The Ice Storm
As a School Counselor, I have worked almost every day of this pandemic. Including Summers. (Who do you think assigns your kiddos to classes? 😘) Most days last year were 12-14 hours. Every day. No overtime pay. No bonuses. And no raises this year.
I'm not a hero - I'm burnt out. I don't need praise - I need my soul back. And I know I'm not the only one. Some of us don't know how to give less than 100% - and that's been taken advantage of more than ever in this pandemic.
I think many of us are at a breaking point, and since the systems don't seem to be changing, we're deciding to change ourselves instead. Setting boundaries. Setting limits. Forcing a work-life balance. Forcing self-care.
And self-care doesn't mean quick fixes like mani-pedis and massages (although it could). It means long-term fixes. It means not taking on unpaid responsibilities. It means not cleaning up other people's messes. It means not constantly seeking ways to be proactive that go unappreciated. It means creating distance from people and things that take energy without reciprocating.
And do you know what ? After only a week of that shift in mindset for me...... THIS is what happened. I woke up on the morning after the ice storm..... and I WANTED to pick up my camera and photograph it. I WANTED to edit the photos within 24 hours instead of them sitting on my camera untouched for months. The 🎉SPARK🎉 came back. And so did some of my energy. Just like that.
And ya know what else ? That night, my wise old neighborhood Great Horned Owl friend reappeared for the first time since Christmas. 🦉 And as Bradley Cooper would say, "I'm gonna take that as a Silver development ! That's a silver lining!"
I'm reading the signs, and the Universe is telling me that I'm doing the right thing. That self-care isn't selfish - it's self-preservation. And in practicing that, that's how I'll bounce back. I'm just here and sharing in case you're trying to re-find your spark and your soul too. 💕