By now you may have picked up on the occasional note of desperation in my blogging. A little exhaustion, feeling spread a wee bit thin. This year has been the most demanding and rewarding year in my life, and it left me feeling at a very low ebb in my emotional resources. This weekend was just the recharge that I needed.
I went to the Mormon Women’s Forum Counterpoint Conference. They invited me to speak on the work I’ve been doing for WAVE, and so I got to spend the weekend hanging out with my feminist heroes, my dear friends, and surround myself in this supportive community that extended me blessings and love and every good thing.
The writing and activism stuff I’ve been doing has been so rewarding to me, but it is emotionally costly. This weekend I felt all of that emotion I’ve been putting out given back to me in the most beautifully tender ways.
I’ve also learned about an exciting new charity that I feel compelled to get involved with. Judy Dushku, that beautiful silver fox in the photo, runs an African charity for survivors of war trauma. I’ll write up a better post in the future, but it was so personally meaningful to me, and so incredibly moving, that after her speech I had to just go up to her, hold her hands, and say, “I want in.”
Which seems to be leaving my mouth a lot these days. I’ve also been pitching in a little bit behind the scenes of a really wonderful magazine for Mormon women, Exponent II, and my friends there have tried to protect me from myself by volunteering to go easy on me. But I can’t help myself. There’s a lot in this world I care about and I want to be involved in all of it.
I had a former bishop who used to always say, “A change is as good as a rest.” When someone would get exhausted and frustrated by volunteering in one capacity, he’d ask them to volunteer somewhere else. He did this with his kids too. When they would whine about doing yard work, he’d send them inside to fold laundry. A change of environment, a use of different muscles, could be just as comforting as taking a break and twice as productive. This is a principle that works in my life. I get exhausted with fighting bureaucracy for Atti’s care, so I write something, and when I get sick of writing something, I make something. It’s a careful balancing act, but it is FAR more rewarding than taking a nap.
In order to pull it off, I just need to relish the weekends I get like this last one, surrounded by friends who cheer me on and prove to me where the true rewards in life are.