just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
TOPICAL: this is part of The Cycle of the Seasons series
In many ways, having arrived at the halfway point of twelve days feels kind of like the false security of having got to the top of a rollercoaster, combined with the sudden realization that what’s next is a very fast, unstoppable drop. It’s fun and it’s terrifying, which is ostensibly part of the thrill (I think, I cannot handle what my body does with the cortisol produced by roller coasters, so I haven’t been on one in decades).
Halfway through makes me very glad I’ve been in therapy throughout this year. If I don’t continue unpacking my messiah complex, it steers me into blind spots and I become overconfident.
Halfway through challenges my assumptions about how much I can do; and how much I can’t, and where is the wibbly bit between those two things.
Halfway through means WE’RE DOING IT but also OH MY GOD THERE’S MORE.
I am proud of all of us for how much work and heart and sweat and love we are putting into what we’re doing right now. We are trying hard and we are sending messages when we’re nearing our capacity to say ‘I think I need a break,’ while at the same time understanding that there might not be someone who can take some of our plateful of things for now.
I am once again reminded that our anxiety — which kicks up when things get hard — wants us to hide forever but also to say yes to everything. Because we could, right? We could do that. Pile another thing on. I got this. I’M SO GOOD AT MULTITASKING. I’M PLAYING FOUR-DIMENSIONAL CHESS.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
I have the privilege of being trusted by my little family of people. They know that I am going to do my best, and they know that I know that they are going to do their best. Sending up a flare to say ‘I’m stuck here, please help’ does not make you a shitty person. Asking for help is hard, and passing out from overdoing things is worse.
I am doing the math of harm every day, sometimes minute by minute, so that we can keep this ship on the water. If you prefer a driving metaphor: staying between the lines, shiny side up.
And I am learning as I go, because I have to, because I don’t know everything about myself yet, because I don’t know what wisdom I will need for next time, because to stop learning is to become a stone that never moves, never thinks, never experiences the kind of life that I want to experience.
I hope that your understanding of your own capacity is healing for you, even if it takes years to get there.
P.S. There’s nothing at all wrong with being a stone, I like them very much, but I do not want to be a stone. Not this time around, anyway.
Our days traditionally begin at sunset. The darkness is all around us but we are safe here together inside these walls that we have fortified with love and with sacrifice.