A friend recently posted that she’s becoming exhausted making lemonade out of lemons every day. I think we are all feeling that way. It is exhausting. It’s exhausting if you’re single, it’s exhausting if you’re married. It’s exhausting if you have kids, it’s exhausting if you have pets. It’s exhausting if it’s you, and only you, and no one else. But the thing is, it’s never just us, alone. There is no such thing as just us alone, unless of course you happen to live alone off-grid somewhere and you don’t even realize there’s a pandemic going on like that family in Russia (link here, it’s a fascinating read from 1978).
The thing is, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone and to do everything for everyone and all that time we aren’t caring for ourselves. And no, this won’t be another self-care blog, because you can find plenty of that everywhere, I probably did one, too. By now you know you need to make yourself a priority and if you’re not there’s nothing I can say that will change your mind.
Here we are in the middle of chaos and we still have expectations for ourselves that are ridiculous. Whether anyone else is saying anything or not, we have this belief that we need to be better, do better, do more.
Stop. Just. Stop.
If you get out of bed in the morning, that’s awesome. If you get out of pajamas and into clothes each day, good for you! If you set your kids in front of the television and let them watch whatever they want for eight hours straight, give yourself a pat on the back. If you make yourself a cup of coffee, drink it, and go back to bed, way to go! If the “only” thing you’ve accomplished all day is to breathe and make it to tomorrow, you’re winning!
Yes, there are TONS of things you could be doing because so much is free right now. There are courses and operas and movies and games and and and…. It’s all so very overwhelming.
There are also people dying, every day, and if you’ve lost someone my deepest sympathies to you.
It is okay to grieve.
There is nothing wrong with simply existing until this over. Because nothing about this is simple.
You do not need to have earned a doctorate when this over.
Give yourself the sort of love and kindness and empathy you would give a friend or a loved one. Give yourself the gift of acceptance. Accept where you are and how you’re feeling and that you want to spend the day (or the next three weeks) in pj’s in bed with Netflix.
Save that lemonade for a day when you can drink it with friends.
Today, tomorrow, just be.