The Brood: It’s Really No Big Deal Today, Brooders

by Holly Mohr

It’s a gray day, Brooders. A gray day in Pittsburgh—who would have thought?!

I know, I know. I chose this city that gets more rain than Seattle.

I even like gray days sometimes. They take the pressure off; they practically beg you to snuggle in, get a book and a cup of tea. I’ve got the tea—who knows, maybe books and snuggling will even happen at some point today.

But my body is confused, okay? It’s time to rev it up—I work at a church, and this is Lent!

Yes, Lent is a time for introspection and focused time on God. But Lent inside churchworld is a time of evening meetings special programming four or five times a week, plus weekends. It takes a lot of effort to help everybody invest in prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

So instead of praying, I’m sitting at my desk brooding. And instead of fasting, I’m sitting here eating an old slice of cherry pie because I’m not 100% sure how I’ll get through the rest of the day, and honestly, I didn’t bring enough real food to last me well throughout the day. (Oh, praise the Lord—I just remembered it’s pi day! My culinary act of desperation might just have meaning, after all)!

Things are not dire. I’m not complaining, really. I’m just really tired, Brooders.

My body got excited for an early impending spring last week. It felt as though it might be real. My mind warned my body, “No! Not so fast! The calendar says it is still WINTER, and we will see this through until the end!”

But my body didn’t listen. It soaked in those early morsels of sunshine and lived with abandon—it even made my mind consider (just for a second!) switching out my winter wardrobe for the spring one. (Perish the thought—I have rules, you know)!

Good thing I didn’t listen to that haphazard, reckless body, calling for an early spring wardrobe switch! No, I clung to my self-made Kantian categorical imperatives as though they made sense!

But my mind had hoped. It had hoped there would be no more days of scraping snow and ice from the car this season, hoped the constant onslaught of annoying family sicknesses was over. Alas.

Listen. I get it, Brooders. There are real things going on in the world, and my mild exhaustion and low-grade moodiness over a Pittsburgh winter that won’t go away do not come close to topping the list of things that matter. It barely even matters to me, except that it’s keeping me in this Eeyore-y state of dreaming for a nap (yes, I hear the irony. Dreaming. For a nap. Ha).

It’s one of those days where I’m noticing my crankiness, and letting it be. I still choose to choose gratitude, but I don’t have the energy to feel the gratitude today, or to list for you what I’m grateful for. That is the gift I am giving myself today—surrender. Allowing myself to not make such a big deal out of it.

Today, I give myself permission to live on the surface of just noticing—I’m tired, so maybe I scale back the internal investment in all the situations around me. I need some extra energy, so maybe I do let myself enjoy the cherry pie. I’m cranky, so maybe I don’t force the smile or give in to an overdramatic snarl: I just let it be.

Today is for gentleness, wherever I can find it. That is all.

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