That is me in the picture on the right. Pretty tired, exhausted even... Exhaustion, a noun, defined as extreme mental and physical fatigue. I am exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted, yet like all of us I have to get up everyday and find the energy to continue to show up. I was talking to my sister yesterday about this. She is a mother of 4 girls that I love so very much, a set of 1 year old triplets and a 4 year old. If anyone knows what it is to be exhausted she most certainly does. She asked me if I was resting and I told her I was. I mean I am resting. I’m sleeping at night but I wake up feeling tired. I told her it's like when you have a million tabs open on your computer and it starts getting slow. It might even drain your battery a bit faster. That’s the kind of tiredness I feel. That’s what makes me feel like I am played out like an eight track. She asked me what the tabs were and if I could start to close them. That was a great question because I hadn’t even begun to sit and think about it. I do know it all started with my transition back to the States.
There was something special about being away. It made me have to change up my day to day and make life more simple. I opted not to have a car in Europe so I walked everywhere. I only took ubers or taxis to and from the airport. Everything was so easy and accessible. I had everything I needed. I felt safe. That’s not to say my head wasn’t on a swivel while I was traveling alone, but I felt safe. There were no guns and people were eager to help. The energy was different. I felt happy everyday I walked through those massive wooden doors of my AirBnB to meet the rest of the world. I don’t feel that way here. I got back to the States and was reminded that black and brown people are not wanted here. The Buffalo shootings were heartbreaking. Thinking about the fact people were most likely just out getting their groceries for Sunday and how my father does exactly that on Saturday was tough. The babies who barely had time to experience life on this earth in Uvalde, senselessly killed. And the fact that people love guns more than human life is just disgusting to me. Exhausted
The overturning of Roe vs Wade was a slap in the face. I personally have never experienced an abortion or anything like it. But as an adult who can make my own decisions, I would like to know that if I was ever in a situation where it needed to be an option, I could choose. As a therapist, as a friend, as a human being I have sat with people who have experienced them. And I am here to tell you that no one I have ever sat with who chose that experience did it because it was cool. The wrestling and fear, the uncertainty, the fear of regret were all present. The reasons that the option was chosen were based on what was best for the person. And guess what? The person still deals with what was chosen in their own way. As people, as women shouldn’t we get to choose what is best for us? Exhausted
And now for a vulnerable turn, there is love and dating. For the last several years I have really leaned into figuring myself out in various ways. I spend a lot of time alone reflecting and working on healing past traumas, negative thoughts, and just being a better person for myself and for others. While I was in Venice, something I was able to really acknowledge and truly accept is a deep desire to do life with someone. Not just anyone but with someone who is aligned with me and vice versa. I don’t want to do everything alone. I want to experience life with someone. I want to share my life with someone. I’m at a place where I can be alone and be completely okay. I’m also at a place where I deeply desire someone to share these amazing experiences with. It has proven difficult to cross paths with that person but I continue to be hopeful and wrapped in good energy and high vibrations that they will show up. Exhausted
Work, work, work, work, work, work… Rihanna made a song about it. I feel like I bring that song to life. Sometimes I feel like the amount of work I put into my businesses should be yielding so much more. The time and energy alone is a lot and it can be hard to stop and rest when you know things need to be done and when you know that things could be getting done. I think that's what I miss most about Europe. I worked while I was away, but there was a stopping point because the environment I was in was conducive to relaxation and rest. Gelato on the bridge under the sun on the weekends, people watching on the patio over pasta, strolls at dusk to catch the sunset were all ways of stopping and it seemed like this was the way of life for many which made me want to join in. Realizing that those are really moments I need I have had to step back and figure out what this can look like for me here at home. It involves moving to another part of the city where things are accessible like the Farmer’s Market, similar to the markets I visited in Firenze and Venezia. I’m excited to be in a different space and to create new and different routines. I am hopeful that this brings a new perspective to and around work and my work life balance. Exhausted.
And then there are the random tabs of life running in the background. Moving requires making time to pack, selling things, hiring movers, and getting rid of the things I have accumulated the past 7 years. Living amongst boxes as I prepare to transition and continuing to juggle all of the important things while working. Exhausted
So what do we do when we are exhausted???
1. We have grace and compassion with ourselves.
This is a hard one for me. I am someone who wants to get it done and likes to have it done. I am someone who just wants it to be done already. And then there are times that I just can’t. Sometimes so many tabs are open and it's hard to close them like the ones that you are constantly reminded of and affected by (gun violence, the hatred of BIPOC people, Roe vs Wade, and so on). Sometimes we have to rest because if we don’t we really won’t be able to keep going.
2. We prioritize.
I like to say there is no such thing as a balance but there is such a thing as priorities. Prioritize the important things. It may be resting that you need to prioritize. It may be work. It may be joining a demonstration to use your voice to speak up for your rights as a human being.
3. We rest.
Whatever it looks like for you, do it. It may be a nap. I could be relaxing on the couch watching a show or reading a book. I may be taking a trip or checking into a hotel to get out of your normal environment. I may even be gathering your closest friends for a day of catching up and enjoying each other’s company. Whatever rest looks like for you, engage in it.
4 . We remain hopeful.
Sometimes this can zap our energy when it feels like the things we want are not coming to fruition. When the things we are fighting for feel so out of reach our faith wavers. Without hope we don’t have much. When hope wavers take a break. Take extra good care of yourself. Wrap yourself in all of the love and positive energy. Ask for what you need.
My hope for you is that you can find ways to close your tabs. If it is hard for you like it is for me it probably means that it is something that would be good to be curious about. We were not made to live a life of exhaustion. We were made to live a life of happiness, connection with the Universe and others, and a life in which we thrive. Let's figure out what that looks like for us on this journey. Be curious. Be courageous. Be great. Love and light to you today and everyday.