Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dancing with Fatigue...

Seems to me I've always danced with fatigue in one way or another. As a teenager, I remember regularly taking naps after school. And I have a reputation in my family for my ability to sleep in. "It's a gift", I would respond to the teasing. "Not all of us are blessed with it." As an adult, if I don't set an alarm, I usually don't wake up until I've slept for 9 or 10 hours. Usually, I dance along with the ongoing sense of low energy in a manageable way... but not so these days.

Fatigue has taken a strong lead and I am stumbling in my attempts to stay in step. I'm forgetful. I'm baffled by simple decisions. Concentration & focus elude me. I've been down this road before, and this time I need to listen carefully to these signs. I've been caught by surprise though. My life is not in crisis; in fact, it is overflowing with wonderful opportunities and blessings. Of course, what the body registers is: stress. The body doesn't differenciate between "good" stress and "bad" stress. It's all the same to my body.

So, I need to put First Things First and go into self-care mode. It's hard to do that in our society. It takes courage, and I pray I will be given what I need to make the decisions I need to make. Nothing drastic, but difficult decisions nonetheless. Reducing commitments... seeing a doctor... taking time from work... letting go of guilt... putting myself and guilt-free, non-planned time on the top of my To-Do list. Better yet, ripping up the To-Do list completely! One step at a time...

Luckily, we have no plans this Christmas. What a blessing! No commitments, no obligations, no plans. No matter how wonderful this time of the year can be, I can't tell you how excited I am to have nothing to do this Christmas. A friend once said that his wish for me was that I would experience boredom, just for a while. I'll resist the temptation to add "Be bored..." to my list and I'll try to surrender to the experience of self-care. Now THAT would be a true gift.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

The power of waiting...

You must give birth to your images.
They are the future waiting to be born.
Fear not the strangeness you feel.
The future must enter you
long before it happens.
Just wait for the birth,
for the hour of new clarity.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

How powerful!! I came across this quote yesterday and was struck by how it described what the season of Advent is all about. Today, for me, Advent is not about waiting for the birth of baby Jesus, it's about waiting in anticipation for the beginning of a new Way. I believe that's what the message is all about. That's why I should pay attention to the story of a baby born in a manger over 2000 years ago.

A lot has happened since I last posted here... Most notably, I've entered a new decade of life! Perhaps that's why I'm feeling especially reflective. Naw, that's not it. Advent always puts me in this hopeful mood!