The very real pain of not giving up

Dear one,

It’s not like you thought it would be, is it? To put it mildly, this past year did not go to plan. It was a reckoning, in every sense of the word.

We’ve seen just how tenuous our “normal” is, just how quickly life as we knew it can end. And so perhaps you’re looking ahead to this new year and feeling a strange mixture of terror and anticipation.

Will things get worse before they get better? Will COVID be a memory by this time next year? Where are we in the scope of this struggle?

Of course, I don’t have the answers. For now, we are still in the middle. There’s hope on the horizon, it’s true, but we can’t gauge the distance yet to travel.

The middle is the keep-on-keeping-on part. It’s the trudge of one foot in front of the other, the seemingly endless march. It’s tough to do, in writing and living.

It’s the hardest part of the story.

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You Need to Hear These 6 Words Today

“Walk like you’re one inch taller.”

Dawn, my new physical therapist, was coaching me to walk properly last week. She’s helping me to improve my posture and alignment in order to heal from birth injuries.

As you’d imagine, I’m taking this work seriously. I’m on time for every appointment, giving each exercise my all.

But those 6 words nearly stopped me in my tracks.

The ears of my soul perked up, like a cat at the sound of kibble. That’s what my body feels like when it hears something true; my inner animal snaps to attention.

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Why Do I Feel Bad When I Spend Money On Myself?

I used to have so much trouble spending money “just for me.”

In college, I worked three jobs, volunteered, and tithed hundreds of dollars to my church … and I couldn’t pull the trigger on a $15 gift for myself.

Before I graduated from Vassar, I wanted to buy a coffee mug from my favorite cafe … but I couldn’t do it. Spending money on that “selfish” purchase was too anxiety-producing.

Why do I feel bad when I spend money on myself? I wondered. 

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