These days the dates are muddled. Is it mid April already? Last I remember it was the first day of the month, Easter Sunday and yes April Fool’s. My days are measured in terms of tasks, one after the other, which presently there’s an endless stream of. Earlier, I consoled myself that when I’m working home from our new place I’d be able to take siestas or power naps at least (akin to the 7 1/2 minutes taken without fail by Prof. Viru Sahastrabudhhe aka Virus of the 3 Idiots fame) but so far I haven’t. Why, I myself am wondering. I just know I”m utterly exhausted at the close of the day, sleep promptly taking me onto her lap as soon as my head touches the pillow. But not before I’ve instructed my brain, please wake up at xxx hour which is when I need to go check on our water supply. If there’s water then I stock up while roundly cursing irresponsible business and government actions that damage water resources, which is how my day officially starts.
Being able to sleep easily now is a blessing. Or, is it? My cousin’s partner confided that old people sleep less hours. Ha ha! But really there was a time, in the last two years, when I dread the approach of dark and eventually sleep. I believed that I wouldn’t wake once I closed my eyes and drifted into whatever land. I had become too aware of the irreversibility of aging, with that, irrelevance, and then, well, death. I see and hear in my mind this great imposing door closing heavily, ominously, shutting me in in a space that’s all walls. No way out for me. No opening for anyone outside to get in. It’s just me and the walls. Yelling for what, help? is utterly useless if not foolish. A terrible time really it was. I just hope I’m over the hill on that one.
From that experience, one of the things I learned is that human life is fragile and the human being is a complex one to follow (that can’t ever be fathomed even on the combined lifetimes of the world’s population!). What comes to mind in connection to this is the new business of commenting on social media platforms. How are we so glib about a person and his or her life? It’s akin to ringing up God on a virtual connection to heaven, hey, God, you’re so damn cute! Btw, what are you wearing? That divine toga…Neiman is it? And those fab slip-ons, Yeezy correct? Super! Such statements do not mean anything in the “life” of the recipient, God. Do they affirm who God is? Do they improve the “person” of God? Are the recipient and giver of the comment on the same page even?
Another thing I learned is that taking deep breaths slowly while focusing on, or owning, your breath does work. It’s a simple yet effective means to ease the jaggered self back to calm and rationality. It helps if you displace the lurking shadow of fear with memories of when you were the opposite of scared and powerless. Oh, and, physical exercise regardless of your mood going in facilitates the release of happy hormones so get out there! Cleaning our enormous yard is my daily, morning and afternoon, exercise these days.
I however understand why some people would simply go the tranquilizers rote. Develop addictions. People cope with personal crisis differently at different times in their lives because people do change through time. And no two matter could occupy the same space. No two persons could experience the same crisis in exactly the same way. I am not you. You are not me. Circumstances surrounding my life are not yours. Neither are yours mine.
Nonetheless we all are given seven days in a week. Two and a half days of that are collectively the weekend. For some who work on weekends they do have a day off at least. When I was in the leisure industry, I worked weekends and chose Mondays as my day off. These rest days are sacred, I now am re-learning that. It’s #metoo time to review, declutter, and reorder abodes, minds, hearts, and relationships. To see in retrospect our accomplishments in the week and congratulate ourselves. To give thanks. To sleep. To have fun. To recoup. Whitney Houston (or, her lyricist) understood that
learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all
The seed of the #MeToo campaign may have been in fact planted through pop music, Houston’s song. Just imagine the extent of it’s impact on the collective unconscious as it’s played over and over in the airwaves since only that it sat awhile in the confines of our heads. Timing is everything, it’s said. Now is apparently that right time. And, how appropriate that it decided to come out in that holy place of venerated personalities and lifestyles! Right on, Ms. Houston, we hear you.