the Empathy List #69: How to Cure Weariness

Hint: Practice Resting

Hey friend, Liz here.

How do you know when you’re tired? When you don’t have anything else to give? When you’ve reached empty?

I take my cues from my husband. After I received a brutal round of rejections for book #1 in May (and couldn’t stop crying…), he mandated that my summer break begin early.

Sigh. I’m a self-starter, entrepreneurial, internally motivated do-er. That means I can do a LOT in a day (even in my stay-at-home mom days, my fellow stay-at-homers would gawk at the list I’d managed to accomplish with a slobbering creature around ;-)).

Yet living at such a pace does not bring out the best in me.

I need seasons of downtime or I spiral into depression and anxiety; I can lose myself.

So, if my husband happens to notice my weariness before I do, that’s a clue that the sprint must end ASAP. (He’s a wise and kind man.)

My summer practice of rest has been a journey… but I’ve realized, that’s just the particular way that I rest. I lose myself in creative projects that seem unrelated to anything else, I rearrange all the furniture in the house, I finish zero books from cover to cover, I obsess over the vegetable garden and blitz up gallons of jam from farmer’s market produce (so far I’ve filled the pantry with 12 jars of apricot marmalade and a stock of preserved tomatoes for homemade tomato soup and marinara in colder months).

In case you can relate to my weariness on any level, here’s how I’m curing my own weariness:

1. Plant a seed, any seed, in dirt you own. Water and watch. (You’re planting delight.)

2. Pray. Or at least get quiet and still. Or at least practice the spiritual discipline of taking a nap.

3. Play a board game with your child and let them win. (Don’t forget to notice how cute they are when they gloat.)

4. Drink fizzy water all day long, like a European, and remember how you used to dislike it when you actually lived in Europe and how the way our taste buds change is as deep a mystery as blackholes.

5. Go on humid walks across a nature preserve and listen to British Victorian era whodunits in your headphones. (Hint: It’s never the servants who do the deed.)

6. Establish some family food rituals: eat pizza on Fridays, walk the aisles of the farmer’s market on Saturday, and picnic on the grass on Sundays.

7. Binge watch Ted Lasso, and try to copy his endless optimism in your own head.

8. Take up singing in the shower. Or at least stand still long enough to let the water fill all your gullies, all-over warm, like a hug.

9. Come to think of it, ask your partner for a long hug.

10. Read Annie Dillard slowly, savoring every lyrical word on the musty page as gift from a kind God who speaks as easily through the clouds as through the onionskin pages of your Bible. That’s the good stuff.

Your turn: how are you spending your summer, friends? Reply to tell me!

Thanks for reading. Warmly, Liz Charlotte Grant



#1

An Olympic ban on roomier swim caps revealed bias toward white athletes. After a backlash, American black swimmers are speaking up about exclusionary practices in their sport.

“While taking an adult swim class, the [founders of Soul Cap] noticed that Black swimmers might benefit from a swim cap designed with extra room at the crown to fit more voluminous natural hairstyles like braids, locs and Afros.”

After creating a product to meet the demand, the founders registered with FINA, hoping that their product could become an eligible product for swimmers to use for the Tokyo Olympics this summer. But they were denied entry. Wearing one of their caps would disqualify an athlete from competition.

“Lia Neal, a two-time Olympic medalist who made history as the second Black female swimmer to make a U.S. Olympic team, has never used the Soul Cap but thinks the backlash FINA faced for its initial decision was progress for the sport in general. ‘This is so much bigger than banning a type of cap,’ she said.”

NY Times | Read more…


#2

Inside the black market of fake COVID vaccine cards, which apparently sell for $200 a pop on Telegram:

“First, people cheated to receive a COVID vaccine shot. Now, they cheat to not get one.”

Slate | Read more…


#3

TikTok is the new hot place to do Biblical exegesis. Apparently, pointing out common mistranslations makes for viral content…?

Betcha can’t guess the top three mistranslated words! ;-) Of course, you can: they’re hell, satan and, you guessed it, homosexuality.

Religion News Service | Read more…


#4

Combining therapy with cooking? Yes, please!

“Debra came to cooking therapy somewhat by accident—as a licensed clinical social worker seeing clients in their homes, she found that people who wouldn’t open up to her in traditional therapy sessions were more willing and able to talk when they were absorbed in another task—walking, playing games, and, eventually, cooking. Today, she works with clients like me…”

Bon Appetit Magazine | Read more...


#5

She survived a shooting, and now author Taylor Schumann is disarming her Christian critics as she protests the second amendment.

“‘So many people tell me, “The right to bear arms is in the constitution!” But, like, a lot of other things are in the constitution. Does being a Christ follower come before or after the constitution for you?’”

Sojourner’s | Read more…


Check your grandma’s closets…

You might just find an undiscovered Pablo Picasso painting in its depths. (That’s the ticket to your dream vacay!!)

HuffPost | Read more…


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