Thursday, September 19, 2013

Second Wind

I’m not an athlete, but even I know that if I rest before I get too tired, I get a second wind. 

This is just as true when exercising emotions.  

missed our turn-off, but got close to the Arch!
Recently, my husband and I drove to Missouri upon my father's death. I expected to feel distress, sadness, and anxiety. But apparently I have shallow emotional reserves and time with family quickly drained me. Once spent, I fled to the hotel. 

As a highly introverted person, I best refill when I have time alone. That wasn’t an option yet. 

I persevered through the short trip, ready and relieved to depart. 

Once home I felt like an old helium balloon hovering just above the floor. Over the next days I promised myself no agenda but to nap. We expected out-of-town guests in three days; but, I reckoned, I’d be at least partially reinflated by then. 

However, I’d written down the wrong dates, and the day after our return my friends called and said they were two hours away. Should they stop for dinner first?

I was dismayed, and dreaded what I had formerly anticipated.  My husband reassured me and said a quick prayer while we made up the guest bed. 

Our friends were gracious, insightful, and let us set the pace--old-people slow-motion.

Thank you, Scott and Becki. (Bec on the left, Scott's the photographer) 

By the time we retired the first evening my consternation had faded.   Although still weary, I knew they understood my poverty of spirit. 

Over the next days they shared their emotional energy, and I got a second wind. 

It blew in with their arrival, buoyed me up for the duration of their stay, and I rode it out on the jetstream of their departure.

Anne Lamott says it better than I can:

“This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds.”

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