There is a lot of writing, working, writing, working, hustling, and all kinds of things happening. I’m caught up in the busy-ness of being busy. Buzzing from one thing to the next, railed out on too much caffeine, and not enough water. Dehydrated. Exhausted. I know I am making a difference, does that make it all worth the while?
I am left little time to tend to me. And when I do carve out time, I am not always up to it because of the incessant ringing in my ear and pain in my jaw. Hurts to eat, yawn, lay down, sleep, sit up, and do just about everything. I would not wish this on anyone. Every day, I get up, brush my teeth (also painful), put on my mask, and show up for life. Those things, most days, can be found through my work in the academic world and through work with Children’s Craniofacial Association. More recently, though I wondered, have I been feeding my soul enough? Have I lost myself again, this time bingeing on work? Maiming myself with the bullet points of my to-do list one task at a time?
The honest answer is: Probably. Life’s purpose is decided in the moment. Time is embraced and released nearly simultaneously. What do we do with the moments we are given? For me, I know each moment must count in my soul, not with the check mark on the to-do lists. Past moments and decisions cannot be judged, in fact, neither can present or future ones, since they are caught and released at nearly the same time.
So what am I doing to imprint moments upon my soul? Perspective. The installation of artwork at Boston University School of Theology is not just a series of movements, thoughts, decisions, tasks, but a symphony of actions mindfully made to create something beautiful to tell someone’s or some thing’s story. Writing an article about a fundraiser is not just constructing a great lede, body text, all with proper grammar and spelling. It is a meditation, sharing a village’s generosity inspired by families in need of medical attention, acceptance, and love.
The kind of tired that comes after this work is gratifying. The exhaustion is a release from every cell of my body. The days that I resist this perspective shift, I return to checking boxes, mindlessly walking through life counting what I have done only in my mind, but never in my heart. The calm release does not come. Instead, tired and wired, I can not sleep. Everything and everyone in my path is shrouded in pain and aggravation.
All of the work I do, like we were told when we were young upon setting scuffed, sneakered foot on the school bus, is a privilege not a right. I have the privilege showcase other people’s stories through their words or their art in both of my chosen vocations. Telling these stories with my heart and soul, makes me a better stronger version of me. It also allows me to share with others that they can be strong, too.
In each moment, I hope I never forget my heart’s mission and my privilege. Then I realize, if I do forget, it is okay. Since that moment is now gone and I’m on to the next. Forgiveness and acceptance…catch and release.