I see you fighting the good fight. Speaking out against injustice, standing up for kids, researching and citing your sources, kicking butt, and taking names. Before the year was even halfway over, you had suited up for all kinds of battles. You’re a warrior. I salute you.
It’s been a tough year. Maybe you’ve discovered things about yourself and your life you never thought you would have to confront. Maybe you’ve learned things about lifelong friends and beloved family members that have horrified you. And the hits haven’t stopped coming. It doesn’t matter how many social media breaks you take, how many people you unfollow, unfriend, and block, there is always something new to steal your peace.
Everybody’s nerves are shot and patience is thin. So maybe you weren’t the type to engage in comments section battles before, but you are now. It could be that your high school classmate is the biggest doofus in the world and you just now noticed, or it could be that you’ve spent the past six months stressed about one thing or another with very little reprieve, and you’re on edge.
I’m not saying all of the things you’re arguing on social media about aren’t important. I’m just wondering if you’re preserving your energy for the battles that are productive. Trust me, I’ve been there and will likely be there again. And when I get there, I hope you have the instinct to do for me what I’m doing for you. I hope you’re able to tell me (gently) to zoom out and get some perspective.
I hope you ask me if I’ve considered that I’m not going to change that person’s mind, and can I make peace with that fact. I hope you remind me that there are other ways to effect change, such as raising money or donating time to the organization on the front lines of the cause.
I hope you support me as I switch gears and focus on other pursuits, even if for a little while so that I can be more effective and energetic when it’s time to rejoin the fight. And most importantly, I hope you help me remember that, while it may be a marathon, marathons can be run in a relay.
Remember, and nurture, your “why”
I love to see you fight, but I also love to see you laugh. I love seeing you cook. I love seeing you love on your family and your pets. And while it might be harder to enjoy doing those things these days, it’s still important to do them. Because when this fight is finally over, you have to be able to remember why you were fighting in the first place.
What I’m saying is this: Don’t leave it all on the battlefield (or the battle-feed, to be more accurate). As long as this rock keeps circling the sun, there will be someone to stand up for. Even the strongest legs need to rest sometimes.