Resilience

Hey there

Hey there.

Yes, you.

How’s it going? I mean, for real?

Yeah. Me too.

It’s exhausting. All of it. Like, so many good things are happening, and new possibilities are opening up, and also the world is a damned dumpster fire, and the rights we have fought for are being rolled back and democracy seems so fragile and COVID numbers are rising again and people I love keep dying and … it all seems too much.

I feel constantly behind right now. Like, there are so many things I need to be doing and I have no energy for any of them because I am just watching the world collapse around me and I told someone the other day it was like the collapse of Rome, but with Wi-Fi and Netflix.

I’m not sleeping well. I mean, I fall asleep OK, but I wake up at 4 AM and about half the time can’t go back to sleep. I just lay there and think about all the ways I am behind and the despair of it all and finally, I just get up and make breakfast because at least that is something I can focus on and accomplish.

The world is opening back up, but that doesn’t mean it’s wise to do it – people like my wife who don’t have functioning immune systems and kids under 5 who aren’t vaccinated, and oh, by the way, lots of folks still aren’t vaccinated and I guess they’ve just decided to hell with those vulnerable people.

So yeah. I get it.

What’s keeping you going these days?

For me, it’s nature. Every morning I make my coffee and go outside and walk around my yard. I look at what’s blooming and take pictures and watch the birds play at the feeder and I make gardens in my head. Later I will probably go for a walk – I like doing that more than swimming, now that it’s warm again. I love strolling through the neighborhood, checking in on my favorite trees and flowers, getting harassed by a tiny, but very vocal dog at the end of my street, and waving at people I do not know in their cars who wave at me first. It all makes me feel connected to the world, a part of something bigger than myself.

Oh yeah – I’m building a pond. Can you believe that? I mean, it’s a small pond, 6×10, but it is shallow – more of a huge birdbath, really, The birds love moving water – hell, so do I, when it comes to that. I am looking forward to watching the water splash on the rocks in the evening, after supper, when the sun is going down and the birds are singing. It won’t be long now.

Anyway. That’s what gets me through. Birds. Water features. Building gardens in my mind.

It’s my birthday in a few weeks – June 5th. I’ll be 50. That doesn’t make sense to me at all. But that’s probably a whole other letter.

But basically, I just wanted to check-in. To let you know that I know it’s hard right now. I see you, doing the best you can. I see you, hanging on.

I wish I knew something pastoral to say when it feels like the world is crumbling around you, but I don’t. At least not anything I haven’t said before.

Stay hydrated. Get plenty of sleep. No, more sleep than that. Eat good food, and preferably with people you care about.

Don’t let them steal your humanity – look for opportunities to help others, even if on the smallest of scales. Find humor where you can, and laugh as much as you can.

In the midst of powerlessness, search for things you can still control, and do that.

And remember that love always wins in the end. Always.

And if it seems like love didn’t win, it’s only because it isn’t yet the end.

Don’t give up, and don’t give in. And love really, really hard.

HH

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  • Mike Boyd
    May 27, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    Nice essay. Thank you.

    • Hugh
      May 27, 2022 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks, Mike!