Well. Huge thanks to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for being born in January, thus giving us a three day weekend at at time when, even after a lovely nearly two week break in late December, we really need an extra pj morning. He was a gutsy and amazing man, and one who definitely adds a plus to the checkered history of organized religion, and hooray for a January b'day.
It's odd: I've been having a bit of a struggle with stress, hormones, and sleeping lately. It's the usual combo in which my inner self cooks up exactly the cocktail that will torment my outer self most effectively, because who knows how to drive me crazy better than. . . well, me? So I've been doing the right stuff--eating well, exercising, saying "no," seeing friends, making plans for fun stuff, knitting, keeping an eye on the big picture, taking a sleeping pill instead of lying awake fuming, etc.--but I'm still functioning on about 6 hours of sleep and a mildly suppressed sense of panic about that fact. I know it will pass: I have the journal entries to prove it. Whenever I think, "This is the worst round of insomnia since The First Big One in . . . 2001?" I go to my journal and hey! It's not! This happens every winter--sometimes in November, sometimes in February, often in January. It is, in an odd way, reassuring, as then my job becomes not "fixing it," but getting through it, learning from it, sitting with it. As a pragmatic fixer person, I hate that, but I think it's a good lesson.
AND. . . I am amazed how many of my friends are going through the same type of challenging time. I just got off the phone with my dearest friend, who's bedeviled by stress and worry and sadness, and my closest teaching friend is battling a migraine and generalized worry, and . . . . Suffice it to say, most of the women I know well enough for them to peel back the "Hey, I'm fine!" veneer are at a thin place right now. The earthquake just adds to it, partly as it creates guilt as we have our families around us, our houses intact, our bank accounts reasonably functional, but also as a layer of sadness and mourning.
So maybe this thin place is a part of the cycle of the year (or maybe I've been reading too many mythology-based ya novels: thanks, Terry P and Susan Cooper!), part of cleaning out, dealing with the dust bunnies of frustration with our spouses, global worries, panic about our ability to hold our worlds together. . . NOT THAT IT DOES NOT SUCK! I do not want to underestimate how much I hate the constant thinking about how I'm feeling or the loss of that blissful, freeing spin into the free fall of sleep. But. It feels like this is something female humans do. May we support ourselves and each other through it!