Protip - Do not self diagnose via internet searches. Here are some resources if you are in crisis in the US.
I've been up since five am. Yesterday I was up at three am. Binge watching Chinese soap operas has not helped the situation. I think I am checked out. Somehow I managed to spend almost three hours in bed pretending to sleep, read an ebook, play Wordle, Globle, Dungeons and Dragons, fret about my blog, receiving imaginery messages that said "get here", scrolled LinkedIn, and snuggled with my little one. Names have power and admitting that I am checked out gave the power to take a tiny action towards checking in. Step one. Coffee. Since I am up making coffee, I may as well feed my sourdough starter. Step two. Human connection. Get a hug from my kid. Oh no! I promised my friend we would play today. Okay, okay, step three, write my blog and reward myself with play.
My friend and I were talking about how movies like The Color Purple and Joy Luck Club hit differently where we are now. When your innocence is lost, you gain access to a wider range of emotions. It has been a heavy week. There is war on all fronts; war in Ukraine, war against accurate history, war against trans children, war against people with disabilities, and the continued war against Black existence. What right do I have to worry about anything or to want to veg and watch soap operas? Life does not have to be either or. Many things can be true at once. We can choose how we respond to our loss of innocence. Even then, we are not locked into that action. If you have chosen to check out, you can check back in. The world is already cruel, you do not need to be cruel to yourself. Instead of judging yourself, evaluate what is happening. "Evaluations are expansive in nature; judgments are constrictive. Evaluations give you freedom of choice; judgments limit your behavior and the behavior of others. Evaluations merely state what "is" in a neutral, objective manner. Judgments indicate an opinionated, subjective value."
Playing the martyr will not help the situation. You can't pour water from an empty cup is cliched but it still holds true. Yes, there is suffering and horrible things going on, and though you may want to don a hairshirt, how does that help the situation? Self care is vital when everything around you appears to be in turmoil. If you have the privilege of a safe place, pause and take a moment to be grateful. I know I have to take my own advice before my body takes a more serious course of action. People are depending on me. When is the last time you did something for you? I like to spend time in nature. I think I am going to go to the park after this post and go hug a tree. What will you do after you read this post?
Death is inevitable, but we do not have to hurry it along. Checking out will not slow its progress and in fact may hasten it along. Lately I often find myself thinking about opting out. Can you imagine calling your boss and telling them, "sorry I can't come in today, I really need to know what happens between Shan Shan and Handsome Qi." "Sorry my cat really needs some quality time." I could do that, but I do not think I want to deal with those repercussions. Sticking my head in the sand is only a temporary relief. Facing things head on with your eyes open is scary, but I think leaving something unknown and in the shadows allows your mind to create something more horrible. It's like when they reveal the monster in the third act. Rarely is it as terrifying as what you imagined. I know that if I run away, I will end up in the same situation in a different place. Last week, I discussed surrender. I allowed myself to sink, and I have emerged and continue to swim to shore. Check in, we need you.
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