These things weigh more than one expects. Worry, sorrow, stress, anger: they all have a real weight, one that you feel in your shoulders, your neck, the base of your spine. They press on you at unexpected times and surprise you with their mass and heft and depth.
Last week, I thought the weight of things was getting to me so much that I needed to do something about it. So, I started posting a short list of good things about my day, each day, on Facebook. It's not a gratitude journal exactly, just highlights, but holding those small moments and good things in the forefront of my mind each day really helps, especially when the stress of work threatens to send me over the edge.
Here's my week of good things!
Monday: freshly-baked zucchini bread courtesy of Karin, long lovely phone calls with my brother John and one of my best friends, and an hour out on the deck after work in the sunshine and birdsong, admiring the (you guessed it) lilacs.
Tuesday: a productive AWC Zoom board meeting and confirmation that most of the board plans to stay on for next year, helping a colleague who was stuck in a project, a delicious ham & cheese croissant sandwich for dinner, and rain (so much rain) for the garden. Everything is so green! (and so wet!)
Wednesday: listening to our personal backyard blackbird sing his heart out, overstuffed pots of pretty purple pansies on the deck, a phonecall with Camilla and a blog post from Chuck.
Thursday: a super interesting-sounding book recommendation from my son Martin, a new microwave to replace our old one that died with a bang yesterday (!), a really fun AWC book group discussion on Zoom that included Kathey, and the fantastic news that my friend Camilla was released from the hospital this afternoon and is home! HURRAH!
Friday (today): Barky's brightened-up and beautiful, the smell of freshly-cut grass, baby birds peeping in various nests around our house, lots of progress in the vegetable patch, and it's FRIDAY!
Thursday's good news about my friend going home from the hospital was a really big deal. She's not fixed, and will be on medication and fairly major diet changes for the rest of her life, and has more tests and procedures and most likely surgery ahead, but the medical team seems to be confident that things are under control and that she might as well be home than bored out of her mind in the hospital. So, we are getting together tomorrow, for the first time in nearly 2 months, and I can't wait to see her and my other friend, too. They keep me grounded, and even though the three of us have talked and texted nearly every day, it's not the same as our long evenings of conversation and laughter.
Here's hoping you can find the little good things that make a difference every day, too. And when the heavy stuff gets you down, tell someone. Write about it. Call a friend or a loved one and get some help and conversation and laughter. If you can, hug someone. Or just go outside and walk, and let the sunshine on your shoulders bring them down to where they should be.