Ash Wednesday was a dark day. I had hoped to attend morning mass but as with many weekday mornings, we ran late and I scolded my daughter. I dropped her off at my parents’ house, her face troubled, and her eyes downcast. My workday was a blur of marijuana smoke, distraught parents, frayed nerves and nagging self-doubt. As the day wound down, we learned that across the nation, a fellow high school experienced a terrible tragedy. I went to church in hopes of getting out from what the day had been. When I walked stiffly and silently into evening mass, I felt weak.
My dance teacher recently noticed that I carry tension between my shoulders. She noted that my heart is open but that I’m carrying so much. As an educator, as a mother, and as a friend, I have worked on carrying less, to work on carrying myself. The weight that can be overwhelming sometimes. I do it all. I take care of others and myself. There are days like Ash Wednesday when I feel I have to take care of many people and those days wear on me. Those are the days I wish someone would take care of me. I stopped wishing for that when I didn’t find it; I’m glad I learned to rely on myself. It also deepened my faith. I know that God takes care of me. He gives me the strength to get through rough days, to stand tall and strong.
I tell myself better a strong back than a weak spine. But that stiff back makes it hard to truly dance.