Affording Ourselves The Grace We All Deserve

Looking back at some situations over these last few weeks have revealed traits about myself that I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable with. I’ve taken the charge of extending compassion to others in situations where I’m not fully aware of the reasons why they’re lacking decorum. The ever needy coworker, the person in traffic clearly in the wrong who manages to flip you off, and even the friend that makes the not-so right comment at the not-so right time. Normally, I would return the energy (I’m still growing), but as of late I’m providing people the benevolence I would want in certain situations. Let’s be clear though, my kindness only goes so far and habitual line crossers can catch fury and/or hands. Extending myself the grace I’ve been providing others should be damn near the top of my priorities list. Not only that, but ensuring I’m taking daily account of what’s most important during these strange times we find ourselves existing in. People are important, not things. If that’s not perspective in a concisely documented manner, then I have more worries.

And while my words are heard and confined to the ears of the blind. I too dream in color and in rhyme. So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house, 'cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth, a touch of God reigns out. - J. Ivy

A few weeks back I had a moment that exposed some underlying issues I’m working through, while we’re all working from home (not all of us). The day started off decently, besides the fact that I was extremely tired. A mixture of going to bed at 2am and not being able to sleep shortly after sunrise had taken its toll on me. After getting some caffeine in my system, the day went extremely well, until it didn’t. I had an extended bout with frustration and annoyance with the children that stemmed from something trivial. Garvey’s shrieks from my bedroom eventually made their way to my ears. Mind you, said ears were stationed in the shower enjoying the Pop Life playlist (don’t judge me) curated by Tidal. The issue he was having found roots in the fact that he was attempting to enter the password for my tablet, which didn’t seem to work. My scheduled “me time” was interrupted and I tried my best to troubleshoot. Upon further examination, my attention to detail turned to the two fine cracks that were in the corner of the device. Initially, my assumption was that the protective screen glass bore the brunt of whatever happened. After peeling that back, I was gravely mistaken. The tablet’s actual screen was cracked and it wasn’t responding to any of my fingers’ commands. Fuck! There goes another tablet ruined and any semblance of serenity I was trying to achieve gone with the functionality of the tablet. Here I was at the crux of being angry that I let him use my device and annoyed that I had another gadget ruined. Things just went downhill from there. Not a minute sooner, Zora decided to chase her brother for whatever perceived slight she felt occured. When children chase each other in my household, it’s always accompanied by yelling. After that happened, I was full blown enraged. After I barked orders to the kids for them to separate, I grabbed my computer, locked myself in an unoccupied room, and read articles on Medium. After some time to cool down, I had a chat with my better half and thought about everything that transpired leading up to my isolation. Things happen, that’s just life. And things happen even more when you have children. Julia had to remind me of all the countless things we broke as children or the amount of moments where we annoyed our own parents. Situations arise, we deal with them, and move on. We also recognize that we won’t always have the most appropriate response to moments in our lives involving others or ourselves. After contemplating everything, I felt like Michael Jordan did after he beat up Steve Kerr (look it up). Rating it compared to other shitty moments in my life, it’s a strong tie with the time I got blackout drunk and slept next to my own vomit (don’t worry, writing this disgusted me too). I’ve grasped that there’ll be more moments where I’m annoyed, frustrated, or just not myself. Understanding that forgiveness is bidirectional, outward and inward is top-tier maturity.

Patience comes in many forms and we need to rely on it for various events in our lives. I’ve been running consistently almost two years now. During that time, I’ve had more bad days that I can count; days where I even questioned myself on taking up such a sport. This season of sheltering at home has increased my stress levels tenfold. I’m working more and harder at home than in the office, I’m juggling children being my new coworkers, and also ensuring our health is top priority. Running has afforded me the opportunity of faux escape. Knowing our world is changing, but embracing my time as a reprieve from the calamity has been a blessing. So why is it some days when I’m training, my tranquility is thrown away and I delve into self-loathing? It’s a nasty cycle of anxiety from work then depression from one of the few things that make me feel better. The grace I try to show others needs to be reflected when I look at the mirror. Bad running days will happen. I’m out exercising during a pandemic and complaining that my time wasn’t as good as the day before. That’s beyond privilege, I’ve hit a level that hasn’t been defined yet. As an immigrant born in a developing country, my first world problems seem to know no bounds. Time to move away from wallowing in shallow slights and lean into creating opportunities for the future. Me achieving a personal record during a pandemic is cool and all, but realize we’re in the midst of a pandemic and affording myself grace for perceived failures is probably more important.