It happened to me a few weeks ago. Everything was ticking over nicely until one morning I woke up with weariness draped around me like a heavy cloak. Bone weary and mind mangled, all systems seemed to call for shut down and I hadn’t even got up!
Of course I had felt like this before and, no doubt, I will feel like it again. We all get tired of working, of waiting, of figuring things out. That morning, with weariness pressing down on me I just wanted to crawl under the duvet and hide but past experience taught me that it was better to just accept the slump knowing that this too shall pass. It’s was just a matter of… that frustrating word that makes us surrender to waiting… time. So I just rolled with the weariness and eased myself out of my resting place but not before I made a solemn promise to myself, ‘Handle yourself with care.’
So I did. I said ‘No’ to things that could wait till I was up and running on full par again. I drew comfort from simple things like baking with the kids and feeding the birds. In the middle of it all, my car packed up and we had to walk everywhere. I dreaded it at first. Little Missy isn’t really that fond of walking and Motley (he did share behaviour traits with that cute little Jungle book character at a time, hence his pet name) likes to run a lot, usually in the complete opposite direction from where I am going. In the end it turned out kind of fun. We saw things like the river and robins and met people we would not have met had we been in the car. I continued to do things I enjoyed. I let go by accepting and resolving, staying calm and forging on. Eventually little cracks of light filtered through my black mood and I knew I was on the home straight.
It took about five days. No one or nothing would have lifted the mood any sooner. Writing here in a completely different frame of mind I am not quite sure what worked. Maybe it was the faith of the people around me. Maybe it was the faith I didn’t know I had in myself. Maybe it was just showing up. Taking care of what I needed to take care of seemed to keep me focused and functioning.
If you find yourself in a bit of a slump or simply feel a little overwhelmed now and then, be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to simply be. When your body is tired, give it permission to relax without feeling guilty. Sleep when you need to. Take small, consistent steps forward, one step at a time, one breath at a time, one chore at a time. Eat good food. Walk in nature. Re-evaluate what matters most. Take time to list two or three things you are grateful for every day. Before you know it you will have a long list that you will be able to draw strength from during challenging times. If you have only one friend in the whole world, connect with that friend. We all need to feel cared for and appreciated. Find time for you. Barricade the door. Turn off those sources that continually tell us we are all doomed. Help yourself to a little peace and quiet. Don’t worry, if something really catastrophic happens, as sure as the tide turns, you’ll hear about it. Life takes its own path. We can only try to take the day, the task in hand, and find the heart in it. Therein lies the beauty of a life… yours and mine.
© Aileen McGee