The other day I was watching my grandsons play. As is typical for their ages, their activities are made up on the spot and the rules are always difficult to figure out to anyone not in the midst of the game, but somehow, some way, they both know what is happening. Usually these games are imaginary space flights, or car races, or something similar. On this day, one said, "Oh we're crashing!" And the other responded immediately with, "No, I have the emergency booster rockets ready here (sound effect of rockets firing)." And all was right in their world.
If only the real world could be like that. We've spent a lot of time over the past two years dealing with those unexpected twists and turns in our lives. Every time we think we have things figured out a new variant emerges, we have new vaccine information, or case counts rise once more. Masks are on, and then off, and then on again (depending on where you live). It's the old adage two steps forward, one step back - every time we think we're making progress back to "life as it was" something happens to push us back into that waiting zone.
And it's not just COVID. Since 2016, it's continuing to advance the fight over basic rights - health care, child care, reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, fair living wages, equality of all types, climate change. It's exhausting watching everything happening on the national stage right now which could push us backwards and undo more than 50 years of progress. It's watching the country become more and more polarized. It's exhausting. How do you even decide what to pay attention to any more? Which fight do you put your energy into? These aren't little bush fires, we are in danger of the entire place burning down.
Last week Nicole Presley wrote a blog for Side with Love titled We are a movement, not a machine, where she talked about the need for self care in the context of what is happening on our national stage. And she is right. Self care is the only way we will make it through these times. Self care and the support of our community.
So I invite you this week to take a moment and find your way to self care. Take a moment to read, sing, listen to music, meditate, walk a labyrinth, sit quietly in nature, watch small children play. Whatever it is that quiets your mind, feeds your soul and lifts your spirits. I invite you do make and take the time to do that. Recharge your spirit. Without that we cannot continue the good fight.
And then maybe, in the spirit of children's play, you can help turn on the emergency boosters and whisk us away from danger.