I was only three paragraphs into an article about the senatorial stalemate over the government shutdown and I was already stressed. My latent fear that we are all very near the edge of a cliff surges every time I read about the Oval Office Occupant. So cavalier, so crass; the news is never good. The mere mention of how the port-a-potties in Nat’l Parks are overflowing due to the lack of government staffing was too much. The metaphor of our crap piling high in forced neglect. This latest surge of fearfulness felt more like magma than simply a fizzy anxiety bubbling to the surface.
I suppose this is because I failed to choose a word for the year. This is likely my penance for not pressing my ear to the Universe more closely, asking her to whisper me my January mantra. Everyone else is so evolved! So zen and able to cope. I’m already a fail potato and it’s only January 6.
The more I thought about how one man’s job was affecting me, how I was allowing it to leverage power over my mental peace, the more resentful I became. I was letting the man with the orange pallor—whom I’ve never met—take something that wasn’t his. Therein I found my resolution, perhaps not one for the full year but at least until the frenzied feeling is no longer palpable. Because frenzied feelings that compel us to enact change are productive. But this one was incapacitating and that is not good for anyone.
Ergo, I resolve to tear a page out of my therapist husband’s playbook. This man, knocking on 40’s door, has the abs of a functionally fit college man. We hate him. We adore him. But we realize his physique is not by accident or genetic overblessing. I once asked him how he stays motivated to get up every day at o’dark thirty to complete a workout at a gym for which he doesn’t pay and for which no hired trainer is present. He said that because of the nature of his job, where he listens and contains the stories of adolescents dealing with trauma and grief and addiction, that, in order to be the best in showing up for them, he has to first show up for himself. And he does so at the gym.
So in this year, my 38th on this planet, I am showing up for myself in the following ways, so that I can further show the frenzied feelings compelled by Presidential Dysfunction that they have no power over me:
- Journaling briefly each day
- Doing the SheReadsTruth study on the Book of Luke as often as possible
- Plotting out my workout schedule each week so that I know when I am going to classes, when I am letting my walk with the dog suffice for the workout du jour
I am fully aware that this is such a White Overprivileged Lady thing to write, like, really? You are combatting injustice by putting on your yoga pants? But I’d like to believe that by showing up for myself and having a plan about where my energy will be spent, I will better be able to stand down the inequities that surface as well as more shrewdly allocate my time and resources toward resistance, because I’m already in command of them.
I’d love to hear how you are allocating your time and energy with intention and how it may make you a better activist in doing so.
Yours in not being a fail potato,