The Paper-Shredder.

Hi.  It’s been a minute.

My last blog post was written in late October 2019, just over six months ago, after more than seven years of weekly or bi-weekly posts.  The truth is, I just ran out of ideas.  My posts became harder to write, harder to come up with, harder to find the time for.  I started my website as a way for you to get to know who I am;  a landing spot of sorts, for you to find me, wherever my physical practice location may be.  But as time went on and life got busier, the joy that my writing brought me was not outweighed by its place on my to-do list.

NYC marathon finish

The 2019 NYC marathon finish line; I’m in the neon yellow shirt.

My last post, 948km to NYC, was written five days prior to my once-in-a-lifetime run at the New York City Marathon.  That run could not have gone better, and my dreams were realized; I qualified for both the Chicago marathon (as of this writing, still currently scheduled for October 2020) and the Boston marathon, set for April 2021.  And then life got busy.  My level of busy had been building for years; as I increased my work hours, as my practice grew, as my kids got older, as my responsibilities increased.  And the blog posts that used to free-flow from me, the stories that used to pop into my head and unravel their words to me many days before my deadlines, simply dried up.  I couldn’t find the time to honour my thoughts, to write out my dreams, to delve into my creativity.  I was on the road to burnout, and even though I could see it, feel it, and identify it, even as I was in the eye of the storm, I felt powerless to stop it.  So I stopped writing instead.

Then Covid happened.

And my world stopped.

You see, I’m a busy-body.  I love to be constantly in motion, I thrive on multi-tasking, I have a hard time with rest and downtime and lack of structure.  Brene Brown calls it “over-functioning,” and explains that rather than feel vulnerable, over-functioners go into action mode.  Um, my hand is up.  That’s me.

The first few weeks were tough.  There were a lot of tears, a lot of disbelief, a lot of fear about closing the clinic, financial anxiety, wondering how I would cope, how we could rebuild.  So I did what I know how to do: I kept busy.  And yet the quiet times slowly crept in.  The sleep-ins became later, the reading on the couch became more frequent, the puzzling with a podcast became more regular.  Big lessons have unfolded over the last two months, and I’ve found the time to listen.  To slow down.  To introspect.  To think.  And yes, to write.

The most recent lesson I learned happened last night.

You see, in the frenzied early-Covid-cleanout of our basement storage room, I came across a box of old clinic financial forms, dated 2008-2010.  For the past many weeks, I have been working my way through shredding these documents, a little bit each night, as my husband reads Harry Potter bedtime stories to the kids.  Last night I came to the end of the box, and in a nudge from the Universe, the final month I pulled from the bin was labelled “January 2009.”

Let me explain: in January 2009, I was nine months pregnant with my first child.  My brand-new clinic was eleven months old.  My stress level was high, my bank account was low, and I wondered how I’d ever get through the obstacles ahead of me.  Looking back, eleven years later, I remember the stress.  I remember the overwhelming emotions.   It was perhaps the most challenging year of my life.

But it brings me strange comfort to look back on this snapshot of 2009 and put it through the paper-shredder.  I got over those hurdles, I made it to the other side, when it felt like the other side was really far away.  And so I trust that, as my resiliency is being tested, my coping skills are being pushed, and my obstacles seem staggering, I will look back, and I will put 2020 in the shredder.

And you will too.

Keep your head up, and your shredder close.