Windows boarded up after the storm

Why did January feel like it would never end this year? I know I am not alone in this feeling. The memes, social media posts and comments from those around me suggest that many felt the same.

January was stormy for me. I was hopeful for a gentle transition into February only to end up sick and apathetic at best.

That’s how it goes though after a storm. If you know a storm is coming, you have time to prepare. You board up your windows beforehand and the aftermath is minimal. Unfortunately, storms don’t always come with enough warning, or any warning at all. They appear out of no where with no time to prepare. They wreak havoc on your surroundings and when you’re done boarding up your windows after the fact, you’re exhausted.

Boarding up the windows after a storm is particularly hard for me. Going from a hurricane one day to a sunny day the next is slow and often painful. The residual effects of the storm can last weeks, if not longer. When I’m in crisis, dealing with something heavy, I’m on the move, constantly going. I’m problem solving, people-helping and doing anything to keep my mind busy. And then when the crisis ends, which it inevitably does, it’s incredibly hard to transition over to a period of rest. You think it’d be the opposite – a deep breath, a sigh of relief, and maybe for some people it is. For myself, the “high” of being in problem solving mode results in some incredibly dark lows thereafter.

It’s like when someone dies. Funerals (at least in my experience) generally become family reunions – several days of crying, laughing and being comforted by everyone close to you. You’re literally surrounded by those who are most important. Once the funeral is over though, everyone goes back to their daily lives. As they should. But for those closest to the loss, it’s not so simple. Their life does not return to normal. It’s often following the funeral where those closest to the loss, need the most comfort. The most help. It’s when they are boarding up the windows from their storm, likely on their own.

Last year had plenty of storms, one significant one that I talked about in Take this sinking boat and point it home, and countless others. The first month of this year was no exception. I’m getting stronger at weathering life’s storms. Becoming more resilient. Learning to better manage, especially during the eye where the most severe weather and highest winds occur.

This storm is settling, for now at least.  It may not be over but it’s eye has come and gone. The windows are boarded up and even though the clouds are still heavy, there’s a crack in the window boards. It’s small, tiny even, but just enough light gets in to remind me that everything will be okay.

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 Title Song – “Call It What You Want” by Taylor Swift

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