This summer in London, there are hundreds of strong bodies doing their very best, showing their vast dedication and hard work to the world, or at least that part of the world which watches TV. I don’t live in that part of the world, by choice, having neither cable nor fast enough internet for streaming. In my little world, this summer, there is a softening body. There are even fewer posts than usual, indicating a possible lack of dedication and very little hard work. I never finished out last school year’s garden blog. I stopped doing anything at all to market my book. Instead, when not entertaining the children or working, I slept.
Then I woke up, and started feeling very anxious about the whole nationwide-record-temperature-drought thing and the ongoing deterioration of my short term memory, and decided I needed a bit more sleep. When I woke up again, I wished I were climbing mountains in West Virginia to stop the crazy coal mining or standing in a road in Texas trying to stop the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline, and I felt really shitty because I wasn’t one of those cool and awesome people doing those things. So I decided that I should buy a plug-in car RIGHT NOW, just to feel like I’ve done something, anything. All those athletes are doing these superhuman feats in London, and I’m just wandering around my garden surveying the complete and utter lack of harvest (deer are so pretty, but so evil) and trying to figure out whether 12 miles of electric range makes it worth trading in my old Prius for a new one.
Somewhere in there, I went and recorded a TV interview (which I will not, due to aforementioned lack of TV, be able to watch), in which I very convincingly argued (I think. As I said, I can't watch it.) that there is no right path or thing we should all be doing to save the earth; rather, we each need to follow the call of our own path, descry our own talents, and then simply do our very best. Afterwards, I am somewhat ashamed to admit, I took a nap.
The sleeping shames me, as I do it during the day, late mornings and even mid-afternoons when, according to my WASP-y work ethic, I am supposed to Be Productive. I’d been pretending that daytime productivity is possible despite the fact that I work night shift. But chronic sleep deprivation will eventually catch up with you (see: aforementioned short-term memory loss). I will probably forever remember (if I remember it at all) the summer of 2012 as the first Olympics that I entirely slept through.
I’m dreaming of a comeback, though. I don’t yet know what my event will be, in the high-stakes race to do what we need to do to make this planet livable for our kids. I did get out of bed long enough to get to one anti-fracking rally, and I felt that runner’s high of hope, watching my sons’ proud faces as they yelled out “Stop Fracking Now!” I’m aware, however, that this one will be an endurance event, and there will come desperate lows as well.
For now, my personal best is simply catching up on sleep, and storing up my energy for the next push. Listening hard to find what path is calling me. Trying not to feel bad about the things I’m not doing and glad for the people who are running out there in front protecting the eco-systems. Because although this might be a race, it’s not a competition.