Self-nurturing is a caramelized topping over a trust brulée: you’ve got to have the trust, or you are left with just burnt sugar: sweet but brittle and not very satisfying.
—Jennifer Louden, Week 40 of The Life Organizer
I’m feeling on the spun-sugar side at the moment. Or maybe I’m feeling like flan (brulée)…all eggy form, and no crisp top to delight in. There’s a sub-surface conflict making riptides in one of my volunteer lives, and today I decided to yank the currents that I see up to the surface. Over email, unfortunately, the world’s worst medium for handling the dark, foggy, and messy. The possible aftermaths exhaust me as I contemplate them…
…but my self-trust backed me into a corner. Silence, or even operating side-long, I could no longer sustain.
My self-trust and self-nurture bring me to write now, too—despite feeling drained and uninspired. (I reached over my monitor and grabbed a book to give me a starting place.) Because I’ve been hungering to write posts with my thoughts in them for more than a few days now.
Mind you, my life rubric lists #1 as “I will be surrounded by my close family—spouse, parents, kids, kid-spouses, grandkids.” Whereas “…sharing my writing with people who are touched by it” comes in at #3. So spending time with B, on her pre-industrial schedule, wins out over writing. And while I wish her internal timing was more 20th-century, I don’t wish it enough to insist.
I trust my heart’s statement: it pleases me to watch her exercise this license. It’s only another month, after all… an elapsed month, in which I’m unavailable to her for half the time.
So for now I’m writing while she’s playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends. Tomorrow night perhaps I’ll do more of the same while she does more of her same—since during my afternoon I’ll watch Arrival with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. (This will make three movies in three days. I’m not sure how this will alter my flabby visual absorption channels-!)
It’s challenging when the things that matter to me push and shove on my self’s plate. But I’m grateful I can lean back on my list to help me remember that the dissatisfaction is temporary,
that I can trust that I am taking care of myself well,
and I can crisp up some writing-sugar even when I’m tired, when I articulate that writing, indeed, would be the happy crunchy topping for my day!