I learned a wonderful phrase last week from Louise Cornick over at Upholstery Education:
Having a Wobble.
Various dictionaries define “Wobble” as “to teeter or rock unsteadily” and “not properly balanced.”
Though these apply to the PHYSICAL experience of wobbling, they’re incredibly applicable to our EMOTIONAL experience under uncertain circumstances.
And I will be honest: Last week, I had a wobble.
I like having this giggly little phrase to hold when life doesn’t feel giggly or little at all.
(In my research, I came across a short article questioning whether it’s appropriate to use the phrase for serious things like the global economy. You can read it here. )
I don’t know about appropriate, but I appreciate the levity. It makes it sound like just another part of the schedule.
“Oh yes, today I made some eggs, I worked on my blog, I went for a run, and I had a little wobble.”
I also like that “wobbling” suggests a TEMPORARY instability and an eventual return to center.
Things wobble all the time – tables, Jello, Weebles (do they still make Weebles?)
But wobbling is back and forth – not a one way ticket to the floor. Tables and Jello and Weebles wobble . . . and eventually return to a steady state:
IF you’re still and patient.
I don’t know what it was, exactly. Medically, with Covid-19, everything is so abstract right now that I can’t even summon a proper response.
It looks like fiction. (I wish it was)
So it wasn’t that.
I’d managed to react early at home, and be a steady presence for my kids – making sure they showered, and put on pants, and ate fruit like functional human beings.
I was part of the NUA board, discussing what might be done to help our fledgling membership during this unprecedented time.
I’d examined my cash reserves and travel/teaching options, and taken steps to “winterize” my business.
(This is another new phrase I learned last week – it means to pull back the leaves and flowers of your business, mulch over the roots, and wait for the return of summer. I’m a Minnesotan – we GET winterizing)
I actually felt INCREDIBLY solid. Like a pillar! A warrior! A steady eye in the storm!
And then I wobbled.
I think it was when I sat down to start a reboot plan.
There were SO many unknowns. I felt tired just thinking about it.
What am I even planning for? What if I can’t make it that long? What if I can’t summon the energy to rebuild?
It felt like all around me, people were gracefully pivoting and instantly contributing.
Mask making operations sprang up, literally overnight. Educators across all disciplines found ways to move content online. Musicians around the world shared Songs of Hope.
But I froze. Do I offer positivity? Is that making light of the situation? Do I offer humor? Do I just keep chattering about upholstery, try to press people through, give them ways to focus their mind? Their skills? Because YES there’s always something we could do with the time on our hands . . .
Instead of springing into action, my brain stalled and my momentum flagged. Like the screen icon, spinning and spinning and spinning until you wonder if it’s stuck there forever.
So I had a wobble.
And being an extrovert who’s been isolated for awhile, I took my wobble to Facebook.
Which is where I discovered that we’re basically ALL having a wobble.
Of COURSE we are.
I suppose we’d be fools if we weren’t.
And guess what? It was restorative. It was reassuring.
Because I’m not alone. YOU’RE not alone. We’re in this together. And isn’t there some comfort in that?
Too often, when we’re struggling, or worried, or suddenly struck by tragedy, we feel left behind while the rest of the free world merrily barrels on.
But this time, we’re dividing the load: EVERYONE gets a piece.
So have a wobble. To wobble is human.
When you feel unsteady, grab a (metaphorical) hand.
When you feel centered, take a step.
If you need a moment to rebalance, TAKE A MOMENT TO REBALANCE.
That is the hardest thing in for world for me. I’m like a bull in a china shop, trying to crash forward, no matter how many things get knocked over in the process. GO GO GO!!!!
But this feels like a time to be still. Just for a moment. (And this moment too, shall pass.)
So I’m going to think a little and blog a little and reframe my outlook a little.
And for what it’s worth, I’ll share a little.
I frankly don’t have the creative energy and focus to produce well-designed online content, or to frantically retrofit what we have – certainly not in a hurry.
Then again, maybe you don’t have the energy and focus to enjoy it.
(And if you DO – love love love you! Head over to Homeroom – Shelly Miller is on it <3 )
There will come a day soon, when we’ll know which way to charge, and we can throw our weight joyfully towards the future. But for today? Maybe it’s enough to make the decisions that are pressing, and then just allow ourselves a breath.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.Lao Tzu
I’m working on a series of short posts for this week. If you want some thoughtful, upholstery related content that requires just a nugget of engagement, I invite you to check back.
And if you need to watch Downton Abbey in your pajamas instead, that’s okay too. Let’s give everyone – including ourselves – a little extra grace right now.