If I had taken a poll of family and friends last night, I’d say judging by most of their photos or comments or posts that yesterday wasn’t the easiest one. It felt like everyone was in a bit of a funk, which makes me wonder about the collective sharing of funk – does every gorgeous summer day feel even more beautiful when it’s backed up by twenty photos of beach sunsets and flip-flopped feet? Does an average day start to sour when everyone posts photos of a quiet still life and a vague reference to a challenging afternoon? I’ve come to really value this circle of friends that laugh (out loud) at the funny vignettes and send virtual hugs at the tough ones. I’ve rallied numerous time to encouraging chants that march down the column below the fifty-third photo of study material piles I’ve posted in seven weeks. I’m grateful, so grateful, for the little connections throughout the day, although I am starting to wonder if all of our (social and life) cycles have started to sync.
Yesterday was kind of a tough day. I could probably list a dozen or more reasons why I was feeling like that – the days are shorter, and the night begins at four p.m. It was post-election day and pre-grand jury decision in a city that’s been anxious about both. I had another setback with my feet this week, an infection in the injured toe which requires a tough round of antibiotics that leaves me feeling tired and dizzy and with a strong metallic taste in my mouth that does not mix well with my morning coffee. I had an infection of a different sort in my computer at work, and I left work feeling annoyed and exposed. I plodded through the motions of the evening and put myself to bed a little earlier, with a book.
I’ve been finishing a lot of things lately, which should make me feel strong and capable and energized, but I think I’m really just more exhausted than I realized. I finished a big project at work this week, and sending it off felt exhilarating for a few moments, before I started to temper my excitement with thoughts that it wasn’t good enough or it took too long to finish. I was more excited to show up for my last test than to take it, and more excited to take it than to actually find out if I passed it. Passing earlier tests gave me a a boost of encouragement during the process, but sitting down at the table each night to do the work is the part I’m most proud of. Even I’ve grown tired of the affirmation process.*
These canopy climb pictures were taken a few weeks ago. I wasn’t at the event, but M and the girls were. I’m not entirely sure who took most of the pictures – it might have been the little one, since she was the only one not old enough to climb.
I remember when they came home from the climb – they told me how fun it was, and how difficult it was too. They went up thirty or forty or more feet, inching their way up little by little. When I took the pictures off the camera last night, I could remember that afternoon exactly. I remembered the huge list of things I needed to get through that day, and I rushed through them in the hours of quiet I had in the house by myself. I thought about all the times we have to harness up in this life and start the ascent, step over step over step, and I’m starting to wonder if the return back to the ground at the end might be just as valuable as the climb and the peak. My body seems to need this quiet settling, a little time to trace back through the days to see what I missed. Time to transition back to old roles that were temporarily suspended. I learned long ago that transitions are difficult for me, and I’ve become pretty good at tempering expectations when I’m in the middle of them.
But sometimes transitions are tricky to spot, they can sneak up on you in quiet ways, in the change of hours and light and energy. I need to spend a little more time firmly planted on the ground before the next ascent.
*tired perhaps, but still grateful. I’ve passed them all. Thank you all for your endless encouragement and virtual high fives.