Easter Reflections

Summer is finally starting to awaken from its nine month sleep, and I could not be more excited. Winters here miss all the fun parts of winter (cold, and light dancing off the snow), and instead exhibits a dreary raininess whose sole purpose is to tire me out. The sun has finally been out for longer than one day in a row. Flowers are poking their heads out of the rich, green grass, and children are running around outside screaming, yelling, chasing; it’s great.

As the days continue to warm up, I find it harder to sit in my cube with gray fluorescent lights draining all color and joy from my surroundings. I sit pretty low in my cube, and my most recent debate has been whether or not I should raise my desk to be able to look over my cube wall at the awakening happening outside. Jury is still out on that one. I definitely felt a need for this season of rebirth, spiritually and mentally. Work has been a long cold drag, we’ve been working extra hours, receiving flak from upper management, and day to day has been well….draggy. When you go to work in the dark, and go back home in the dark, work became the only thing I accomplished or did during the day. I suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and my motivation sets early with the sun. The past few weeks, however, I’ve been poking my head out of the dark cube farm, and entering into the light.  

I always understood why Easter was in the Spring. Symbolically, the new birth of spring, and the parallels to Jesus’ resurrection is incredible. Until this lent, the importance and poignancy hadn’t really set in. This was my first full year working full-time. Working is very different from school. In school, I was sheltered from the dreariness of winter. I went to school in Spokane, near family and friends, who did an incredible job keeping the winter blues away. Other bringers of joy are the built in breaks that offer reprieve from the drudgery of the day to day. Full-time work doesn’t have that! Which logically, I knew, and logically I knew the transition to the “real world” would be, well, a transition. After working hard to meet deadlines all winter, I was worn down and burnt-out. My family was able to come down for Easter this year, and even though I had to take time off instead of being handed a nice Easter break, the rest and renewal was there. I honestly was dreading Holy Week, the hustle of trying to get to mass, and be present and still recover from the day of work. But, it was exactly what I needed.
My family rolled into town on Friday, and that offered more relief than I anticipated. Now, I love my family, and I miss them when we are away for too long. But I had no idea how much I needed a visit from all of them, I needed it badly. My Mom, sister and Nana came first on Friday. Spending time with them, reminiscing about the past, and listening to Nana’s stories of her childhood nourished my soul. We were able to visit family friends, and honestly just enjoy each other. My Dad and brother flew in on Saturday night. A giant, who supposedly was my brother, walked out of baggage claim with my Dad. When comparing hands, we learned that the tips of my fingers barely make it past his second knuckle. “When we getting some food?” he moaned, as we drove back to my place. We stayed up too late (again) and were all exhausted at Easter Mass the next morning. My brother sat between my sister and me, letting us kiss his face and hold his hand throughout the mass. Like any good tired, and hooliganous siblings, we plagued each other with love. We connected in ways we don’t normally get to. The weekend was over too quickly. Even with me taking Monday off, it still wasn’t enough time with everyone. Entering into this week, I am reminded of how blessed I truly am. Most of my coworkers don’t connect with their families, and when they do it’s out of a sense of duty, not enjoyment. My family is really my rock, and in times of exhaustion, they help bring me up. As siblings, our relationship is rock solid. They really are my best friends. The refresh that I felt from this Easter weekend doesn’t just come from the bright sun, green grass and fresh air. Instead it comes from reconnecting with family, and spending time with the people I love the most. Not everyone has a wonderful relationship with their family, but everyone needs a family. If you’re burnt-out, tired and feeling the blues, reconnect with your family. Whether it’s your blood family, or family chosen, those bonds are our reminders of what and who are important in our lives. They are reminders of our most authentic selves. They are the weights that keep us grounded, and the platforms from which we can jump off to fly.

Three things that really helped make Easter restorative for me:

  1. Real quality time with the family--Coffee chats, cocktail hours, and meals where we are all focused on each other.
  2. Easter Mass. Honestly Easter mass is my favorite mass of the year, and I loved being able to spend that mass as a family.
  3. No set Schedule. The only two scheduled items we had were mass and Easter brunch. The rest of the time we were able to spend completely unfettered, and in each others company.

Comment some of your favorite Easter Traditions below! I’d love to hear how you all spent your holiday. And don't forget to subscribe for more insights :)

From left to right: Roonie, Nana, Chris, and Lucia during our 
excessively windy, Easter photoshoot.