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today i am thankful for those who open their arms to me when we gather, and also know when i need time alone. gathering is such a wonderful thing — unless you’re sick like i am right now and all you want to do is curl up in bed and watch episodes of friends on netflix while drifting in and out of sleep. yes, that is exactly what i did this afternoon and it was just what my sick self needed: sleep, rest, calm, quiet, and lots of hydration.

in a world that caters to the extroverts, that is constantly pressuring us to GO GO GO!, that never seems to stop moving, i am so glad to have people in my life who understand the importance of pressing pause. the folks that i have surrounded myself with here in budapest are absolutely amazing at this — they can intuitively know when my energy level is low, or i’m starting to get sick, and they understand that i need to take time out for myself.

so today, on ash wednesday, i did not attend the church service at st. columba’s like i thought i would. instead, i lay quietly in my room, drifting in and out of sleep, occasionally watching netflix, and sipping on many glasses of tea and water, piles of tissues around me on all sides.

i did not gather with my church community tonight like i thought i would just a few days ago. rather, i gathered myself in preparation for the days ahead so that i might be fully rested and ready to take on whatever the rest of my work week brings.