Becky Says...

December 2003

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Keeping Watch - December 22

Keeping watch. It's what we're told the shepherds did long ago, over their flock. And it's the best description I have for what several lovely people and I are doing for each other this season. We're keeping watch over each other, in gentle, non-intrusive ways. It's a little odd---none of us have done this with each other before. Two of the people for whom I'm watcher/watchee I never knew before this year. Others are friends of longer times.

All of us have said out loud that we carry within us some form of depression or another, and we're all making sure each other is doing okay.

Don't by any means confuse this with a suicide watch. Far from it; this sort of watching is the kind where you send hugs by e-mail, or offer suggestions if something has worked particularly well for you. We're acknowledging that there is great peace to be found in the sharing.

And one reason it's particularly important for me is that this is the first time in my life I've ever felt free to admit in public that I need this sort of support. I'm so used to thinking it was necessary for me to be the strong one that I'm frankly a little embarrassed even now to admit to having down times. I'm working on getting past that. One of my friends flat out told me not to apologize for being down. I'm taking the man at his word, and not mincing mine. He doesn't, either, by the way.

It's helping me to look outside myself, both in terms of getting the support and giving it. I realized again tonight in writing to a friend that I have been through some really major upheavals in the past thirteen years or so of my life. I have learned much from those upheavals, but I have also collected some wounds that aren't completely healed. Both of those things are important parts of who I am. And both of those things are fine and glorious things.

Because in this season of this year, those things and all the other things that make up my life are allowing me to give and to receive.


I am participating this year in Holidailies, a group of writers who promise to try very, very hard to update daily all month. I am familiar with the work of quite a few of the writers, and am enjoying becoming familiar with others.

Text copyright 2000-2003 Becky