I follow a blogger named Sarah Bessey, who is in every way the blogger I want to be and am not. She takes the mundane, the quotidian, and so naturally turns it into poetry that you can’t ever again see her subject as being normal. She doesn’t argue, or persuade, she celebrates and revels and in doing so, she makes you want to see life from her perspective.
When I saw that Sarah was hosting a synchroblog on what saves you, I knew I had to participate.
Because, you see, I have needed so much saving this summer.
These past few sweltering weeks have been almost unbearable at times. My work has demanded and exhausted every bit of me that it can take. I’m an extrovert, which means that my best hope for rejuvenation comes in the form of my friends, but I haven’t seen anyone this summer nearly as much as I would like. That goes for Chad too, since our work schedules have us spending far more time apart than together. I wake up tired, struggle through my day, come home, and crash. It doesn’t help that we’re in election season now, and so the time that I could spend relaxing frequently involves being bombarded with evidence of how our world will go to Hell if I don’t get off the couch and do something.
I’ve written, and rewritten this next part so many times that I very nearly just gave up on this project altogether. What is saving my life? What makes waking up every morning bearable, when I would much rather destroy my alarm clock and ignore the world until something better comes along?
I’ve come up with and scratched answers like hope, patience, trust, perseverance. All true, all sappy, but none conclusive. Because honestly, it’s not about virtues, it’s about people.
It’s the kids at camp who remind me about why I really love children. The little boy who kept climbing into my lap to sleep during nap time, no matter how many times I put him back on his mat. The girl whose love for comic book movies spawned a conversation that lasted the whole bus ride to MOSI. The boy who sweetly and quietly follows instructions while the rest of his cohorts develop very selective hearing. The girl who knows more about “sharing and caring” than kids twice her age, even if she’s too young to be able to fully articulate her opinions.
It’s the family and friends whose time and company I crave so deeply that I can feel it in my bones. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with solitude; I have had plenty of practice being alone. It’s that I am revitalized by being around people- I am an ENFJ, after all. Also, it’s that my friends and family are fabulous human beings, and time spent in the presence of such fabulousness is far better than time spent away from it.
Lastly, in the sense of how badly American politics makes me want to wear sackcloth and pour ashes on my head, it’s the people for whom I fight who keep me alive. I always try to fight as an ally rather than a savior, but I fight nonetheless, and it’s that fight that keeps me focused. When I would rather stick my head in the sand and cry enough already!I remember that the fighting is the only hope that so many people have for a better life, and I fight on. I have the privilege of reducing some issues to semantics or exegesis or theory, and that alone would be enough to cause me to throw in the towel and give up on humanity. But I want to see a better world for my neighbors and for my future children, and focusing on them keeps me going.
I guess, in the end, a virtue has saved me this summer. It’s just as sappy, and sounds just as cliche as trust, hope, and patience, but in a period where I have danced precariously close to despair more than once, it is the only thing that has been able to pull me to safety every time.