157 // Far From Easy

It’s been a while since the house has felt quiet enough for me to sit and write. It’s been even longer since I was calm enough to gather my thoughts. This last week was hard on me with classes to teach every day and some new crisis waiting when I was done.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel though as I take a short break from training and I start recognizing which problems belong to me and which ones don’t.

This weekend I’m taking it easy and reminding myself, and everyone else if I need to, that there is so little time left after work and sleep, meals and chores, that I must be selfish and keep some of it aside for myself. I must be mindful of what my time is meant for and guard it stubbornly against those who ask too much and push too hard.

I’m learning to set boundaries, which isn’t all that hard and practicing communicating those boundaries which is far from easy.

I don’t shy from confrontation normally, but I’m slow to initiate it not out of fear but out of doubt. I never know if my perspective is the right one and I have trouble believing my needs are reasonable. My heart tells me I expect too much and my mind agrees and asks me to understand and endure a little more, a little more, a little more…

But I’m running out of energy, both physically and emotionally, and finding it harder and harder to relax and rejuvenate. The harder life gets, the more I need back to feel motivated and enthusiastic. I think I just need more to look forward to. I need more to happen.

Of course, that part is actually the part that is in my control and that makes it an absolutely terrifying problem to solve, but doing nothing is no longer an option. Through mindfulness, self-love, and action-based optimism, I think I can get there. I can get somewhere. I can make more of my life my own.

158// I’m Already So Different

My living room is looking a little chaotic right now. My wife and I started a new “weekend project” that I have a feeling is going to take a lot longer than a couple of days: replace our very old and very broken evaporative cooler with a small “through the wall” air conditioning unit.

We got the old swamp cooler out, but it was a lot harder than we thought and required calling in help. Of course once it was out we learned it had never been properly installed in the wall and found a bit of mold had been growing in the wall as a result. We also found out that the new sleeve is too big and the new unit doesn’t exactly match. We’re going to have to cut a larger hole, build a frame, and make some adjustments to the installation instructions to make the unit fit. We’ve got to make it work, though. Wish us luck.

I’d hoped for more time to write, but this is so important. We cannot, we will not, spend another miserable summer roasting in our own home. I have a feeling between this and my upcoming work schedule, my writing projects will (once again) have to be put off. I’m not doing nothing though. I’ve been forming ideas and jotting down what I hope will be seeds of future pieces.

We’re living in a very inspiring time and right now I have a chance to pursue new ideas and ways of thinking and seeing from so many thinkers, speakers, writers, activists, and causes before I settle down to focus on one idea at a time. It feels right to focus on input over output right now and there is so much being offered for free right now. Here’s a short list I’ve put together:

I’m compiling a longer TBR list of books by authors of color to follow and being mindful of who I follow on social media. I’m seeking people and ideas that inspire me to think, write, and act. There is nothing more important in the world than the change I know we can affect right now and it has to start inside each of us. I’m already so different from the version of myself that began this year, we all are, and rather than lament it I’m leaning in. I may very well be unrecognizable by year’s end.