How to Run a Marathon

This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s hard to remember that as we’re losing count of the horrible things Trump has said and done, or as we find out about yet another organization that can use donations, or as there’s another issue worth calling reps over, or…

In order to run a marathon, you need to pace yourself. You need to fuel yourself. You need to divide your attention. You need to remember that it takes a little while.

We’re told that we can’t normalize this administration. But, I keep wondering how we resist normalization while also doing things in our daily lives that are perfectly normal like planning a move to a new apartment or figuring out career options or getting a haircut. How can we give our normal tasks attention when things aren’t normal?

I’m tired.

Without realizing it, I’ve been gravitating toward self-care. I’ve been lighting more candles and using the aromatherapy diffuser I got as a gift (thanks, Mom!). I’ve been knitting again, something I hadn’t done since I was a kid and I first learned (thanks, Nana!). My boyfriend and I have been cooking a few nights a week (thanks, Blue Apron!). I didn’t really consciously decide to do any of these things specifically as self-care; I just realized that I’d been spending more time taking things slowly. I think that my id must have reached out and pushed me toward some nurturing activities, and it’s been nice.

All of these self-care techniques require patience. Recognizing the pieces of a whole. Being present. A scarf grows out of every stitch I make, and I can watch a candle melt down with a burning flame. Cooking breaks everything down step by step: you’re forced to go slowly enough to recognize the work that goes in and to relish in each moment of it. You get to see how it all fits together into one delicious meal. You can see your work form into something good.

I’m tired, but I’m still marathoning.

If you’re experiencing resistance fatigue or getting sick of all the news, don’t give up. We got this. We’re in it for the long haul. Progress is a process. I’m cooking; I’m using Lyft; I’m working on my career; I’m calling my reps. And, I’m loving as fiercely as I can. After all, in hate-fueled times, is love itself not a radical act?

It’ll take a while, and we can and should rest and laugh and enjoy life along the way. But we’re keeping up the pace. We’re keeping up the fight.

This originally appeared in Pop Warrior, Issue №16 on February 2, 2017.

Pop Warrior is Sarah Halle Corey’s bi-weekly email newsletter about feminism, feelings, pop culture, and everything in between. Subscribe here.

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