Today, I’m breaking the silence. When I started this blog all those years ago, I named it “Finding Grace,” thinking it’d be about finding grace in the everyday. Finding it in others, for others. I realized, however, I wasn’t extending grace in the one place I needed it most, and that was toward myself. Without that, I have had nothing in my cup for anyone else.
And this, my friends, is the reason for the (very) long silence in this forum. During these blank years I’ve kept this blog online and gave myself excuses for why I’ve had nothing to say. I called it busyness. I called it distractibility. I called it priorities. But really, my cup emptied years ago. It started with drying up my words, and then it spread to my creativity, my sense of fun, patience for others, friends, family — my spouse. These months of COVID quarantine have only amplified this.
Lockdown in a 1,000 square-foot apartment with four people is not for the faint of heart. There is literally no place to go. We have been in each other’s faces 24/7 for so long. Managing work and remote school in this small space was all I could do on my best days.
There was no room for my feelings in this small home. There was only room to meet needs, hand in assignments, and soothe children who ache for normalcy to return. I tried to tell my personal needs to take a pause, I’ll have time for you later. But that’s not a long -term solution. I don’t know if you can relate …
My gasket blew more and more often as the months wore on. My response was to dig in deeper to the way things are, stuff my needs further down, paint the brave face, only now it was emotionless. It was practically stone, and my flexibility left me. By September, well, it wasn’t pretty. Was I the only one who still had not figured this out? Surely not. But it sure felt that way.
Then one day in late September I just blew up, or broke down — it depends on who you talk to. My husband sent me out for a walk. I didn’t want to go, but he said, it’ll make you feel better. I begrudgingly went because really I couldn’t think of any real reason not to.
I plugged in a podcast and I walked… and I’ve been walking and listening to podcasts, to music, to my own thoughts and feelings ever since. In fact, I’ve walked nearly 200 miles since that day and I’m finding my footing again.
I could blame the debacles of 2020 for a lot of things, but the truth is, this year tore down many of my walls. The distractions, the detractions, are gone. And I’ve been left at the table, staring at my empty cup. It’s time to deal with it. I’m filling it up, one step at a time.