One of the things I’m learning because of grief is that it’s not only possible, but an inescapable reality that deep hurt and astonishing beauty co-exist. Demoralizing political news that pops up in my timeline is often followed by a picture of a new baby or a vacation selfie and followed again by more news of violence or injustice.
Sometimes, even when I do my best to protect myself from pain by doing a social media blackout or focusing on what’s good in the world, it finds me anyway. Yesterday, I was sprinting on the treadmill, and a commercial for a drug to treat the disease that killed my father-in-law started playing on one of the gym TVs. I wanted to burn the world down.
I stopped running because I could feel the tears coming hot and fast. I jumped off to the side and cried for a little while. The good thing about crying in the gym is that sweat and tears are indistinguishable. Then I hopped back on and finished the mile at my usual pace because I know this will not be the last time that grief will literally stop me in my tracks, and I’ll need to know how to deal with that.
A day is made up of so many moments marked by so many experiences and feelings. I stopped trying to determine whether a day has been good or bad a long time ago.
The day was what it needed to be.
It’s okay to find some beauty, peace, or joy in your world despite horrific injustices and pain in the world at large. Self-care is survival, and we need you here to resist, stand up to hate, fight AND to review rolling eyeliner or go on vacation or enjoy a fancy dessert or celebrate your kid’s first day of school. We need it all, because it’s all part of our messy, tragic, delightful day.
When I came home from the gym, I put my kid to bed and read him “Blue Hat, Green Hat,” which is a book about a turkey who puts its clothes on the wrong way. I laughed so much my kid insisted that we read it again.
Sometimes resilience is resistance, and it’s all in a day’s work.