The way I’ve been feeling the past few months reminds me of having morning sickness. “Morning sickness,” by the way, is a misnomer. While it does often strike in the waking hours, it’s just as likely to hit you any time during the day when a certain sight, smell, or taste sets you off. At least, that’s how I remember it.
With the coronavirus numbers rising again, the election uncertainty, the social unrest, and dreaded winter looming, it’s no wonder my morning sickness has gotten worse the past few days. I was lucky not to experience much nausea with my firstborn, but I definitely had it the second time around with my daughter. At the time, my biggest responsibility was taking care of my toddler-aged son, but when those waves of queasiness washed over me, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and pull up the covers. I didn’t, though. I couldn’t. I had this little Tasmanian devil swirling around I had to keep out of harm’s way. So, I downed some Saltine crackers and soldiered on.
This current bout of morning sickness is making it hard to keep up on the necessities of running my little business, to say nothing of trying to find the energy, concentration, or imagination to be creative. Mostly I just want to curl up on the couch with a book that will take me out of this world and into another or with a TV show that will make me laugh at the absurdity of the human condition. But I’ve been resisting that urge, at least until evening.
I’m not at my best, I admit that. But even when we’re not at our best, we can still contribute something. We can still take care of the people in our lives who need us most and serve the people we work with and for to the best of our addled ability.
The only good thing about morning sickness was knowing it was brought on by the life I was creating. As long as I was sick, it meant the baby was growing and developing. It was a small price to pay for the love I could already feel expanding and the better world I could imagine once my new baby arrived.
We’re feeling sick because we care. Because we love. Because we want so badly for things to be better. Because we want something good to come from all of this.
I was listening to my friend interview world-class clarinetist, Anthony McGill. Anthony was talking about a point in his life when he started to wonder about his purpose beyond “just making beautiful music.” In that moment, I thought, “Oh, please, just do that. Make me some beautiful music right now. My ailing soul needs some peace and comfort.”
Whatever you can do right now, do it. No matter how big or small. Restore a little order to your home, try something new, create from your heart, sit and breathe, and hang in there, because morning sickness passes. And when it does, we’ll need all our energy for the loving work that lies before us.
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