I find myself unsettled, concerned, and outright alarmed by a variety of events at pretty much every scope of life right now. I was about to type some of them, and I just felt my heart rate start to increase, my lower back tighten, and my stomach hurt.
So I’m not going to do that right now.
I’m sitting on the couch, watching the latest episode of Arrow, basking in the purr of Lucy Cat. My kid is asleep, and my spouse is catching a Pidgey in Pokemon Go on the other side of the couch.
The world is crazy. I’ve been calling elected officials. I’ve been attending meetings about engaging state politicians. I’ve been to rallies. I’ve been connecting friends who need each other. And I’m feeling pretty guilty about vegging out on the couch tonight because there is so much to do.
I pulled out my laptop to start writing on one of several topics that had come up in conversations over the last few days, but I don’t have those words tonight. I don’t have deep thoughts. I don’t have questions. I don’t have answers.
I have a cat. And a family. And a warm, safe place to live. And access to an unreasonable amount of television and fuzzy blankets. And I want to keep it–and all the invisible infrastructure of culture and government that are required for it to exist–intact.
And I’m fighting so that everyone can have a life in which they can thrive and find fulfillment as well.
“Self-care” is making sure that you take care of yourself so that you can engage the world and do whatever it is you need to do. I have had to hold caring for myself with conscious intention since I was in my early 20s, for reasons that will be explored in an upcoming post. Even with 13 years of being mindful of sleep hygiene, managing stress through meditation and exercise, and extensively mapping the boundaries of my limits, I am sitting here after two weeks of Trump in the White House, and I am feeling the urge to wring myself bone dry.
I know better than to do this to myself, so I’m on the couch. We’ve moved on to watching Agents of Shield after nailing down our not-at-all-politically-related weekend social plans. I’m writing this post to remind myself and you that nights and weekends like this are important, too.
We can’t stop living while we’re fighting. Our lives are important. Living the lives we’re fighting for is vital to winning. The second we stop, we cap the well that feeds our drive and passion. What do we love? What engages our hearts? What fills us back up? What is our calm in the midst of the storm?
Take time to recharge and reconnect. Take care of your health the best you can. Get some sleep. Listen to music you love. Make art. Indulge in some cake.
You matter. You matter to those who love you. You matter to our country. You matter to humanity. You matter to me.
Yeah, I’m talking to myself as much as you. You are not alone.