January 8, 2019 is today:
I finished work early today because we are at capacity and have taken everything as far as we can as best we can and the energy around it all is good, but I have no more choices to offer, and no more support that I am able to give any new arrivals at this time. I read several articles in the Time magazine special on mental health, then I went to the library and was kicked out at closing just before 9pm. It was a good day and time well spent. I came home to a warm space and had toast for dinner and listened to the radio, jotted a few lines in my journal and jumped into bed to start this project which has come forth of it’s own volition and will not be silenced.
Ideas were boiling over in my brain on my departure from the library, about Christmas, and friends and feelings, work and movies and music and how ridiculously cold and dark it gets this time of year when the sun goes down.
I don’t want to lock myself away. I want to inspire confidence and give a voice to what I experience. I spend so much of the day holding space for others’ words and experiences and I know that is vital and important work that gives people an avenue of expression and acceptance, empowers and inspires positive change. That is an amazing thing to be a part of every day; to work with a team so dedicated to helping others. To help change the world for the better, one person, one step at a time. You are not alone. The world is better with you in it!
All this to say that I feel I should give myself the time and space and words to bring my own experiences forward and acknowledge them and let people in a bit more. Hard to do as an introvert, the letting people in. For me, finding time, space and words is less of a challenge. But it is something I want to be mindful of.
Take Christmas, for example. I was home for a week, and it was one of the best holidays I can remember. My terrier, T was in good spirits, as were all of the family and friends I connected with. ‘Eat, drink and be merry’ as the saying goes, and everyone did. The tree was beautiful, the food was indescribably good, the celebrations superb and the company the best.
Stress evaporated on exiting the office, leaving the city, and being unplugged. All the pitfalls and planning associated with my usual existence were seen to, or ceased to be relevant: Sleep (no problem), Get food and remember to eat it (done), Shine a light on Mental health, keep the team in the loop and the database current (n/a, Deferred to January 2019), Pay bills (done), Housekeeping and Communications (done), Schedules and Transportation (n/a; we have lots of time, cars and drivers!), R+R (tunes, beach, friends, bliss, DONE). But I did crash at the end of the pier.
I was so cold, and everyone was talking so loud and fast, and after days of excitement and extroverted activities lined up like dominos (which was amazing) I needed to recharge under a blanket with a book and when that didn’t happen, I barely had enough energy to keep putting one foot in front of the other. A similar scenario repeated on my return to Sami Central on the 29th. After packing and goodbye-ing, travelling, shopping, sharing lunch and unpacking, Mom and Dad seemed happy and in no hurry to leave me, which was both pleasantly surprising and rather exasperating. Because countless times I have wished for a happy, relaxed, visit with my parents in a safe space of my own. But just then couldn’t think of anything more fantastic than falling immediately asleep in my living space as it’s sole occupant without any further activities, obligations or responsibilities left to tackle for the remainder of the day or the one following it.