What are you up to this weekend?
I'm spending it in Colorado(!)
Thursday I kissed my husband, gave pets to everyone furry, and drove from Iowa to Fort Collins. Our neighbors have a condo there and share it with friends. So, for the next week, I'll be doing my favorite workout, going for walks at different parks, visiting new coffee shops, and re-finding my zen
After that, I'm heading to Billings, Montana, to visit my daughter and grandsons for a few days. Fall is my favorite time of year, this part of the world is beautiful, and I need some mental R&R
It all sounds so wonderful at the time. Yes, I'd love to join the community garden. Yes, I'd love to help a friend-of-a-friend. Yes, I'd love to sign up for classes. Yes, I'll lead the big project at work. Yes, let me help make your business a success. Yes, I'd love to help with the fundraiser. Yes, to the weekend getaway.
It all sounded perfect
Until it didn't sound perfect
The days grew fuller, and the nights grew longer. I wasn't sleeping, and work wasn't working. While my husband was kind enough to stay mum, he was starting to look at me like maybe my brain was on the fritz (ps: Quite honestly, I was too)
All of the things I'd circled on the calendar in bright colors, started to pale.
So I started doing the strong/not-strongest thing I knew how to do. I started canceling. Heartfelt emails and phone calls that told the truth. I couldn't muster the strength to show up
— — —
The truth is, these days I don't really want to to be strong anymore. I think that perhaps strong/not-strong is the sweet spot, the place where strong doesn't mean holding your breath and plowing through. Where being strong means, you'll certainly look weak while you're doing it
Kind of like pilates, where you move your leg just a little bit in one direction, how hard it hurts after just twenty seconds. “Never underestimate the power of your own body weight,” the instructor says. The class keeps moving. Amazed at how effortless it must look to an outsider, but how hard it is when you're doing it.
How weak it looks / how strong it is
Of course, everyone understands. They celebrate my honesty, and go forth with their weekend brunches, find other people to help with their projects, and share the spoils of the garden.
It wasn't until I had lunch with a friend. She encouraged me to keep going and applauded me for not making up an excuse to cover up the truth. I realized, yes. This is what we do, isn't it?
We make excuses, attempting to maintain the relationship, avoid hurt feelings, or just keep the peace. Sweep it under the rug. “We can't leave the puppies home alone” and “Work has been crazy” Or any other armor we're able to put on, helmets of excuses, shields of schedules
Sometimes we’re not even strong enough to muster an excuse. We push through and show up bruised heart, limp smile, and we come home feeling more battered than refreshed. Less rested, more frazzled. No good to the people we love, and certainly not to ourselves
I'm not the best at a lot of things. I'll never turn down a cheese plate if our neighbor makes his salsa I'll eat the whole thing (every time). I'll never be the friend who handcrafts you a bouquet of flowers. But I'm about to get really good at being strong / not-strong. After all ..
we should never underestimate the power of our own weight
Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope it's a happy one. xo
(Featured image photo credit: Wikimedia – Mount Elbert as seen from Turquoise Lake, Colorado)