Icelandic graffiti -- yellow flowerGood morning — it’s a Friday. How’d that happen so fast?

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Apparently, this week has been about recovery, replenishing, at least around these parts. When we put out a big effort, when we spend weeks preparing for one big push, and then that push comes and we give everything we have, it’s not surprising, is it, to find ourselves drained on the other side. There’ve been a lot of bad movies this week, puppy play-time, going to bed relatively early. There’s been some mourning, even. (Wait — that’s it? It’s over?)

This week, radical self-care has looked like deep gentleness with self, being ok with letting the unanswered emails wait one more day, crying when I’ve needed to cry, noticing what’s beautiful around me, waiting for words and effort to come back into my muscles.

We often don’t give ourselves — at least, this is very true for me — replenishing time. After we’ve worked very hard, pushed to organize an event or gather together a protest or write the first draft of an article or edit our novel all the way through or done anything that requires us to give all the parts of ourselves, to deplete our reserves, to show up all the way, we have to take time, then, to fill up again. I very often just run, push, into the next thing, whatever it is, until the reserves have gone dry and I feel husked, without more to give. This model I’ve been inhabiting doesn’t lend itself, of course, to sustainability (notwithstanding that it’s how I’ve met my work for the last many years) — burnout is an ever-present possibility looming around my inside shadows.

And so I’m resting this week, getting quiet, writing in the notebook, filling up again.  When I am brave enough, maybe I’ll even go to acupuncture or go for a massage.

How do you replenish after a big effort? How do your characters? Could you let this be a write for today? Take 10 minutes and write just to that word — let it be a free-association freewrite: Replenish. What comes up for you when you read that word? Follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.

Thank you for the downtime you take, the way you model self-care for others, how you let your deep reserves fill up so that you can continue to show up for the work you care about and the people you love. Thank you for your creative and generous and radical self-care. Thank you for your words.

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