NaBloPoMo 2016, Letters to Patients, Day 19
To Patients Who Feel Tired:
Take a break.
It’s the home stretch. 9/10 presentations since August are completed, last one in 10 days. I feel positively exhausted. I drove 2.5 hours to Champaign Thursday night, arriving around 11:30. Sleep was not great that night… not for a couple weeks now, actually. I presented at a conference yesterday morning, then attended other presentations the rest of the day. I made new connections, re-established old ones. I received an award, so humbling and touching, and engaged in lively conversation with colleagues at dinner. I left Champaign by 10:30pm, and swung by to pick up my daughter from her sleepover just before 12:30am, because she wanted to come home.
I got out of bed at noon today. Had some coffee and leftover carrot cake for—well, breakfast, I guess. Folded laundry, paid some bills, cleaned off my desk. The only things I have to do this weekend are write, work out, attend the middle school play, and maybe cook something. It’s a weekend for much needed rest and recovery.
It’s been four months of intense learning, processing, sharing, and integration. It’s maybe also been a year of angst, trying so hard to engage with ‘others’ in the personal political arena—mostly online. Curiosity, probing questions, reading for understanding and hoping for others to do the same—I engaged in good faith. Now I’m finished.
I have gone back on Facebook since my 24 hour fast this week, very occasionally getting sucked into reading diatribes about one thing or another. I have minimized posting my own tirades, however. I see a friend complaining about ‘the left,’ calling out the whole group as hypocritical. I’m tired. Tired of the generalizations and name-calling, tired of the fruitless arguments and echo-chamber goading.
So this weekend I’m resting and recovering. I have reviewed and renewed my charitable contributions. I’m trying to be more present to the family. I’m considering my options for civic participation. I’m saving my political curiosity and engagement for people I meet in person. I’m sleeping. A lot.
My last presentation this year will be to a new audience, outside of medicine. I feel positively giddy with anticipation. I need to be focused and my best—not just for them, but for me. The energy I project can amplify exponentially if I get the resonance just right. Then it recharges me, too. And that can only happen if I’m rested and healthy. So this downtime is my investment in future engagement.
What has you tired right now? What do you need to recharge and re-engage? Here’s hoping you find it.