There were weeks following my father’s passing in November when I didn’t feel like doing anything.
I didn’t want to think about the food I ate.
I didn’t want to think about whether I exercised or stepped out into the fresh air.
I didn’t concern myself with how late I stayed up at night or how long I remained under my duvet.
Those were not the days to be concerned about goals or “should’s”.
Those were the days to walk tenderly through each moment tightly gripping grace and my Maker’s hand.
However, even in the midst of this necessary time of being gentle with myself, I knew this new liturgy of living didn’t feel like me.
On the last day of November, I decided to do one thing.
I pulled out my nearly expired bottle of multi-vitamins, poured them onto my kitchen counter, and counted 32 pills. There were exactly enough vitamins to usher me through 2020. I set the bottle next to my chair in the living room as a visual reminder. My reward upon completion, other than adding a bit of health to my insides, was to order a more “fun” vitamin.
I decided to take the most minuscule action to assist my health during an emotionally depleting time. But an even more powerful reason was the vision I have of my mother. During the first weeks of living into a new existence without the love of her life, I watched as she sat at her counter assembling vitamins and supplements in her daily pill box compartments. It was in stark contrast to the disposal of my father’s no longer necessary medications.
Consuming and disposing, two such opposed actions, but to me, I was witnessing a small act of resistance. This was my mother’s gentle way of declaring her presence in this life. She was continuing on in the face of prayers answered differently than hoped for, yet remaining resolute, one day at a time.
A vitamin a day whether morning, noon, or before my head indented my pillow, became my act of resistance as well. When my vitamin bottle began to rattle at the end of December, I marveled because although this small habit didn’t yield a single visible change, emotionally it anchored my consistent desire to not give up.
Don’t give up.
No matter what mountain seems unscaleable, take one small step today and repeat it again as long as you need.
Take a shower.
Phone a friend.
Take a few deep breaths.
Listen to a favorite song every day.
Borrow a prayer from the Psalms.
Drink a glass of water.
Buy a bouquet of flowers.
Walk around the block.
Read a poem.
Make a list of favorite movies and watch one weekly.
Look for sunsets even on cloudy days, especially on cloudy days.
Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.
The photo above is of my new fun care/of vitamins . I planned to share the link for those interested but perhaps there is “someone” always listening because, on Sunday afternoon, I received an email with a referral code to share an offer for 50% off first-time orders. However, if you would be so kind to click this link, take a short quiz about your personal health needs, I will earn a few points towards my future health.
No purchase necessary.
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
II Corinthians 4: 16-18 (The Message)