I am struggling.
Is it ok to say that?
I feel like I may not be allowed to admit that this is hard. I am always on the side of motivator, mover, positive vibes, and getting everyone else going that way with me. That’s one of my gifts.
But this so much harder than I thought it would be on March 18th, the day we had to close due to COVID.
Now we’re at August 31st and there is still no end in sight. No normal in sight, let me say that.
In fact, in many ways the fallout is just beginning to start to ripple closer to home.
I have tried.
I’ve tried to remain positive, and hopeful, and strong. But I’m tired. So tired.
My body is feeling the effects. My mind is so absent I ran a red light today. My will is faltering. My hope is fading.
Is it okay to admit that? I think so. Maybe.
I have always heard it said in business that hope is not a strategy and that is correct, in normal times hope is not a strategy. Strategy is a strategy. But now, in the aftermath of this virus, hope is not only strategy, it’s survival.
It hurts to go into other businesses and see them at “half capacity.”
Any business owner knows that half capacity is not viable for very long. Any person, business owner or not, should know that, but from many of the comments I’ve overheard, I can tell you, they do not.
I’m watching businesses close daily. Even today as I drove home, I passed a sign in front of another local business that read, “YOGA STUDIO FOR SALE.” 💔
Then there is another side of me that is not struggling. I’m not struggling. I’m okay.
My life feels torn into two compartments. The outer world and its crap-storm of circumstances, and my inner world that is riding it out because I am working on peace every day.
Yes, peace requires work. Odd.
I seem to me like two vastly different individuals living within this one body.
One “Me” is jacked-up on anxiety and terrified that I am watching my business die because of a virus. Every now and then I still believe I can change the situation, so I try, and struggle, and work hard. That is all this part of me knows – HUSTLE. This “me” has been shaped by success quotes and grind mentality. “Action alleviates anxiety"...This is her mantra. This me is moving against the current, living in a world of fight and friction.
The other “Me” is going with the flow and sitting with open hands for what is to come knowing that I am not in control. This me is living in the space between. Between where I have been and where I am going - and trying my damnedest to stay in today. This me knows this year has been trying but she also knows it’s a year she will never get back. If this was, God forbid, her last year she wants it to be more than just waiting on things to get better. She gets up every day and reads to fill her cup. Lately, she is taken with the words of mystics, contemplatives, and stoics. She is not reading to get better at anything, she reads to feel connected to the undercurrent of life that makes all of this worth something. She is practicing meditation, journaling, and walking for the fun of it, not to get anywhere or lose anything. She is saving us.
A few days ago, a member walked in the gym and looked at me and said, “It’s going to be okay.” I looked back at her and responded, “I’m not sure it’s going to be okay, but I am going to be ok.” It just came out. And I have clung to that truth.
It never ceases to amaze me how my inner work seems to leap at me at the most unexpected times. I often get upset with myself because it seems as if I work, and dig, and journal, and on and on and I never feel like I’m getting any better. And then this happens. All the work puts itself in a tiny box, wraps a bow on top and presents itself to me like a gift. A beautiful gift when it’s most needed. Me telling me that it may not be all okay, but to rest assured that I, or we, are going to be okay.
My job in this moment is to manage the balance between these two internal persons that reside inside this one body; Don't let the hustler freak out too much and don't allow the hermit to just sit back and let it all ride right off the cliff while she meditates.
Both need to show up every day. Both need to have time at the wheel.
Both are me.
Both are okay.
And that is all I wanted to say.
It’s okay to feel torn.
Here's a little throwback that I wrote over a decade ago. If you love someone with ADD/ADHD then maybe this will help you understand a bit. If you are someone with an overactive brain then maybe this will help you know that you're not alone. 💕
What’s wrong with me, why can’t I be
this girl that they all tell me they see.
I look at the pages trying so hard to focus,
the words move around. Did someone say hocus pocus?
My mind just won’t rest and I so need a break,
these lists in my head, don’t know how much I can take?
Frustration beyond words and suddenly the anger.
What’s wrong with this girl? Cant anyone tame her?
So anxious that I’ve bit all my nails to the quick.
You’d think with enough willpower, I could just quit.
But I can’t, I’ve tried every known remedy.
Every day I look down and think, "What’s wrong with me?"
I’ve written five books, but don’t ask me the reason
each one’s a chapter short of completion.
I swear I heard every word you just said,
but while you were talking ten things ran through my head.
So, I beat myself up and wonder why
I cant seem to move forward no matter how hard I try.
Am I just a quitter, underachiver, a slack?
How do I get this monkey off my back?
Now they tell me this enemy is living in me.
It’s not too uncommon and called ADD.
No excuse for my actions, I’m not looking for sympathy.
But maybe, just maybe, I am actually this smart girl that they see!
Now there are some good aspects of my personality glitch.
I can do ten things at once, easy as flipping a switch.
Find me a project that really sparks my interest
and I can move mountains in no more than an instant.
I’m creative, thoughtful, and I love to write.
Most of my words I compose in the middle of the night,
when darkness turns the volume of the world down to low
and my mind is given a moment to slow.
So I wont complain or make an excuse
because most of this "disorder" I've put to good use.
It's not all been bad, this thing ADD.
In fact I'm sure it's what most made me, Me!
Jennifer B Mulford 10/27/07