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Trust the process 

Emma Grey

In the last few days, I’ve been surprised as three big career developments have unfolded, despite having had my foot almost completely off that pedal for several months.

I’ve been focussing on ‘survival’ emotionally: re-grouping the family so we can learn to thrive again in this ‘new normal’ that none of us wanted. I think, between us, we’re keeping our city’s psychologists employed. It’s felt like we’ve been emerging from our own ‘ground zero’. We haven’t re-built yet, but we’re clearing some of the rubble.

We’re immersing ourselves in healthy choices emotionally and physically, staggering through several whirlwind months with the children which culminate in this week’s school graduations for the two older teens and the formal, etc. 

I’ve been managing the practicalities that are forced upon you when someone dies (which are greatly complicated when someone dies without a will). I’ve done some work — workshops, coaching, presentations, writing — but not too much of it, because the priority has been my own mental health, and that of everyone under this roof. 

This meant ‘parking’ some of the creative projects I’d been hotly pursuing all year, before Jeff died. These were the things I’d been dreaming of — new books, novel-writing and the staging of the musical I’d co-written last summer with my dear friend, composer, Sally Whitwell. When you’re plunged into grief those dreams are suspended by necessity. You’re not in the mood, anyway, and need to focus on other, more practical income-generating options as a suddenly-single parent.  

Fast forward to this week … 

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Audrey and I held the first advance copies of our new book, “I don’t have time! 15-minute ways to shape a life you love”. What a moment this is, when your hard work is realised in physical form:

Over dinner, the publisher asked us when we could provide our next book. We came up with an idea on the spot and he loved it — so that’s settled then for 2017. 

Then, yesterday, Sally and I took a big step closer to bringing the musical to the stage, quite unexpectedly. The opportunity just arose, out of the blue, and feels perfectly right for us. 

It’s true that when you stop looking for something so hard, it alights upon you. It comes when you least expect it, in exactly the way that feels ‘right’. Each of these opportunities are the things Jeff wanted so much for me. They are the things he supported me on so strongly, even when I doubted myself. He always felt certain these situations would happen when the time was right. I can’t help but think he’s looking out for me and we’re still working together, making things happen … because, thinking back on it, had they happened any earlier, it would have been impossible to deliver any of them. 

My friend Trish has a framed quote above her desk, with words by Alexandra Stoppard: ‘Slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Don’t Hurry. Trust the Process.’ It’s something I’ve never really been any good at — patience, waiting. When I’m creating something exciting I just want to do it now. Immediately. 

Sometimes ‘immediately’ isn’t suitable. Sometimes future events we’re not aware of mean ‘now’ isn’t right. Sometimes the less we push and the more we trust, the easier the way becomes. Trust the process

I can see how healing each of these things will be, and how perfect their timing has become. They’re life-affirming lights in the darkness — and a big reminder to believe in the natural order of things. 

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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