Tranquility in the Aftermath

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Author’s note: I penned this piece (edited slightly) for last week’s Love Note and wanted to share it with you here, too. As MLK Day approaches, it feels especially apropos to reflect and connect.

January 6 began like any other weekday. I dressed, took a 30-minute walk around the block with my pug Gizmo (he’s slow), made a green smoothie, and settled in for a full day.

After a morning meeting and first two clients, I had a one-hour break. I walked Gizmo again, made another pot of tea, and, knowing about the rally down on the National Mall, checked in on the news. At that time, a mob had approached the Capitol and gotten inside the Rotunda—nearly three miles away.

Yes, the same spot that American heroes RBG and John Lewis had laid in state months earlier.

My hands shook and I felt the adrenaline run through my body. I texted with my partner Tim who was at his place in West Virginia. My phone blew up with emergency texts from the Mayor declaring a 6pm curfew. I received messages from loved ones, including this TDJ community (thank you), asking if I was okay. I watched in horror.

Soon, it was time for my next few clients, so I switched off the live news coverage, regrouped, and turned my attention to the person on the screen in front of me. Inhale, exhale.

Probably like you, I’m still processing what transpired and where we go from here. As we round the corner to MLK Day, I’m reminded of his quote, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

While so much is out of our control, we can make a difference in some small way. Reach out to someone. Send a snail mail love note. Volunteer. Teach. Check out this MLK Day of Service website. Help stock a food bank. Get involved. Foster, adopt, or sponsor an animal. Deliver meals. Post something inspiring on social media. Donate.

Read this article on how to be of service while isolating at home. The author recommends building and sending care packages, participating in teaching and learning opportunities, donating blood or bone marrow, giving companionship, and commemorating MLK’s legacy. Participate in a King Center Holiday Event. Offer support. Be gentle with yourself and others.

And remember, put on your own oxygen mask first. You’re here to do great things. Bisous. x