Week 11 (March 12-18): Write a letter to yourself.
This week’s challenge came to me in a dream.
Friends, I was struggling last weekend. Physically I’ve been dealing with back and knee pain, which has sidelined my running. And running is how I process pretty much everything. So instead of living in my body, I started getting a bit too inside my head, and that can lead to a spiral down into Dark Thoughts.
I was feeling the dark cloud building above my head, hearing it grumble, and watching it as it dropped down on top of me. I lived in that dark cloud all weekend.
I am not a religious person, but occasionally I do marvel at the way pieces fall together when I need them most.
Friday night, I had a dream that I took a postcard out of the mailbox, and I saw that I’d sent it to myself. I don’t know what was on that card, other than I saw it was to me, from me. And I spent a lot of time pondering this message, from under that dark cold cloud this weekend.
On Thursday, I had arrived home after work, with an overwhelming feeling of gloom and doom. I was feeling utterly lost and completely alone in the world. Under my mailbox sat a box, which I carried into my house and promptly opened.
You know how I love me some snail mail.
Inside that box was a gorgeous painting called Dream. My friend Lori mailed it to me. Our friend Amy painted it. This photo absolutely does not do the painting justice.
That gift from two girlfriends helped get me through Friday night, which I spent alone, on my couch, reading. (Sidenote: Read The History of Love. It gutted me, in a good way. I plan to reread it soon.)
On Saturday, I dragged my hurting body to a hot yoga class, because I knew that, as much as I need to recover physically from what’s hurting, I also desperately need the mental boost I get from exercise. After that, I planned to lie on the couch all day feeling sorry for myself. Solid plan, I thought.
Then I got a phone call. A girlfriend needed me. I spent all afternoon helping her, feeling needed, and then that night we went out and saw a couple of bands together.
Sunday morning, I woke up and planned to spend the entire day on my couch, patiently waiting for my back to heal. Around noon, I got a text from yet another girlfriend who needed help. I messaged my girlfriend who had needed my help Saturday, and we pitched in all afternoon. I felt useful. My back was screaming in new places, but I felt needed.
At the end of the day, I returned a call to yet another girlfriend who had messaged me during the day. She said, “I need your help.” I said, “Ok, I’ll be there.”
So I’m not sure what my letter to myself said, but I know what I’d write on it now: You are needed.
And to my girlfriends I would write: Thank you for needing me, right when I needed you most.
- Week 1 (January 1-7): Send a Happy New Year’s note.
- Week 2 (January 8-14): Send a Thank You note.
- Week 3 (January 15-21): Send a postcard from your community.
- Week 4 (January 22-28): Mail a postcard or letter to another country.
- Week 5 (January 29-February 4): Mail a Valentine to a pal.
- Week 6 (February 5-11): Mail a minor.
- Week 7 (February 12-18): Mail an oldie.
- Week 8 (February 19-25): Write a note to a pet.
- Week 9 (February 26 – March 4): Clear out clutter.
- Week 10 (March 5-11): I see you.
- Week 11 (March 12-18): Write a letter to yourself.