Back to Work 2/365

I'm a trauma therapist, so I like to offer one weekend day just in case the work needs some recovery time —trauma work can be pretty dysregulating. For the past six months or so (well, since I stopped working six days a week, which was after 2020 which I spent working seven days a week), I've been working Sunday through Thursday. Today was my first day of work this year.

I was reminded of two things.

First, I was reminded that I am blessed, blessed, blessed to do this work with these people. My clients are incredibly brave --willing to show up every week and address issues and events they've been carrying (sometimes for decades) simply because they believe there is a better way to be in the world. What an amazing and hopeful thing to do! On the days when I am heartsick at hearing their stories, the breathtaking resilience of the human spirit keeps me awed and honored to do this work with them. I have seen miracles of healing happen.

Second, we are creatures of procedural memory. I've been saying this for about a year --ever since we shut down due to the pandemic and lost all of our procedures for doing things like going grocery shopping or eating out or, um, driving. (Or, say, common courtesy. I'M JUST SAYIN'.)

Even now that the world has opened back up a bit, we are still trying to figure out procedures for doing things that used to be second nature to us. And figuring out new procedures is calorically very expensive for the brain and therefore *exhausting*. We are all so tired. And we have such little patience for being tired in this culture. 

I'm really struggling with that last thing. After five years of hard work going to graduate school, and getting all of my hours in order to be fully licensed, and renovating a house, and fighting cancer, and launching kids, I have forgotten how to just be. I've forgotten how to sit with stillness. I have forgotten who I am when I am not overwhelmed and hyperfocused. I was sick over the holidays and all I could think as I was lying in bed with the flu was how much I needed to get done and I was spending my rare week off doing nothing. 

Y'all, I've forgotten how to human, much less how to human while tired.

So that's part of my intention for this year: to reconnect with the parts of me that have nothing to do with productivity. To remember how to be fully present. To be more than what I do. To learn to rest without guilt.

Baby steps.

Daily gratitude: tea, a loving partner, Sudafed


ccr in MA said…
Mm hmm, I have been there! I even felt it a bit last week, that I didn't "get things done" on my vacation, even though it was because my brother was visiting. It's hard to let go of that feeling, but so good for us when we can do it.
psam ordener said…
I used to feel guilty when somebody else in the house started rummaging for food in the kitchen. I would jump up and offer to fix something for them. Or if I saw one of them sweeping up something, I felt guilty because I should be doing that. But now, living with adult males who have proven themselves competent, I stay in my recliner and keep reading my book or crocheting or just enjoying the cat in my lap. It has taken me about ten years to get here, though, and this blog helped me along the way. Thanks, Barb.
Georgi said…
I have missed your blog posts, they always inspire me.
Anonymous said…
By resting you are inspiring all of us to rest. I kind of hate to point this out, as it makes your unproductive time…productive…

Unknown said…
I have to remember to do that as well. I have embarked on a new career in 2021, because I had to thanks to covid. I am trying to build it bigger this year and will definitely have to remember to live in the moment and enjoy some quite time for myself.
Jen B said…
After almost two years of this pandemic, I am exhausted. For once, I did not plan projects of any kind during winter break. I just rested and spent time with my household and did the things that felt right to me (yoga, walks, embroidery and other pleasurable sewing projects, reading, and just a whole lot of rest.