Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez (IG: @andyourstorycontinues)
The best thing to do the first work week of the new year is to fly stealth. Pause the notifications on Slack (which was down universally on Monday, by the way, sending all the digital worker bees into a frenzy) and move any and all external meetings. Monday and Tuesday was like a warm up jog, slow and steady, tricking me into thinking, "Yeah, I can do this. Be productive without being stressed. This will be the new me."
Except on Wednesday, many folks like me in the U.S. spent the afternoon with a live stream of George Stephanopoulos covering the terrorism unfolding in the Capitol Building on our second monitors or in a small window in the corner of the screen. Utter dissonance. One of those shocking moments in life where you question if this is real life. So many thoughts and feelings jamming our heads and hearts at the same time.
Privilege, double standard and just what the actual hell. How do people get to this point?
Since then, comfort is all I could think of and I find myself gravitating towards carbs and sweets, naturally. The jar of the Christmas Kit Kats is less full, the ice cream with the fuzzy ice on top is gone.
As I was eating away, I was just thinking about me again and just trying to console, me. Maybe in some twisted extreme way, this is how it starts: my pain, my needs, my discomfort, my job. The empathy starts to wain and connections to community weaken, I become comforted only by sugar-coated things. When only the "I" is what I care for, the welfare of neighbors loses importance as does any regard for the consequences of my actions.
Don't get me wrong, I still have a chocolate bar on the top shelf of my cabinet. But if this week has taught me anything, it is that on this journey of discovering true "self-care," caring for my community is just as important.