way down, to the deepest places. The reason I get out of bed. Folk who accept me for what I am, warts and all. The people that I truly care about and for. My tribe. If something happened to any one of them, I would be devastated (It's been three years since my grandparents dies within a month of each other and I still can't process that they aren't here). The people that hold me up when I need to be held, make me laugh, and give me the affection that I need.
5. Intellectual Stimulation
I need to be challenged. When I go too long without some form of intellectual stimulation I fall into a brain stupor. I get fuzzy and confused. Ask me a question and it'll take me longer to answer you - my brain just slows down. So I challenge myself to keep learning new things, pick up new skills.
6. My God
He is the source of my strength, the refuge from the storm. He is the guide along my path, and the one to pick me up when I can't walk any further. He stood there beside me when I was sure that He didn't want me anymore, just waiting for me to come to my senses. He is the reason my heart beats and my blood flows. He is.
7. My Garden
I've written about gardening being part of my DNA. I truly feel most alive when I have dirt in my hands. It's almost like breathing, such a part of me that I don't have to think, involuntary. And it is the time that I feel closest to God, at one with the world and the universe. Amazing how flowers and dirt can do that to me
8. Emotional Support
At the time I am going through something really difficult, my first thought when someone tells me that life will be okay, it will all work out is that they have no way of knowing what they are talking about. But the support behind those words is what counts. When someone reaches out, helps me through it, that shows me that someone cares. That I'm not just another fish in the pond. That I am not alone in the world.
9. The Written Word
I am forever reading - magazines, books, blogs, anything I can get my hands on. When I was a kid and I was bored and had nothing to read, I'd read the dictionary. Or labels on cans and shampoo. It takes me forever to get through museums - I have to read the placards.
But it's really more than air. It's deep cleansing breaths when life seems to be getting out of hand. It's that first breath of clean crisp air the first time you land in Colorado - pure like you've never experienced. It's air as a way to purify. Air as a way to cleanse. And, of course, there's the fact that your cells die without it (but that's too obvious and not at all poetic).
Photos from We Heart It and Beauty in Everything