Posts Tagged ‘exhaustion’

The past few weeks have been horrible.  I’ve felt pulled in too many directions, unable to speak of my exhaustion and find the word “no”.  It’s all come crashing down, with overwhelming fatigue, loss of joy and the inability to find joy in anything.

Recognizing that something was wrong, I started examining my life.  My diet has been horrible as of late.  I’ve not been drinking as much water as I should.  I’ve not been doing yoga.  I’ve not even been breathing properly…it’s only recently that I’ve learned there’s a right and wrong way to breathe.  I’ve been filling myself with artificial sweeteners, processed convenience food and empty calories.  And it needs to stop.

I’ve stopped expressing myself, writing in a journal.

I’ve stopped doing things for me.

I’ve stopped living…and now it’s time to start again.

I’ve found a lovely water bottle that is fun, funky and functional.  I carry it with me most all of the time and I drink 8 cups of water a day.

I’m going to buy a new journal and write in it, most every day.

I’m going to slow down and prioritize and put myself back on the damn list…towards the top.

I’m going to spend time every day outside, whether walking, breathing or simply being.

I’m going to be healthy again.

I’m going to be me again.

I’m excited.

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This past couple of weeks has been nothing short of chaos.  Trying to get bulletins together, work on homilies, home communions, home visits, catching up with friends, scheduling medical appointments and surgical consultations.  And then there’s time needed for sleep.

This morning I drove to a community nearly an hour away.  I met a friend I had not seen in 10 years.  I wasn’t sure she would recognise me or that I would recognise her.  I was 15 minutes early and as I walked into the restaurant I saw her beautiful smile.  We hugged, she cried (she’s a crier) and were a flurry of hands and excited words…”been so long”…”how I’ve missed you”…”you look so good”…the poor server couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

We ordered our lunch, and continued talking. Yes, we did manage to eat while the food was hot, but more importantly, we reconnected, in a place where it seems we just pressed pause.  There was no awkwardness, there was no hesitation, we were simply two friends reconnecting after a decade.  Before we parted we set a date to meet again, in two months.  And on air I drove home. Through construction, ignorant drivers, road-blocks…none of it mattered.  Not even the migraine that had been plaguing me most of the day.

I got home and looked at the still unfinished pile of stuff on my dining room table.  And I turned my back on it.  I’m not afraid if the pile stays untouched.  I met my daughter-by-marriage as she got off the school bus and she chatted in 3 word sentences about her day.  “Didn’t do much”…”no homework, yeah!”…”where is Christmas?”  Every year my in-laws get together for a family Christmas.

Usually it’s held the first Saturday or Sunday in December, to coincide with Dutch Christmas and the coming of St. Nicholas and Black Peter.  I was in Florida so it has been rescheduled to this Sunday afternoon.  This Sunday is Advent IV.  There’s still so much to get ready for Christmas Eve.  But it will wait – I will not be afraid.

I went for a nap that ended up being 2 1/2 hours long.  My headache is not gone, but is much better. I decided to fold the bulletins for 4, 7, 11 pm Christmas Eve, for Christmas Day, our Boxing Day baptism and Christmas I.  They are folded and at the Church.  For the first time ever, I came to Church in my pajamas.  Now granted, I wear PJ’s for the Pajama Mass every Christmas Eve at 4:00, but tonight I am here with bedhead, in a ratty old sweatshirt and flannel PJ bottoms.  And I’m not afraid.

I changed the sign outside and used the short-form Xmas.  I know I’ll get at least one message on the Church phone that I have done wrong.  But I am not afraid.

Sensing a pattern here?

I wrote my article for the local paper today that will be published on Tuesday as Wednesday, the usual publication day, is Christmas Eve.  In the article I talked about the appearance of angels and how they always say “be not afraid” to whomever they encounter.  If you think about it, it makes sense.  The angels that appeared in scripture were grown men, with wings, suspended.  THAT would be terrifying!

Angels delivered messages, not all of them good.  The angels in the Christmas story appeared first to Mary to tell her she would conceive a bear a son who would be the Messiah.  They appeared to Joseph to tell him the Mary’s baby was God’s and he would raise the child as his own. They appeared then to the Shepherds, announcing the amazing arrival of the newborn baby who would save the world!  And so they ran to see this remarkable thing that had happened.

Angels appear in both the old and new testaments.  Arguably, the angels heralding the arrival of the Messiah are the most memorable.  And as they trumpeted glad tidings, and called on their choir, they said simply “Be not afraid”.

So with all the busy-ness of this season, my desk is a mess and so is my office.  I will not be afraid.  The living room and dining room at home look like a fur covered bomb went off…and I will not be afraid.

There will be time for cleaning, but there will also be time for friends and family.  And together, unafraid, we will heed the words of the angels who gathered to announce the arrival.  The angels never said “clean your house first”, they said “be not afraid, I’ve got something awesome for you to see!”

So be it.

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The month of October is turning into a logistical nightmare.  Our Diocesan Clergy Conference is generally held in late September, but because of the Guest Speaker’s availability, it was changed to the end of October.  And that’s great.  The Rural Ministry Symposium runs every other year at the end of October.  And that’s also great.  Traditionally I take 10 days vacation around thanksgiving.  And that’s awesome.

However, this year, they all run together.  I came home today, a day early, to get laundry done, see my family, and clean the house.  Yay.  I leave on Wednesday for Clergy Conference which concludes on Friday, then I preach on Sunday and am heading out for the Rural Ministry Symposium a week from tomorrow (Monday).

Insanity.  Trying to get anything finished is daunting.  The 10 days I had away are already wearing thin.  I don’t know if I need more time in a day or a better way of dealing with the increasing pile on my plate.  Perhaps I need a bit of both.  Anyway, I have a very little bit of downtime before I’m back on the run again.  Thanks be to God, I have a reliable vehicle.  Who’s theme song for the month of October is…”On the Road Again”…

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