Exhaustion and Exhortation (What’s With the H?)

Gratitude List:
1. The play, while it was absolutely marvelous, is over. I only ushered, and I am exhausted. My son the sound engineer is more tired than I, and I am sure the actors are working on a deficit. It’s going to be a gentle week in my classroom, I think.
2. Fall color. The maple trees are on fire.
3. Listening ears.
4. Challenge. I am trying to lean into the challenges, and accept what they will teach me. Does this get harder with age? Or am I just in a phase of comfort-seeking? In my dream last night, I was afraid to scale a large rock, but when it came to it, I scrambled up without effort. I will carry that sense of personal empowerment with me.
5. Slow and steady wins the race. That’s more of an exhortation than a gratitude. So personal exhortations will be my fifth gratitude. When I find myself in a negative self-talk loop, I’ll add exhortations. You’ve got this, Grrrrl.

May we walk in Beauty!

(Isn’t that “h” in exhaustion and exhortation an interesting bit of extra and perhaps unheeded breathiness? I do like it. Say exhaustion with the “h” and it has a nice helpful exhale in the middle. Exhale–that’s an “h” that definitely gets pronounced. It’s almost onomatopoetic: It sounds like what it is. And the almost enunciated “h” in exhortation is fortifying. Try saying that one in the word, and you’re ready to conquer that coming challenge. Remember to breathe!)

Changing the Self-Talk


I’m trying to work on the self-talk. You know, those things we tell ourselves that begin to loop around in our heads until they start to control our visions of ourselves. I’m not immune to the tendency to call myself an idiot when I do something I wish I hadn’t, or to look in the mirror and think mean thoughts about the body I see there, but these aren’t currently affecting my self awareness particularly negatively. The one that I find has become an almost verbal mantra in recent weeks (months? years?)┬áis, “I’m so tired.” I AM tired.

How self-defeating is that, though? Isn’t that a deadly downward spiral? I’m tired, so I tell myself I’m tired, so I get more tired, and soon I am coasting into a pit. Hmm. Let’s add a touch of insomnia to that. Now anxiety feeds the spiral and I’m speeding faster down the hill. I’ll have a little sugary pick-me-up, and that helps for a moment or two, but then I crash further, faster, and it takes more to bring me up to baseline.

Perhaps I need to get more iron, more rest, more time for meditation. But none of those things will be long-term help, I think, unless I can change the way I talk to myself, unless I can start noting also the times when I feel energized and awake, noticing how it feels in my body to be alert and full of energy.

Gratitude List:
1. Venus. How she shines!
2. Broccoli and cheese.
3. Helpful self-talk.
4. Naomi Shihab Nye’s poetry.
5. The hot shower I am about to take.

May we walk in Beauty!