The title of today’s blog post is from a quote by Lena Horne:
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately. I’ve been wishing there were more time in the day. I know life is all about balance, but it seems like to make time for one thing I have to steal from another thing.
Specifically sleep. I want more time in my day and I would love to wake up early to get that, but since I’ve been sick my body is just demanding a bit more than usual. Today I had to steal time from my job in order to get a much needed nap. I had wanted to wake up at 5 this morning in order to do some walking meditation, but that was a no-go too.
With feeling overwhelmed over all the effort life is taking lately, it wasn’t the right time to get some discouraging news about my thyroid–but hey the medication needed a refill so it was blood test time.
It certainly didn’t help that I finished “Blue Nights” by Joan Didion and was thinking heavily about my mortality. Joan described the tragedy of her daughter’s battle with illness and her own losing battle as well. My mind was already dwelling on my feeling that I’m losing in the fight to live a health life despite having an auto-immune disorder (Hashimoto’s). More on this in a later post…
I was feeling very low, but I could see this and wanted to do something about it. So I did the following:
1. Reached out for advice from people who might be able to help
2. Went for a run
On my run I began with deep breathing, blowing my exhale out heavily for a full four count. I could feel the tension in my shoulders leaving. The humidity was 95% so it was not easy, but the track was beautifully foggy and not too hot. I listened to some music I love and even sang out loud sometimes even though there were other people around.
I was able to remind myself that I can only control the present. Although my body has issues, it’s still able to bring me happiness in other forms. I will remember gratitude and mindfully live in this moment.
This is what I feel the quote means. You can carry your stresses and disappointments with a macro view of, “Oh, this is happening to me” and despair that it will continue happening to you. Or you can look at it as something that you can’t control, feel ok with doing what you can to help and then shifting your perspective to what really matters.
Take the light with the dark.
*A note on the photo I chose for the featured image. This is a watercolor painting by one of my favorite artists Steve Hanks. If you have ever dabbled in watercolors you will know how amazing it is that there is so much detail in his work. Most watercolor painters have an ethereal, loose, watery effect to their works. Hanks’ signature is the sharpness of his image despite the medium and his ability to make the light seem so real. I love the emotion that the figure shows, but to me the star of the painting is the sunlight shining through the window.