My goodness, last week was a somber one. I was originally planning for it to be a week of self-reflection, beginning a much needed process of self-prioritization, appreciation, and affirmation. You know, one of those start the year off right things by recognizing and valuing all that is truly important in life. I don’t mean to mention it so casually. It really is a process I’m taking seriously. And since I’m planning to embark on some serious life changes this year, now seems like the best time to finally start (for real – I’ve taken it less seriously in the past). Perhaps I’ll get more into that process later. For now, I’ll just say it can be sobering when taking a look at where I’d like to be personally, professionally, emotionally…and all the work that will be required to get there.
And then as I’m just starting to dig in at the beginning of the week, on Tuesday a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, a country already stricken with more than its fair share of tragedy. Not that anything is – but all I can think is, “it’s just not fair,” effectively silencing every time I’ve used this phrase in reference to myself in the past. So many people – black people suffering, dying, dead. All of my personal struggles are insignificant in comparison. My heart goes out to Haiti and her people. I’ve shed tears over the news footage. I sent as much money as I could afford to yele.org (right choice or not? not sure: smoking gun & Wyclef defends). I wish I knew how to do more.
And then my building’s porter made me cry on Friday. A light conversation while on my way to work led to chatting about the earthquake. Since my building and neighborhood have a high concentration of Haitians, I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear about how deeply affected my neighbors have been by the tragedy. But when the porter told me that one neighbor lost three members of her family to the earthquake, I just lost it. There I was, standing by the trash cans in front of a cooky man with questionable social skills, crying over the loss of a family for a woman I don’t even know. My emotions need some stabilizing. The semi-started self-reflection combined with a global crisis appears to have left me in a weakened state.
So I’m resetting. Fortunately, Dr. King’s day was a nice, symbolic day for such a reset, affirming the value of both self and others. My personal challenges may diminish in value in comparison to what’s happening in Haiti (any so many other parts of the world) – but I’m the only one who’s going to work on them. So the work must go on…
This was a bit of a ramble. But hopefully that’s forgivable in reset mode?