E is for Empty



I know I'm not alone when I say
I'm done.
There is no fuel in my tank. 
It's EMPTY. 

I knew at the beginning of January,
when I had that extra week off before in-school learning started again,
before my work as a substitute teacher started again,
that I was running on fumes.

And now the tank is empty. 

Like most people, I'm tired.
There's the physical exhaustion of not sleeping well. 
That's connected to the mental exhaustion of having a brain that won't turn off. 
And there's the emotional exhaustion of the stuff that is going on at home.

Not to mention
THE WORLD OUT THERE IS ON FIRE. 
People are hurting, 
and hurting each other,
as hurt people do.  

We are all coping with something, and everything, 
and we have been. For so long. 
And for those of us who believe in love --
kindness and mercy,
justice and fairness,
inclusion and acceptance,
welcome and hospitality --
who believe it's better if we help each other
rather than hinder and harass and harm,

these are hard days. 
These are unbelievable, heart-breaking,
discouraging,
and increasingly insurmountable days. 
We went from the chaos and horribleness,
the opposite of love,
that arrived with 
the American election in 2016,
and drove that flaming truck of flammable material
straight into the big brick wall of the pandemic. 

As we head into year three of that chaos and horribleness,
we are done.
Our fuel tanks are empty. 

And if I'm feeling this way,
I know there are people -- many people --
who reached E on their tank ages ago. 

I have no advice for how to cope. 
I just get up every morning and do yoga
and express gratitude for everything I can think of, 
even as simple as the coffee that is perking
while I finish my practice with thankfulness. 

Rest.
That's all that's left in our emergency kit right now.
Rest. 
Turning off, tuning out.
Resting. Quieting the body and hoping the mind follows. 
Stretching, breathing

and maybe
binge-eating that entire box of our favourite crackers. 
I know, I know,
that's not how to fill the emptiness
but they are yummy crackers
and I feed every third one to the dog
who is content
and reminds me how to let go,
forgive,
love,
and rest. 



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