Stay with me through this post. I am not writing it for pity, and I hope you don’t take it as such. I am trying to be as honest as I can about where I am in my constant exploration of strength, and sharing my personal discoveries with you. I hope they are helpful in your personal journey!
I am not healthy.
I’m not sleeping more than 5 hours a night, and I don’t think the jet lag lasts this long. My allergies are raging, no matter the environment. My stomach is turning inside out every time I eat anything.
I’ve pretty much put my body through the ringer with all the traveling and wedding stress and everything we’ve been through this past year. I’ve been going-going-going since last January without a trip to the surface for air… and honestly, I prefer it that way. I’m not too good at sitting still.
But it’s getting to me now. I don’t think it’s one of those times that I can just take a few days off and get over it. My body is forcing me to shut down.
I want to be with family. I want to go out and experience New England’s late fall and drink up the chilly air. I want to be present.
But I’m not here.
I’ve sunken into my shaky limbs and heavy eyelids. My appetite only perks up in the middle of the night, even though I feel empty. Yoga, which is usually my saving grace, left me spent to the point that I had to take a 3-hour nap afterwards to recuperate.
When I’ve felt worn down in the past, I’d just push through. I knew my body would catch up with me if I just willed my way into doing things.
Today, I realize through the experience of this extreme, that it’s not always the best choice. Today, that choice isn’t entirely available to me.
But it’s the holidays! I love this time of year!
I’m angry with my body for not being more enthusiastic. I’m frustrated with my mind for not functioning on all gears. And there’s nothing I can do about it right now except for rest and wait it out.
When it comes to strength, pushing through is not the only factor. Wisdom is just as important, as it teaches us when to fight, and when to leave it be. Being able to sit and wait for the storm to pass instead of stubbornly fighting through the thunder and rain, and knowing when that step is necessary, is wisdom.
Pushing through has gotten me pretty far, but the challenge I’m working through now is being able to… well… be. To be with what is and let go of control, like I wrote a couple weeks ago.
I’ve come to the point where what I want and what I need are two different things. Today, I’m choosing to want what I need.
So instead of posting something about Thanksgiving today, and all the things you can do to stay on track (if you’re looking for that, this post, this one, this one, and this one might be helpful), I’m going to leave this short post as it is, and urge you to take it easy on yourself this holiday season.
There are so many expectations around the holidays. Excitement is high and so is stress. Producing the perfect holiday is on everyone’s list this year. You may feel like you’re pushing through the entire next month and a half.
Maybe this year, you can let go of perfect. Maybe this year, you can want what you need, and if that makes your holiday unlike the way you’ve planned it, maybe that’s ok.
Maybe this year, you can remove the “maybe” and be sure that what you need is not to push through all the time. The holidays are a celebration of family, faith and peace. Let it begin within you with the simple act of listening to what you need.
I’m off to stop pushing for a little while. I’d love it if you’d join me.