Honor the Silly

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 7

As I write this post, I’m acutely aware of the fullness of my everyday life. This week feels like it is going to kick my ass, and it’s only Tuesday. Opening my calendar to see what lies ahead, I see that each and every hour between 8am and 6pm (and sometimes until 8pm) is scheduled with a meeting, a class, an interview, a job talk, or something else. Thankfully, I know that this week is a particularly busy one that has a number of time-sensitive activities that will pass. But, I also know the reality of my work, and that other tasks and issues will fill the holes in my schedule. Life is busy.

I’m also aware that much of the work I do carries a certain heaviness with it. Some of you know that my research is focused on working with survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. I am honored and privileged to work with these amazing and resilient women. And I’m thrilled to be gearing up to launch a new project for survivors using Brené Brown’s Connections program. At the same time, meeting with each woman, and hearing and holding their stories can be intense. It’s important to recognize that this is an area of work requiring a great deal of self-care. Fortunately, photography and writing helps me unwind and take care of myself. And here’s where the silly comes in.

PX70_old_StripesDotsSelfI’m not alone in the busyness of my life. I know that most of you reading this are also full to the brim with to-dos, and are hoping to just get through each day and maybe have a chance to come up for air. I also know that I’m not alone in carrying an emotionally heavy load. We all have difficulties, struggles, and worries that weigh on our hearts and minds. But as serious as our day-to-day lives are, I think we need to make room for the silly. The whimsy. The goofiness. We need to shake it out and make space in our lives for fun. For polka dots and stripes. For a moment to not take it all so seriously.

Let’s honor the silly.

PS — the winner of the UPPERCASE subscription is Lelainia Lloyd! Congrats and I’ll be in touch with you!

7 Responses

  1. OMG!! I am doing the happy dance here! THANK YOU!! So excited! WOOHOO!!!

  2. Oh and Meghan, I can totally empathize about working with people who have been through trauma. I was on a crisis line for 8 years. The trick is to be able to be present and caring without taking on any of someone else’s “stuff”. Self care is extremely important to avoid burn out and to protect your own emotional well-being. I hope you have someone you can debrief with.

  3. You know, when I was in graduate school — the same program you went through — it put me through the wringer emotionally, nearly every day. About all I had energy for at the end of the day was watching American Idol; the trashier the TV, the better. So yes, I do think you need to balance our your days, whatever that means. Sometimes, with Abra, who leans towards the serious as it is, I have to remind myself that, while part of my job is teaching her how to behave as a civilized part of this society (!), it’s also my job to support the inherent silliness of childhood. In the process I have reclaimed my love of imaginative play (I knew that drama training was for something!).

  4. playcrane says:

    Yes, yes! Make room for more play. 🙂

  5. ayala says:

    Yes, honor the silly 🙂

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