I have been meaning to type in this box for a long time. For a year, in fact.
I see that the last time I wrote, I asked 2014 for more quietness. I will not ask the same of 2015.
I started my New Year’s blog yesterday, carefully laying out the
excuses valid reasons for my absence from writing. The theme of yesterday’s blog was intense, as in, 2014 did NOT deliver a more mundane year. It was a crazy chain of events, both self-inflicted and bestowed upon me, that has left me mentally exhausted. AND my feet hurt. In yesterday’s blog, I wanted wit, insight and yes, an ounce of sympathy for my weary soul, in 300-600 words.
whining musings, I got a Skype call from one of my closest friends. She recently returned from her Doctors without Borders assignment in South Sudan. Her husband is currently in Liberia. His only Christmas wish was that we pray for the lives of 4 children in the treatment center who fell sick after watching their father die. Talk about dumping a truckload of perspective on my Christmas wishes; two uninterrupted days without plans or kitchen time; winter running tights, more coconut Lindt balls…
I reread my words through critical eyes. They tell me that despite mental exhaustion being relative, I’m barely scratching the surface.
I think back on 2014. To a year’s worth of conversations with tired, angry employees who kill their knees standing 8-10 hours on hard, cold concrete; pissed that their socioeconomic status clumps them into that category of “well, clearly you’re just not working hard enough”. …to conversations with quiet men who are watching the light quickly leave their wife’s eyes…with women who don’t know how to leave. Staring at nicotine-stained fingertips, wondering why they pick another carton over heating their house.
I see a picture on Facebook of an old friend with her sister, the one she lost two years ago today. What would that year be like? I stop my brain from going there…
Conversations, images that leave me numb. And humbled. Vicarious learning that prevents me from declaring, “Holy shit guys, have I had an INTENSE year!!”
I’ve had a busy year. I’ve had some incredible moments, chronic challenges and a few painful episodes. But I realize most of us (I am not alone in this) tend to exaggerate what is truly “intense” and ‘mentally exhausting” and what actually, really sucks. I look back on 2014 and know that I have a good life. I hit bumps in the road, but it’s fairly well-paved.
I will not ask 2015 to be gentle, I know better. I will ask myself to stay open to perspectives that keep my self-induced chaos in check.
I end this year with a lesson in hope and prayer. My friend in Liberia got his Christmas wish. Statistically, this is miracle, but all four siblings are Ebola-free and with their mother.
May this new year find you healthier, happier and sometimes, humbled.