This idea of “The End of the World” is intriguing. I won’t like it if it turns out to be literally true, but as a metaphor of things to come – not bad. It works for me because it so mirrors what’s going on for me personally. I’ve hit a wall. I’m stuck, overwhelmed, depressed.
My doctor, when I spoke with him about it, immediately suggested I take time off from work. (Bless him for that!) He said that my symptoms suggest depression, and that he encounters is regularly among teachers, who otherwise love their work as I do. He agrees with me that I need to reground myself, and that key parts of that are to get physically active again (I’ve put on about 30 pounds in the last year) and to resume regular meditation. One of the key issues has been an inability to maintain any kind of focus or regularity, with anything!
So I’m taking time off to get healthy. It wasn’t easy to take off the time, despite how much I wanted it. I’m a government worker, and I sometimes run into attitudes about how little government workers actually work, and how we’re overpaid and live in some sort of fantasy world that’s detached from reality. Another part of the myth is that even when we’re working, we’re only coddling others who themselves don’t work or accept the harsh realities of life. The other attitude at play is that those of us in the “helping” professions typically tend to be uncomfortable seeking or accepting “help” for ourselves. We don’t practice very good self care, because we feel that we’re supposed to be caring for others. And because our clients are rarely in good shape (I work with homeless youth), even going home at the end of the day can carry a sense of incompletion.
I’ve managed to face the fact that I am not well, and that I can’t get better until I address some of the sources of my unwellness. I won’t go into all the details here, but suffice it to say that one thing that’s been missing is balance. I’m using my time off to get my balance back. One thing that means is to cut things out – both things I do for others, and indulgences I allow myself. And part of that involves having a different relationship with time. Lately it seems my main relationship with time has been to keep it crammed full of stuff, or to feel guilty because I’m not. It’s a frame of mind that makes it difficult to be emotionally still, in peace, or in flow.
So part of what’s gone just lately is “keeping up” with this blog, which I dearly love. I haven’t made any determination about changing anything here; I’ve just stepped away from the expectation (self-imposed) that I post at least six times a month (something I haven’t been managing anyway).
But back to the Mayans and this business about 21 December. One thing I love about it is that never before in my memory has Solstice received this degree of attention. But it’s a day I’ve been mindful of for most of my adult life, as the day the Earth makes its shift in relation to the sun, so that the days in the Northern Hemisphere begin to lengthen.
Solstice is a great time for beginnings, for fresh starts. This “coming of the light” is the best time imaginable for births of all kinds, particularly holy ones. And personally, I’m hoping that this Solstice will be my perfect time for a shift in perspective. May the day bring you what you need as well!