Dear Somebody #20: Let's Keep Going
I've been trying to write to you since the first of August.
I've re-written this letter many times, scribbling out my own words because I didn't know how to explain this thing that we're all trying so hard to do: how do we keep going?
The past two months had me hollowed out, unwilling to do the things that each day required of me. I felt sad (the state of our country), scared (the state of our country), uninspired (what's the point?), and insecure (what if I never make anything worthwhile again?). I felt tired all. of. the. time. These symptoms were coming from somewhere, but I didn't know where. All I knew is that I didn't like how I felt.
My morning routine was the first thing to change. I woke up up at the same time each morning and went to bed the same time each night. I started keeping my phone across the room instead of next to my bed. The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a glass of water and meditate outside (absorbing actual Vitamin D) for 15 minutes, followed by a 20-30 minute workout. The last thing I do before I fall asleep is read (currently: The Labyrinth of Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón). I never look at a screen before closing my eyes anymore.
After a consistent month, these small changes led to a much bigger one: a change in my attitude, energy, and outlook. I feel enthusiastic about tiny joys (the sunlight dappling through leaves on my way to work) and more resilient towards larger threats (the news, my own existential thoughts). I can consider larger ideas and concerns without having them swallow me whole. I can breathe.
How do I keep going? I survey the landscape. I take inventory of what's working and what isn't. I am always willing to try again.
How do you keep going? Turn your face towards the sun and rain; find meaning in both. Let go of "should". Make peace with change. Rest as needed. And then: begin again.
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