Gird your loins; grit your teeth; keep your chin up; one foot in front of the other…
So often, to hang on means to tense, to exert, to force, to power on: Yet sometimes, to hang on requires a softening, an easing into what is really happening. Today, after yesterday’s physical pain and emotional concern over my mother’s bout of abdominal distress (heightened by her confused brain), I have entered a mental duality: uplifting relief that my mom is okay, albeit worn out; and sheer fatigue.
I am tired.
I am, however, equally, if not more acutely aware of my blessings. In the midst of fatigue, I recognize that I can choose between couch and bed, both of which are clean and warm; despite lack of appetite, I have plenty to eat, should the mood strike; even in pandemic, I have friends to ask for help, and family who supports; and throughout this painful ride of bone-on-bone arthritis in both hips, I remain healthy overall, and with the ability to plod, stagger, and remain upright with the help of two canes.
Each of these scenarios are taken for granted, each and every day, by almost each and every one of us. But when any one of them seems on the precipice of disappearance, their significance takes on an extraordinary quality.
With these thoughts in mind, I feel that I can yield to fatigue. That in itself is a gift: to be tired and to have the choice to give in to it. I need not tense my muscles for aching support; I need not overwork my mind to carry on; and I need not strain my being to overcome. I will honor tiredness and treat it with the soft, gentle touch it so badly needs.