The Promise of Spring

Marc Schulte via Unsplash

In this third year of the pandemic, it finally got me. Despite being fully vaccinated, boosted, and living a pretty hermit-like lifestyle (still waiting for that kiddo vax) I tested positive for Covid a few weeks ago 😣 .

My case was, thankfully, fairly mild. (Thank you science, thank you vaccines.) My main symptom was a crippling exhaustion that left me in bed for days. During that time, all I did was sleep. It reminded me of the first trimester of pregnancy, when your body begs for sleep, and the sleep is thick and deep and you wake up still stubbornly tired. There was no pleasant clearing of the head or burst of energy after sleeping in or napping — just more fatigue. It was like this for over a week.

During this time I was completely isolated from my son and husband. Alone in my room, it was easy to feel lonely, bored, and not the least bit frustrated. This was compounded by the stress and fear and guilt of having potentially exposed my family and friends to Covid. (Luckily, no one got it.) Between the what-ifs of who I might have passed it to and and racking my brain for how and where and when I might have been infected — a completely fruitless endeavor — it was all too easy to work myself into a tizzy.

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Being sick comes with a lot of gratitude. For a body that moves without aches and pains. For clear nasal passages. For the kind of tired that is easily solved by a cup of tea or a quick cat nap or a walk in the sun. Becoming ill reminds us of how good we had it and how much we had taken for granted.

As soon as I recovered from Covid, I got back to normalcy a sinus infection. As soon as I recovered from that, my son got a wicked cough and an ear infection and I caught a new cold. When normalcy was in sight, the worst allergies I’ve ever experienced kicked in. Each time, the goal post moved. Life can be like that sometimes.

But just as I was sure spring would come, I was certain I would get better. I just had to hold on a little bit longer.

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It is fitting that as I finally emerge from four weeks of being unwell, it is time for Spring. Spring brings with it possibility: where there was cold, now there is warmth. Where land was barren, now there are signs of life. Where there was grief or sadness or loneliness or heartache, now there is hope and fresh starts.

Spring is also a sign of resilience: the first flower to pop up. The first birds to come back. The first spiders to appear. Evidence that we’ve made it through to the other side. Everywhere, signs of resilience. Everywhere, signs of hope.

As we enter year three of the pandemic, as a devastating war rages in the Ukraine, as economic uncertainty once more begins to infiltrate our day-to-day lives, it can be hard to feel hopeful. You would be justified to feel a bit tired, a bit unmotivated, even a bit detached.

Fortunately, Spring is upon us. I can think of no better season to help us cope — to help us hope.

  • 🥳 Listen Like You Mean It turns one! This time one year ago I was gearing up to share my first book baby with the world. As any author will tell you, going from spending your days and nights alone with an idea, an outline, a draft, and eventually a manuscript to suddenly having your idea — your book! — out in the real world is a surreal thing. Having my book come out during the pandemic made the experience that much stranger. Until last month, I hadn’t done an in-person book signing or event. Hearing from readers is a real highlight and I hope as things return to “normalcy” (whatever that means) that I can do more of these.
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To celebrate this milestone, I’m hosting a book giveaway and giving away five copies of my book! Reply to this newsletter with one thing you’re looking forward to this spring and you’ll be automatically entered to win. (Five winners will be chosen at random.)

  • 🕵🏻‍♀️ The Rest Trials behind the scenes: Regular readers of this newsletter know that I’ve begun to experiment with rest trials, personal experiments for getting well-rested, based on research for my forthcoming book. Once a month, I share these experiments with a small group of folks who have opted in to test them out with me. Sign up here to join. This month I’m trying something new. I’d love to know: What is the most extreme thing you’ve ever done to get rest? Record a brief voice memo and send it to: theresttrials@gmail.com to share your story.

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  • Support the Ukraine: It can be easy to feel small in times of strife, especially from afar. But there are many ways to help, no matter where you are in the world. Check out this list of vetted resources from The New York Times for inspiration.

💌 As always, the best thing you can do for me is share this edition of the newsletter with your friends and coworkers. Thanks for being here and for sharing the love. Happy Spring. 💌

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Author, Listen Like You Mean It. UX researcher, TWTR, PINS, etc. I write about the intersection of technology + society + personal growth. ximenavengoechea.com

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Ximena Vengoechea

Ximena Vengoechea

Author, Listen Like You Mean It. UX researcher, TWTR, PINS, etc. I write about the intersection of technology + society + personal growth. ximenavengoechea.com