Huge Exhale

Well, they changed WordPress while I’ve been off doing other things. Okay.

Today is just one long exhale. It’s a day off to be followed by a few more. It’s a day of only two things that need to be done, that I acknowledge I will accomplish. One is my car repairs, the other is my laundry.

I don’t have access to much memory at the moment, so that’s as good as it’s going to get.

Six months of pandemic, quarantine, masks, distance, staying home and staying (relatively) safe.

Six months of the busiest work season of my career, with unrelenting communication, discussion, review, presentation and repeat.

Six months of cancelled plans and wondering where my goals went.

One week of letting it all hit me so I can process, shake it off and get back to it.

I haven’t had the pandemic experience that gets portrayed on social media or the news. I haven’t been sick or in the hospital. My family is ok. I didn’t lose my job. I have a comfortable home and plenty to eat. I don’t go out, ate out for lunch for the first time this week, don’t see people outside of work and close family and have no problem wearing a mask, even when I go for walks (I have a “interact with the public” mask, a “just at the office” mask and an “out for a walk or hike” mask, and multiples of each). I also haven’t had all this free time to be creative, haven’t had a glow up, haven’t gotten really fit or perfected a yoga pose or reorganized my belongings or finished projects or started projects or started a side hustle. I lost 18 pounds, slowly. I shifted my lifestyle so that I no longer loathe exercise. I showed up to work every day, whether I felt like it or not. No sick days. I returned calls I didn’t want to. I dealt with people I didn’t want to. I made hard but necessary decisions. I had hard but necessary conversations and supported a commission that has to make difficult decisions. I took good care of my skin, for the first time in my life. My face looks great! I quit wearing makeup. I haven’t had a haircut and the ends are really rough. I have two projects I really want to work on, but can’t make space for them yet. I don’t do yoga every day. I almost walk every day. I’m freaking out about the shorter hours of winter and how that will affect my walking in the evenings. I bought a headlamp and new trail shoes. I bought a new phone but haven’t set it up yet. I bought a waterproof case for the new phone so that Clorox wipes won’t ruin it.

My nervous system is frayed, and I can finally recognize the signs before I have a complete meltdown, hence the few days off. I’ve done really well managing PTSD through all of this, and I’m really proud of how much healing I’ve done. It’s all very intentional, and doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a lot of work. Sensing when I’ve had enough and dealing with it healthfully is new, and good. Not pushing myself when I’ve sensed I’ve had enough is new, and good. Stopping to rest is new, and good.

It’s still really hard to stop. It’s overwhelming to slow down and rest and pause when my nervous system starts to go off the rails. It can take me days to calm and get back to neutral. That’s still really hard, and there’s not a quick, easy fix. Still working on that one, but I’ve really improved this year. Big exhale.

Photo by cottonbro on

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