I am experiencing fatigue - which is just down the street from exhaustion, around the corner from boredom, and the next town over from depression. It's a familiar neighborhood. I've been here before which is why I can name it. The first time I stumbled onto fatigue, I was blissfully unaware as I was distracted by the sweet face of my first born son. He would only sleep in my arms (or I only allowed him to sleep in my arms - I have newborn amnesia), which at the time seemed like I was winning some unnamed competition between me and the crib. But like in war, the victor only seems to win. Day and night of operating on someone else's unreasonable, demanding schedule is maddening. The energy required to stay in the present moment, anticipating the next nonverbal request while cleaning and working and cooking and sometimes bathing is beyond protein drinks and bootstraps. Fatigue is like mind, body, and soul tired. But different than depression, fatigue permitted a quiet fire in my belly that drove me to feed, change, bath, and love my way through the fog. Dramatic much? Yes, I believe it's a symptom of fatigue.
Fast forward to now and - the world. Recently, I decided to make my world a little smaller in order to ward off the looming feelings of fatigue. Being an informed citizen, reading, listening, and scrolling content about the world, our country, my state, county, city, neighborhood was scaring the crap out of me and I was forgetting to breathe. As a mother, I want to protect. As a woman, I want to understand. As a friend, I want to support. As a biracial person, I want to scream. As a spiritual woman, I want to believe. As a change educator, I am all too familiar with the immediacy to fix what's broken and the eventual fatigue that follows from the constant hard work which is required for real change to take hold. I am knee deep in the hard work of changing what I can and I am being called to redirect my focus, to go further.
As Americans, many of us are experiencing fatigue because we live in a don't-tell-me-what-to-do nation (please reread those words with the piercing voice and conviction of a teenage girl who knows she is the smartest person in the room - cross your arms and stomp your foot if that helps). The bratty behavior around wearing masks - wear the stupid masks for crying out loud. The feigned ignorance around systemic racism. The constant indignant comments while calling for civil discourse are what led me to the decision to focus less on those who unapologetically hate, and more on the fire burning in my soul to trudge beyond fatigue to what's next. Dramatic much? Yes, I believe it's a symptom of fatigue.
Lori Ann Dinkins
One blog at a time, I write the truth about my life as it is, as I hope it will be, as I wish it would have been. Business insights and personal triumphs. Thank you for joining me.