Be more Relentless than the Relentlessness
Lately, when a certain someone pokes my shoulder at 7:01 or 6:23 or 5:45 (it’s a fun little game we like to play at my house – when will the 5 year-old get us up today?), one word pops into my head: Relentless.
Before you start playing the world’s tiniest violin for me and my inconsequential complaints, I’ll go on record to say that I realize I’m beyond lucky. I don’t currently have to worry about health, jobs, food, or shelter. Because of the many privileges I carry I’m not subjected to the inequities that so many individuals face. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Endlessly.
And yet, also….oh my goodness. As I look ahead to an uncertain summer and fall and get a whiff of that special soup of tween/teen moods with some 5 year-old tantrums and stagnant afternoon heat sprinkled in, the pout comes right back. Pretending it's not there isn't going to make me stop feeling it, I'll just feel more ashamed and keep shoving it down as resentment grows.
Though eventually this virus will relent and over time our lives will go back to some semblance of normalcy, in the day-to-day it's hard to trust that. Some days it wears me down, especially when my reserves are low, I’ve had poor sleep the night before, the weather isn’t cooperating, and neither are my children. It's mysterious how one day I can feel optimistic and grateful and ready for anything, and the next I can barely make it until after lunchtime when I "let" my daughter watch her daily marathon of babysitting tv so I can get some work done, or time alone without being needed.
Here's the thing: no matter how hard or easy this time is for you, it might also feel relentless. Moreso than anything we've collectively experienced before. Whether you’re struggling to keep your sanity while simultaneously managing a very full household, or you’re feeling lost without your normal social and work structures, schedules, and friend time – this is hard.
What can we do?
We have to be more relentless.
We have to dig our heels in on the things that keep us healthy and safe and sane. Don’t let yourself be worn down when it comes to your personal blend of corona self-care. For me, that means spending time outside every single day, strengthening my body and getting my heart rate up at least a few times a week, making space for quiet practices of reconnecting (yoga, breath, meditation, rest) whenever I can, and carving out both uninterrupted work time and family time where I can fully listen and look into the eyes of my dear husband and kids to share a story or a laugh. It means checking on those I love and showing gratitude in small ways to those essential heroes at the grocery store, in delivery vehicles, hospitals, everyone who is brave enough to work in service of others right now.
If you’re feeling the weariness, you’re not alone. It’s okay to be tired from the relentlessness. Just don’t give up.
Get up, breathe deeply, and keep showing up for yourself and those you love.
We will get through this.