“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary”- Isaiah 40:29-31
Fear, anxiety and subsequent sickness is very real people. Never underestimate its ability to completely derail you – if you let it. I work hard to stay on the optimism track – maintaining a positive outlook as best I can with everything I do. In all my doing, I pray that GOD helps me to allow my rather colorful and animated outlook on life leave an imprint in the hearts of people I encounter. But even those that aim to spread the message of good cheer crash and burn sometimes. I have to say though, that the women in my life do an outstanding job of helping me to keep my “slay tap” running. Only GOD knows how grateful I am for them.
A few days ago, I took a second to take stock of what needed to be done in the next couple of weeks. We’ve just recently moved house, the kids are enrolled in a new school and I am trying to adjust to the new driving distances, the new school and work schedules, knocks on the door from home from family members affected by the malaise in Zim – et al. No kidding – I went from cruising at 100kph mentally to a screeching zero! I shared the other day that I unexpectedly fell sick – and that messed me up completely.
Then came the being bedridden on pain meds in a full on comatose state. It’s Eid break here, so I was looking forward to the extra days of regrouping and hopefully getting my body back on track. But my mind was plagued by guilt. I didn’t feel like I had been as productive as I should be notwithstanding how much more is on my plate with the new scheduling. I felt like I was merely glazing through, like someone sitting on a train watching the trees zoom past through the window. I was struggling to reconcile my thoughts – what needed to be done, getting it done EFFICIENTLY and moving onto the next task. My spirits were low. Marry that with the “mommy can you take us to the movies, mommy we don’t like this in our lunch, can we have this instead, mommy, we have Arabic homework” – (still not sure what they expect me to do to help my kid with Arabic homework but I digress)….
24 hours became 48 hours of me slipping down a slope of complete drudgery and anxiety. What is going on? How will I get this done? Oh wait – this and this still isn’t done. I need a vacation…soon. Why can’t I go on vacation anyway…and enjoy fine foods and colorful drinks with my feet in the sand somewhere…and those starchy hotel sheets, yes..those hotel sheets!!! So I parked myself in my bed and wallowed. The I got to breaking my feelings down to hubs who is away on a whole other continent, mom and day, my brothers, my friends – all of which are also on whole other continents! I reached out to whomever I thought would have a word of encouragement for me. And encouraged I was.
Hubs said something really profound. His pragmatism never seizes to amaze. Sometimes it’s what I need to get jerked out of those thoughts of self-pity and disgruntlement. I quote him:
“If you are unwell, and are resting, you are SUPPOSED TO BE UNPRODUCTIVE! Part of your stress is coming from you fighting what your body, mind and spirit are telling you. Listen to your body. That’s why they have hospitals with beds in them – to force people to listen to their bodies and do nothing until they get right”
A dear friend of mine Mutsa – bless her. Her jokes – alongside the daily musings, debates, unadulterated vent sessions, laughs and such my other ex-Chisi sisters Vee, Loz, Chido, Zish, Ziso, Noma, Msipa, Ru, Linda, Sandy and the others who chime in apo na apo – give me life. These women offer me MY DAILY SISTERLY SOULFOOD. Mutsa said as I vented:
“Sometimes you have to just say ‘ok, today I am NOT 100% in doing this so I will be 100% at doing something else – even if the something else means watching TD Jakes and refueling your tank”
I can’t emphasise enough, how much these two statements shaped my mindset and helped me get back on my feet. Throw in doses of Iyanla, TD Jakes, some Joyce Meyer here and there – and I realized that I was doing myself a disservice by trying to be a hero and trying to do everything perfectly. I also learned that it is okay to raise your flag and ask for help. Sometimes all you need are a few words or a little prayer from someone to pick you right back up and bring back your mojo.
The lessons for me over the past few days were strongly aligned to the importance of taking time to stop, unwind and in some cases, do nothing at all. Doing nothing at all for a short time actually means you are restocking your internal cabinetry, refueling your tank, refilling your cup. You cannot give what you do not have. If your strength wanes, how then can you have all that’s needed to tackle your to do lists with vigour or help others when they need your support and input.
Today’s post is about encouraging you beloved, to value yourself, your time and the need to replenish your stores. Your body checking out is never a good sign. It is always a signal to scale back on some activity so you can rebuild your capacity to do more with tomorrow’s set of objectives.