How many times have you said, “Sorry, I’ve been really busy”?
Busy is the go-to explanation for a wide range of commitments we couldn’t keep or communications we’ve neglected.
It’s not necessarily untrue. We all tend to be pretty busy. Otherwise known as overworked, overscheduled, over-tired, or overwhelmed. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it all.
But sometimes, time isn’t the problem. Sometimes there technically was time, but that time was spent sitting on the couch or lying in bed, staring at a ceiling, staring at a phone, staring at a TV, or otherwise checking out.
Sometimes the busy was our brains shutting down. It was our souls being a little (or a lot) broken.
There were some things on my to-do list that didn’t get done this week. This morning, I found myself thinking, “I was just too busy this week.” But then came the self-correction: “I was a little too broken this week.”
The week started out fine. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday were all reasonably productive and my schedule was relatively on track. Then Thursday came along.
What is it about Thursdays?
People often complain about getting back to work on Mondays or about getting past the mid-week hump of Wednesdays but, for me, it’s Thursdays. They tend to start out very well, then get derailed somewhere in the mid-afternoon.
Maybe I’m running down by that point. Maybe the little things that got missed earlier in the week are starting to snowball. Maybe I’m worrying about plans for the weekend.
It’s not every Thursday (thankfully!) but if I’m going to hit a wall, it’s likely to be on a Thursday.
This week, I think it was about Mother’s Day looming on the horizon.
Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me. It’s a lovely day to spend time with my husband and kids. It’s a painful reminder that my mother is gone.
My mother had 12 Mother’s Days with me, and 18 Mother’s Days in total (including years with my older siblings). She saw only one of her children graduate from high school. She didn’t see any of us graduate from college, navigate careers, or start families.
She never saw her children become adults. She never met her grandchildren.
It’s not fair. It’s not fair for her to have missed so much. It’s not fair for us to have missed so much with her.
I’ve been without a mother since I was barely 13 years old. Thirty years later, that still hurts.
And when I say it “hurts,” I mean it crashes in on me with waves of pain and loss and detachment and distraction.
When it’s bad, I can manage the main commitments, like teaching yoga classes and showing up for scheduled appointments. It’s the other things that become impossible. The things that can quietly slide without too many repercussions, like writing plans, returning social texts, grocery shopping… thinking clearly… processing emotions… sleeping…
We’re often too busy to do all the things we want to do.
Sometimes, we’re a little too broken to do the things we want to do.
When you’re a little too broken, know that you aren’t alone.
Our minds and hearts can ache with pain that is no less debilitating than having the flu or breaking a bone. When we’re suffering mentally or emotionally, we need rest and care, just like we would for any other physical illness.
If that means letting a few things slide—even things you want to be doing—that’s how it goes.
Sorry, I was a little broken this week and needed time to heal.
Taking care of yourself is not a weakness. It’s a strength.
Take good care of yourself.