(Inspired by the 27 Wildest Days writing challenge by Laurie Wagner.)
Let’s lower the bar.
Do you feel that? That rush of relief, like you stuck a pin in a ballooning and all that striving for perfection just leaked out.
Let’s lower the bar.
Don’t wear make-up every damn day.
Don’t use filters on your photos or on Zoom.
Don’t worry about the softness around your belly. Don’t hate it, love it. It is part of you. An essential part.
Let’s lower the bar on productivity especially during this time. Sure, you are at home. Sure, you have more time because you and your husband are currently not working. But do you know what else you have? A pandemic to live through. Trauma to process. Anxiety to manage. I don’t think you quite understand how much energy it is taking just to keep you going through all of this.
Let go of the word counts and submission quotas and the moving your body to fix or lose something rather than for the sheer joy of moving.
Let go of keeping the house pristine just because you are there.
Let go of all the challenges you see on-line encouraging you to really “make use” of this time.
Let go of the memes reminding you that when Shakespeare was quarantined during the plague he wrote “King Lear,” the implication being: “What are YOU accomplishing during this plague? What great gift to humanity can you offer?”
Let’s lower the fucking bar.
Let your gift be that you stayed present.
That you managed to scribble in your notebook daily and even shared some writing on your blog in an effort to connect, to let others know that it isn’t just them, that they aren’t alone in what they may be feeling or experiencing.
Let your gift be that you used this time to try to heal and grow and that you failed as often as you succeeded and that’s okay because you tried. You entered the arena. The arena of your wild mind and shadow and projections and fears and you faced them.
Let your gift be that you didn’t succumb to complete inertia and depression and despair. Oh, some days you did and that’s okay. Your gift is that it wasn’t every day.
Let your gift be that you began to peel away layers of perfection, of masks that you wore out there. That you began to allow yourself to be seen. Truly seen. By others. By yourself.
Just lower that bar that you’ve been holding high above you for so long, always reaching for more, for better, for doing, having and being more. For fixing what isn’t even broken. What was never broken to begin with.
Jus lower the damn bar already. Your arms must be so tired. So heavy. Like cement blocks. What a relief to set it down.
Instead of looking up at the unreachable height, you can lower it, lower it all the way down and set it gently on the ground and step over it, looking ahead without a glance back. You’ve finally released something you never really needed in the first place.
How does it feel?