From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I read one of those meandering pieces on Facebook recently about a mom and a sled. It resonated with me especially as I have done hard time as a big sister and then a mom, pulling sleds through the snow that are weighted down by children.
In the piece a mom is talking about how, when they first embarked on their wintry adventure, both of her kids were adamant that they did not need to be pulled on the sled – they would walk. Then, throughout their journey, the children took frequent little rests, riding on the sled for a while here and there. In Facebook fashion, the point was that this is, “what mom’s do.”
After reading this story, I got to thinking that really, this is what we all do. There have been very difficult challenges over the past few weeks. I know from walking alongside that there have been many people resolute to hike on their own, others hunkering down to pull the biggest toboggan ever created, and still others who desperately needed to ride for awhile.
The magic is that we can be any one of these people. There are a lot of times when things are going well, or at least predictably, when we can march along independently and get things done. Equally, with that same strength, there are times when we have more to give, when we are feeling especially strong and realize that there are others around us who need our strength.
We pile them onto our emotional sled, and we pull them along for a while, letting them regroup, recover, re-energize and lean on us.
If you have ever pulled a heavy sled you will have the same visceral reaction I do to that dragging weight behind you, the frayed rope digging into your hands and the sometimes-demanding squeals for a bit more speed. All this to say that while you can offer this support to others, you can’t sustain it for a huge amount of time. Then it is time for another independent jaunt, or for you to just lean on someone else for awhile and ride that sled.
Taking that ride doesn’t mean that you are not strong or the ultimate conqueror. It just means that in this big snow hill of challenges, sometimes we are strong, sometimes we are extra strong, and sometimes we need to rest.
Best of all, sometimes we can just ride the sled unencumbered down the hill in total joy and exhilaration – this is just what we humans do.