First, a shout out to my neighbor and friend L who saw a picture of my homemade masks and immediately reached out to a friend who agreed to sew me a couple of legit masks. That gesture means so much to me! Thank you, friend!
Today I’m going to talk more about the highs and lows I find myself swinging through on a daily (if not hourly basis). I found this post on instagram by now.or.noodles that captured it so accurately and when I re-shared it, so many people reached out to tell me they felt the same.
Last night after I submitted my last post, I fell into a funk. Before that, my day was going “fine” in terms of my mood so it felt jarring to slide so quick into a more pessimistic mindset. Especially without an obvious trigger. My body suddenly became heavy, I gained a pit of anxiety that settled deep into my chest, and the dinner and evening I looked forward to preparing became a chore.
I knew that deep breathing or something along those lines would probably help me out, but I didn’t do it.
Instead I “sat” with it rather than cover it up with a distraction. I talked to friends, which did alleviate the knot just a bit. But otherwise, I knew I had to accept I would feel crappy until I didn’t. And that every downswing, every “low” comes up, even if just by a little.
Sure enough, I woke up feeling better. Even though I had a rushed morning (as much as I’m trying to kill the habit of waking up and going straight into work, it’s getting harder to get out of bed with my alarm), I had more energy.
Fast forward a productive and slightly overwhelming workday, I’m outside on my fire escape writing and unwinding. It’s t-shirt weather and the sun is making it hard to see the screen, but I want so badly to feel fresh air.
Through the sound of sirens, I hear an angry lawn mower growling, chimes tinkling, dogs barking, and the dribble of a basketball on a makeshift court. When the sirens stop, it feels “normal” for a moment. I think to myself: The chirping birds really just have NO IDEA DO THEY?!
So right now, I feel not just okay, I feel good. I’m on top of the curve.
I’m allowing myself to feel the depth of that even though it may not last the whole hour or day.
To not shorten it by anticipating the bad.
To stretch the feeling as much as possible, especially because I don’t know what what will come in the next few minutes.
That “not knowing” is largely what sends me into a tailspin. My body is at odds with trying to protect me and prepare me and the push and pull creates a sort of whiplash.
It comes after taking a break and then intaking intense news.
It comes after having an amazing catch up with friends and family and then fiercely missing their physical presence.
It comes after planning out a structure for my students and then finding out everything has changed, again.
It’s a lot. And if you’re feeling it, you’re not alone.
It’s okay to feel the ups and to be insanely grateful and then be down even though I was just counting my blessings.
There’s no script, no normal.
It takes WORK and energy to shift from a low to a high or to be hanging in the balance of those two drastic points.
As we fluctuate, let’s be gentle to ourselves and listen to what our bodies need. You and me– we’re doing the very best we can with what we have.