Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

In college I had a humanities class where we were required to keep a journal in order to apply what we were learning from the readings in class to our lives. I remember one day my journal entry was something like, “I don’t have much to say today,” or “I don’t feel like writing today.

Several years later I still remember the professor’s response.  “This tells me as much as anything you might have written.

Today is one of those days where I don’t feel like writing, not because I don’t have much to say, but because I feel like being quiet.  Last night I watched a fascinating TED talk by Susan Cain, author of Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.  I realize now there was a reason I spent a great deal of my life wandering the desert. 

Today was the start of a new semester and it’s been an incredibly noisy and hectic day full of demands and dealing with the consequences of decisions that were not mine to make but somehow mine to manage.

A walk would do wonders but I doubt even my pink coveralls could keep me warm in these temps.  You might remind me that’s what my treadmill is for but then I’d have to remind you of my mental state.  I think we’d both decide it’s best for me to put on my warmest pajamas and go straight to bed.

Some days do not require further examination.  Some days simply require acceptance and appreciation that tomorrow is a new day.  As much as Bob may miss my couch potato presence as of late, tonight when I sat down and curled up on the couch ready to throw in the towel, he actually told me to go write.  He knew this was a better option for me than the treadmill or even the warm pajamas.

Admitting that not every day is another day is paradise may have the paradoxical effect of making us happy.  As much as I like to be the little engine that could, some days I’m just the train wreck waiting to happen as I near the station.  I think we need to know that about each other.

I can meet you here at our potluck every night because I’ve spent a number of years being quiet and invisible and contemplative and questioning.  I can be quite social and cheery and chatty when I’ve had a delicious day of solitude and space.  But give me too many days like today in a row and I would quickly clam up.

Fortunately, as a seasoned facilitator, this grasshopper knows it’s not falling down that’s the issue.  It happens, even when wearing ice cleats.  It’s getting up that matters.

Especially tomorrow since sleeping through the entire semester sounds so appealing right now.

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