man, what a week. actually, what a season. i know for a fact that i am not alone in the idea that this time of year feels overwhelming. there’s so much to do and so much going on. and it feels like the hours are literally slipping through my fingers like sand. it’s this immense season of gratitude and peace. it’s this season where you’re doing and going and moving. shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, planning. balancing the roles and responsibilities. working long days. waking up when it’s dark and getting home when it’s dark. and for me, today just started off on the wrong foot. my dog has pneumonia. and spent the better part of last night coughing and sneezing and throwing up. so when i was still up scrubbing my carpet when the first alarm went off, i just knew. it was gonna be that kinda day. and of course, it was still raining when i walked out of my house at quarter to seven. mother nature never asks me for my weather advice, especially when my hair is straightened. i spill coffee down the front of my shirt; the one that i have to wear all day at work. juggling a zillion things in my hands as i am running on the coffee that isn’t on my shirt and about sixteen minutes of sleep total. i am already regretting wearing uggs and a long sleeve shirt as sweat is upon my brow. and in case you’re curious, teaching on the day of break requires a monumental amount of rest, patience and the ability to juggle one thousand things at a time. and of course, i love spending time with my students. but it’s also pure chaos. and it’s overstimulating and loud. it’s a million things and a million questions. but also a to do list before break that’s a mile long. it’s not having my disney plus password so we can’t watch the grinch. it’s hot chocolate that becomes lukewarm chocolate because of my time management. it’s clorox wipes and overflowing trash cans and scrubbing desks. it’s last minute gift wrapping and carline duty. and the sighs of relief when the morning ends. and i am so grateful for the season we just ended as a school community. one that felt very sad and chaotic and lonely at times. it felt like a sigh of just weight leaving as the break became within reach.

but the bigger picture is this. that i came home and anxiety flooded me. that my sick dog is very sick. that my grand plans for a relaxing weekend are slowly disintegrating. that the common cold has struck my house and the mountain of laundry still needs to be tackled. everything thing feels large and overwhelming. my to do list is pages long and my energy level is lower than low. there are still gifts to be wrapped and i know i forgot things on my grocery list for sure. the cleaning lady is coming on friday but nobody can be in her way so there’s that. planning an escape for my husband and dog. i just cancelled my flight to see my best friend. and it has me in tears. because there is just too much happening. life is just throwing a lot at me. and it’s hard to juggle everything at once sometimes. people ask me all the time- ‘how do you do it’ and the simple answer is ‘i honestly don’t know’. i am usually heavily caffeinated and very tired. i am usually wearing one of the last clean items i own or eating a bag of raw veggies that was shoved in my lunchbox last minute. four days this week, i ate pretzels for lunch. just loose ones in a bag in my desk. pure chaos i promise. the outside looks way more put together than the inside. and in the scheme of mental health; this week was definitely tough. the loss of stephen twitch boss as well as receiving the sad news of my friend chelsea. the world felt a little sadder and the notion of taking care of ourselves and of one another became loud and clear. and today, i found myself wanting to just shout to no one in particular- ‘when can i have a break from looking after myself?’ and i mean that in the most sincere fashion. that there are days when the invisible workload hits different. when i become so tired of planning meals, washing clothes, cleaning the fridge, making beds, making returns, mailing bills, stripping sheets, ordering dog food, buying birthday gifts, stain treating a tshirt or wrapping a christmas gift. but here we are- overwhelmed and overworked. overstimulated and overtired. the gifts that keep on giving.

but i find myself reminding myself that the moon has phases too. sometimes it graces us with a sliver of light. just enough to get by. other nights, it’s full out. showing the whole damn thing. fully participating in the night sky situation. and there’s a lot in between. waxing and waning and going through the motions. it’s a whole thing. and i can be a whole thing too. a range of emotion. a range of situations. a drastic difference from one day to the next. and sure, we can sometimes call mental health into question. but sometimes, the phases are just part of this life. just part of figuring it out. and the phases- whew- they deserve to be judgement free. they deserve to be received as they are. a phase. a passing moment or two. a stretch of time where it might be bright or it might be a bit faded. regardless, a phase. not a forever. just a moment or less light- maybe a time for pause. or grief. or sadness. or being overwhelmed. or all of it.

the moon moves in phases. offering us a glimpse into its full emotional state of being. sometimes we get the full show; and other times, just a sliver of light.

both still bring the dawn. xo.

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