Social Distancing Week 44…Spontaneous Tears

Friday, January 15, 2021…12:49pm

The end of week 44 – also the week that the weight of the world finally found a way through protective barrier I’d built around my heart and months worth of stored up tears poured out over the course of an afternoon.

For reals.

I started spontaneously crying late morning on Wednesday and never really stopped until I went to sleep that night. 44 weeks of running on fumes and having to repeatedly pivot to new ways of doing life/parenting/work, combined with angst surrounding national security in the wake of the attempted insurrection, anxiety over new and more aggressive COVID variants, the close-but-not-close-enough promise of being vaccinated, and deep concern about the current state of my eldest child’s fragile mental health all collided in slow motion. The final straw? A casual review of some analytics on YouTube screaming at me that the most recent reinvention I implemented at work in an attempt to meet the needs of the families in my ministry, showed me that it was time to reinvent – again. Cue the spontaneous and quiet tears.

I realize that in the cosmic scheme of things, my breaking point was fairly unspectacular. I am deeply thankful for that truth, but it is also true that I am stretched to my limit and the circumstances that brought me here do not seem to be changing anytime soon. I’m tired, and cranky, and angry, and frustrated. It’s not pretty. Thoughts and prayers are definitely in order for my husband and kids.

With a little distance from my tear-stained face, I’ve realized that the best thing I can do right now is to own the space I’m in and use it to rest. I am remembering and relearning the lesson that not all things are mine to do and that if I don’t spend time caring for my own needs, there is nothing I can do to help help others. (Cue all the worn out metaphors about self care…but their worn out because they are true.)

So here’s to some rest – rest from the doom and gloom news cycle, rest from racing toward the next reinvention of how to make my work actually work, rest from trying to predict how my child’s current mental health will alter the trajectory of their life, rest from constant doing as a way to hold off the big feelings, and rest from trying to maintain the illusion that it’s all okay. Rest, and probably more tears.

Be well my friends.

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