Balance, updates, and the long term

Okay. I’m back.

First, I just wanted to thank everyone who commented on, liked, or shared my previous post What I Owe. It’s often observed that we read to find resonance with our own experiences, but I think we write for very similar reasons. Lately, I’ve just been grateful to have it as a medium through which to process my thoughts.

I hope this post will also serve a positive function, namely as a means of getting back on track. Which means thinking about what #SaveSweetBriar means for me personally in the long term.

And that brings to me to the second thing: I want to let you know that the blogs will go back to normal. Mostly. I’ll go back to writing for The Girl Who Loved Zombies, Dead White Guys, and Tate Street, at minimum on a weekly basis. There will be occasional updates/conversations about Sweet Briar on here, much the way I write about everything else in my life. In many respects, #SaveSweetBriar has become another project in my repertoire.

I’ve decided that’s the healthy, responsible thing to do. Tempting as it is to stay up until all hours planning and worrying and debating options, it’s simply not sustainable. This particular movement will take time. And running yourself ragged not only damages your personal wellbeing, it actually makes you a bad volunteer and activist.

I know: I harp on self-care a lot. But that’s because I’ve learned the hard way how necessary it is. E.g., I used to volunteer for an online hotline. It was often an emotionally intense experience. The people I spoke to had been through trauma, some of them very recently. It takes effort to be the calm voice. It’s draining. I made the mistake once of signing up for multiple long shifts in one day. There were several emergency situations during my hours. One of my visitors threatened suicide. I have rarely felt so wrecked as I did that night. It took weeks to muster the energy to return to the hotline. There were opportunities to help people lost because I didn’t properly self-care. I’m sure they got help anyway, but I felt guilty for my avoidance.

It’s better to be a good volunteer in the long term, which means knowing your limits. This is especially hard when you know time is a factor and when the cause is as personal as this one, but increased anxiety, sleeplessness, and poor nutrition are all major hits to your immune system. (Case and point: I’m actually getting over being sick now. Surprise, surprise.) And tired, sick, grumpy people do not make good volunteers.

So I’m back to seeking balance, which is pretty much normal, as you all know. To make this even more interesting, in addition to #SaveSweetBriar, I’ve added a few other projects to the docket. I’m excited to tell you that I’ve picked up two professional opportunities since my last update: one with VProud.tv and the other with Embodied Awareness. I encourage you to check them out for their own sakes–because feminism and yoga–and I’ll share more details soon.

How do you think about the long term? Where would you like more balance in your life?

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