Granola, Grandparents, and a Broken Trash Bag Story
Hey friends, happy weekend. I, like many others, have been pretty quiet on here as we all navigate/reckon with the new circumstances of social distancing, isolation, and more. For me personally, posting colorful/ elaborate food pictures with happy-go-lucky captions just feels off given the difficult realities many healthcare individuals, food service workers/employees/business owners, and many more face (again, all in my personal opinion). So I’ve been quiet. Not really sure what to do, or make, or how to help. I’ve been cooking for family and friends and others during this time to try to do what I can, and had the immense pleasure this week of dropping off a celebratory birthday dinner to my sweet grandparents-Their smiles brought me so much joy, and yet saddened me that only really in these difficult times have I actively reached out to vulnerable loved ones/acquaintances. I am the personality type that feels intensely, so it is safe to say that I have been a bit of a mess emotionally as of late. In order to mediate these feelings, I have (and I’m positive countless others have as well) been desperately thinking of new ways to help, whether that be sewing masks, cooking, cleaning, donating, volunteering, etc. etc. etc.
Well, the overwhelm caught up with me yesterday and I hit a wall. The sadness came, then the shame for not having it as bad as others, for being self-indulgent with these big emotions, for not doing enough, for wanting to do more, for feeling scared, then feeling like I’m over-reacting then under-reacting all at once. Many (if not all) of us are weathering the storm of difficult emotions that comes with our world's new reality. Helping during these times is highly important, yes. Absolutely. But so is rest. And I know, the idea of “rest” is very easy for me write about as a privileged individual. But I ask you to consider an encounter with a broken trash bag. I went for a run one morning, and as I rounded the loop I saw a stray trash bag in the middle of the street, ripped open, items scattered. I looked around, but no one seemed to notice, so I decided to help.
I picked up the trash that had fallen out and tried to stuff it back in the bag and lug it to the side of the street, but the rip was so large everything fell back out. Frustrating, right? I sighed, hands dirtied, and ran home to grab another trash bag to pack everything up (with the addition of some rubber gloves). Once I had properly bagged everything up, I (awkwardly) picked up the heavy bag and lugged it up the street back to our trashcan. Wanting to get home quickly, I furrowed my brow, puffed my chest and walked as fast as I could. Eventually my grip slipped and I was forced to rest the bag on the ground to catch my breath. After a minute or so, I hoisted it back up and continued on. Just a few meters later, I had to rest the bag on the ground once again to catch my breath and readjust my grip. I eventually made it home, mission accomplished, but noticed a few things. 1) Helping when absolutely no one is watching is especially important these days (2) We can't effectively help if we don't have the proper tools in place, whether that be in a literal sense, or figurative mental-health related sense. 3) If we don’t actively stop to catch our breath, something has a way of forcing us to. So take a beat, regroup, get some sleep. In order to show up for the world, we got to show up for ourselves too. (Keep in mind this is mainly me writing this to convince a very skeptical self). Ok, ok, jumping off the soapbox. I mean who do I think I am, Brené Brown??