You know what you need to do.
You make a list of every commitment and task on your to-do list and figure out what you can graciously say no to. You email people and tell them you’re not in a good place. You tell them you need to increase your margins. You hope they understand. They usually do.
You do more of what might make you feel better.
A spray of your favorite perfume that you’ve had for eight years. You wonder if you should wear it when you aren’t depressed.
Exercise. Twice. You lift weights in the morning and do cardio in the afternoon.
Fresh vegetables. You prepare a panful of okra—whole pods sautéed in extra virgin olive oil. You pile it in a bowl and eat it on the sofa in silence.
You practice gratitude.
For the safe delivery of a friend’s newborn grandchild.
For a short story a friend shared with you.
For your husband and children and their grace and mercy toward you even though it’s hard for others to be around you right now.
For your daughter’s final orthodontic appointment.
For the sudden rainstorm.
For fiction and memoir and poems.
For so many people whose circumstances are difficult and seem insurmountable at times.
For friends who will marry soon.
For friends who are doing brave things.
For friends who are grieving.
For yourself. That God will carry you and keep you close.
You don’t think about everything at once. You do one more thing. And then another. And you know you’ll eventually come out on the other side.