Let the Plates Fall

 This photo was taken in 2009. Pretty sure that was the last time we saw the sun around here.  

This photo was taken in 2009. Pretty sure that was the last time we saw the sun around here.  

Sometimes the snow falls slowly, flake by delicate flake, so slowly that you don't notice their accumulation.  Suddenly, it seems, the innocuous flakes that fell so quietly have blanketed the land, and you must bundle up and shovel your way out.

Such has been my life over the past few months.  As the literal snow has fallen down on my shoulders, so too has the weight of responsibilities, none of them so great as to be unmanageable on their own but suddenly, it seemed, they had accumulated and I needed to bundle up and shovel my way out.

Some time in late October or early November, I think, I stopped during a particularly bad moment and wrote down what I was feeling:

I’m feeling a little like I’m on the verge of being overwhelmed, that one straw too many will be piled on and I will collapse. I can’t point to what, exactly, has me feeling this way. Just that I’m eroding, the cumulative effect of a natural force that I can’t withstand...I feel like I’m spinning a thousand tiny plates, losing a few at any given moment, too small to make much sound, too few to make a fuss, but the constant tiny failures undermine the constant tiny successes which must be there but they’re making no noise doing their spinning...This is a very undramatic way to fall apart - it’s not even falling apart, more like falling into disrepair, an aging, things breaking down and not working as well as they once did...How did I give so much before? How did I do this? What has triggered this slow avalanche?

It seemed a good time, then, to stop and listen.  To step back from all that wasn't necessary so I could take care of myself and plan a better way forward.  I could feel the pull of my depression, which tends to test the foundation for cracks every year as the winter comes on.  I can hear its voice in some of the words above, the ghost writer to my most uncharitable thoughts.  (Holy metaphor city around here).

This is not to give the impression that all has been dire and hopeless.  On the contrary, the last few months have seen the beginning of some wonderful new storylines in my life.  New connections with old friends, new ideas for writing and other creative projects, progress made toward other goals.  Stepping back and intentionally allowing some of the plates to fall allowed me the time and energy to nurture those relationships and ideas and take those steps toward building the future I want, to get some of my most important plates spinning.  (I highly recommend doing this, letting the plates fall.  It is amazingly un-disastrous.)  I'm happy to say that I'm feeling much better.  And I'm ready to giv'r.  

So once again, with feeling: let's do this thing.