So much to balance…
WOW — what a year. It flipped everything on its head in a way few of us saw coming, forcing us to juggle a new reality.
How to visually show what it’s felt like?
As I thought through how to dramatically reenact the emotions and sensations of this year, the words of a friend kept echoing back, from the day in April that I called her and said: “I don’t think I can handle all this. I don’t think I can make it through.”
We found a strength we didn’t know we had.
My friend took a deep breath as she let my words settle, then she replied: “You WILL make it through. You are stronger than you realize. We all are.”
Looking inside and doing the work.
That was a turning point. I started meditating every day, even when it seemed there wasn’t time, between remote teaching and caring for our two young kids. I channeled my stress and worry into daily exercise and walks outside. I quit drinking (see my article on how to stop drinking alcohol here). I scheduled calls with my best friends and beloved family as often as possible. I began to look at what was actually going on inside my body. It was surprising to see what is there.
The truth comes out.
My silver roots began to grow in and take over my wild mane, and I stopped struggling to cover them. This became a metaphor for what I began to realize: At almost 40 years old, I am who I am. I am my body. My body is my soul. My soul is untouchable, no matter the context, when I actually learn to look at and love what’s there.
You are strong and beautiful.
Thank you for the flexibility and power you showed this year. Thank you for pushing through to keep everything running, even when you thought it was impossible. Thank you for taking the time to pause and care for yourself, even when it seemed there wasn’t space. You are worthy, and you are incredible. Here’s to growth and love… now and always.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!