The Drawbridge

Sometimes Life Tells You: You need to stop!

I’ll be hitting on metaphors and “signs” today, so if that’s not something you’re interested in, I understand. I’m also going to keep it real, because let’s face it, sometimes life is just plain hard. Thanks to a pandemic, skyrocketing cost of living and a million other challenging things, the world has become a pressure cooker. Some days, (many days) I think I’d like to ship off to a quiet spot on a remote beach, live in a shack, and never come back (but I digress).

You firing on all cylinders at all times like me? Does the world feel like overwhelm at most times? Getting a little snappy, impatient or just plain angry lately? Yep, me too. MANY other people in the world are too. Have you noticed? I’m sure you have. Its a tough place to be right now. Sometimes, a deep breath isn’t enough. Sometimes, the cup just boils over. In spite of our best attempts to be kind, patient human beings, things can get a little sideways. I’ll be the first to admit, I try hard, but don’t always succeed at keeping it together. I’ve talked to so many others that feel the same way, and there is no shortage of examples of less-than-ideal human behavior lately.

I’ll spare you the details of my sour mood (nobody needs to hear that- y’all have your own shit to deal with), but I had a pretty rough week (ok, rough month). I have not been my best self, let’s just say.

In my worst moment, I decided I needed to do something about it. Exercise is always helpful, and so is music, so I did that. A four mile “wog” on the beach in Florida, accompanied by some seriously loud rock in my ears was a good start. I am also a big fan of asking the universe for a sign when I need to, and asked on this day. The universe almost always delivers. This time, I asked for something to help me out of this challenging time. Not 3 minutes later, I was faced with a drawbridge, which forced me to stop and take a look around. Stop, and pull your head out of its spinny, angry moment and take it all in. It was literally and figuratively what I needed. Just STOP Sarah! Stop “doing”, stop stressing, stop being so damn grumpy, stop with the busy mind, just STOP! So I did.

Since that time, I’ve been tuning in and giving myself what I need. Fresh air with a friend? Check. Yoga to feel better after a long travel week? Check. Yes to lunch with a friend? Check. Good sleep? Check. Getting stuff done on my to-do list that is NOT work-related? Check. And guess what, the work’s still getting done. 🙂 But I had to make a conscious effort here. I’ve had to really work at it, and it hasn’t been easy. But I tuned in, I listened, I got up and I did the work. I’m not back to roses and sunshine, but I’m a heck-of-a-lot better than I was a few days ago.

What I am suggesting, my sweet friends, is that you get up when you don’t want to, and keep trying when you don’t want to. Forgive yourself for being less than perfect (!!!). Just try harder next time. Tune in, answer the call of what your body, your mind, and perhaps your loved ones are telling you. No one else is going to do this for you. They literally can’t. It’s up to you. Life’s hard sometimes, but you got this!

Thoughts for the day: Get up and do the thing. You’ve overcome hard things before, you can do it again. One foot in front of the other, sometimes literally. Coming through challenges makes us stronger. People in the world are also having a hard time. Acknowledge that, acknowledge them and do your best. By definition, you are a human, and therefore imperfect. Own it and be the best version of a human you can be. And if you aren’t your best, get up and try again.

Love to you all.

“It is easier to act yourself into a better way of feeling, than to feel yourself into a better way of action”. O.H. Mowrer, Psychologist , behavior therapy researcher.

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