I hit a wall this week.
I’ve been overwhelmed, super irritable, snapping and freaking out over nonsense, and exhausted.
So, so exhausted.
It must be going around, because I’ve had conversation after conversation this week with people who are feeling the exact same way.
Even with vaccines on the horizon, any kind of recognizable normalcy still feels very far away. Meanwhile we’re still home all the time, with no escape from work, parenting, lack of privacy, or total isolation, depending on the circumstances. It’s hard to stay engaged with what’s happening in the world without also feeling as though there’s no escape from the news, which is so often distressing and worrying.
No wonder we’re burnt out. I couldn’t even get through yoga this morning without stopping a few times to get into child’s pose and cry.
A few hours later, bolstered by breakfast and a long shower and some deep breaths, I thought back to a prayer that a friend sent me in the fall.
I’d reached out to her at another tough moment—a really tough moment—asking whether she knew of a prayer that I might call upon in the absence of knowing “what to say” myself. I grew up with prayer, and my yoga practice continues to imbue my life with a sense of devotion to something sacred, but it’s been a long time since I actually prayed.
My friend had a few suggestions for me, and they were all very special. I’ve turned to each of the verses that she mentioned a few times since that exchange happened. And I’ve been able to formulate some words of my own.
But here’s the prayer that feels right today, in this third week of January 2021, at this moment of profound, collective exhaustion. It’s “For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing,” by John O’Donohue. You can read it in full, if you think it might resonate. Here’s one passage that hits home for me:
Joy, slow time, a return home to the self—those things seem very far away for me today. But I know what they feel like, and I know that I’ll feel them again.
That’s the best thing I can say to anyone else today: circumstances may continue to be quite difficult for a while, but the way we feel about them is going to change. We’ll get through this.
And in the meantime, we can take refuge in a blessing, a prayer, a song, a poem, a TV show, or a funny meme. Whatever works.
Take care of yourselves, everyone. Happy Sunday. Here are some recipes and reads.
Vegan Wellington has never seemed like an easy prospect to me, but I trust Amanda!
I’m loving the crispy exterior of Eva’s buffalo baked tofu wings.
A slice of Britt’s red velvet bundt cake is just what the doctor ordered this week.
1. Pandemic experiences from around the world.
2. On being an absolute beginner for life.
3. A sobering look at how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted children’s mental health.
4. Promising news for treatment of life-threatening peanut allergies (with possible implications for other severe food allergies).
5. Loved reading about Jess Wade’s efforts to shift Wikipedia in a direction that includes more entries about scientists from under-represented communities.
Hang in there. And I’ll be back tomorrow with pasta for all of us 🙂
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