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I am in the local coffee shop. It is what my friends call my real office. I run into two of my favorite people in the world.
“How are you?” I ask.
My one friend, who I will name “Sunshine” (an alias as I always do) responds, “I am tired.”
“Sunshine” is with our friend that I will name “Sparkle.” You get where I am going with this, right? They are more than a little upbeat – they are genuinely joyful people.
“Hhmm,” I say back. “My sister who likes to be called “Foxy Roxie” (at least in this column) would ask you exactly what you mean when you say you are tired? Are you physically tired or is this just something you find yourself saying a lot lately?”
I’m pretty sure she didn’t want to hear that question just like I didn’t when “Foxy Roxie” first asked me.
“I don’t know,” she says at first. Then she thinks for a moment and says, “Okay maybe I mean I’m exhausted.”
We bust out in laughter. Only I can tell that my typically exuberant “Sunshine” more than likely has something that is weighing on her which is making her this tired. (aka, “Foxy Roxie’s wisdom)
I think this is what we do. We keep forging ahead through the tough and the triumphant, the sorrowful and the celebratory, the confusing and the clear and we tire along the way.
We keep going, thinking we will arrive at that rest stop in time to fuel up for the later part of our journey. Only sometimes, it is dark and we have left our destination when we are far too tired to drive. It is the part of the trip where instead of sipping coffee, music blaring, sun shining and open road beckoning – that we dread. Instead, we know we are tired. We actually knew we were tired before we left, but we pushed the limits. We left anyway.
We kept going when we knew we should stop. We should have rested and refueled. We knew better. We know the rules and safety of the road. We let something drive us that should have stopped us. A belief that we could keep going despite all odds. A belief that we should push ourselves despite our human limitations.
We exhaust ourselves.
“Sunshine” is no different. She is now tired despite the fact that she is always happy, always smiling, always ready to forge the open road.
She needs to pull over. She needs to let someone else drive while she rides shotgun.
I know this is my truth.
I didn’t like when my sister “Foxy Roxie” challenged me on my fatigue. At the same time, I knew she was right.
I think this column will “Foxy” happy. She will know that I listen to her. After all, the sister relationship is sort of like the mother-child relationship. We talk all the time – we just aren’t sure when we are listening to one another.
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