Daily Step – A Moment of Exhale

I didn’t realize how much breath I was holding in.

On Friday afternoon, I got my first vaccine shot. I might have started reloading CVS the minute they put teachers on their list in Texas last Wednesday. I might have had to reload their site every minute from 4AM-5:30AM on Thursday morning just to see when all the appointments came open.

I might’ve been a little over eager.

But despite my desire to get an appointment quickly, I didn’t honestly realize how much breath I had been holding in all year, how much I had been clenching my teeth behind my mask, until I sat in the chair and felt that shot go in.

It’s a weird phenomena a few other friends have mentioned having as well – that unexpected moment of exhale.

Now, I realize that I only took the first shot and it wasn’t immediately effective anyway. I still have like six weeks to go. But there was something about that moment happening almost a year to the day of the world shutting down that … began to deflate the massive balloon of air and stress and tension that had built up over that year in me.

One year ago on March 11th, my son’s school shut down unexpectedly right as we were heading out the door for a full day ahead. He and I, suddenly with time on our hands, went to …. get mom a root canal (yea you thought that I’d say we did something fun, huh?) and went to a few stores to make sure we had groceries for the week. I’m not sure I even realized at the time that day would turn into a full year of holding my breath and clenching my teeth behind a mask waiting for “normal” to return.

I know people are in different places regarding vaccines. I can only describe how it made me feel to start the process. It made me feel like I had a role in helping us return to “normal”. It made me feel like I could begin to let out the breath I had been holding all year.

My prayer this morning is for all who are holding in that breath, all who are clenching their teeth behind their masks and holding on as best they can. May God grace you with some release today. May you see the sun beginning to peak out behind the clouds because it’s there… just waiting for you to exhale.

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