I’ve said a lot of things off the cuff through the years. The older I get, the more I want to weigh my words, to consider the how important something is—how valuable—before it leaves my tongue.
There is one thing I can’t stand being said to me. And believe it or not, I hear it a lot.
I bet you’ve heard it, too.
“You look tired.”
Major pet peeve. Why? Because it doesn’t take a genius or a clairvoyant to know I am tired. Most of us are tired and it doesn’t always have to do with lack of sleep. Sometimes it’s a sign we’ve sacrificed, we’ve cared deeply, and we’ve loved until we feel wrung out.
I’m learning to take better care of myself. This seems to be something I have to remind myself to work on. My natural inclination is to pour it all out for my family, but then I find myself crippled with exhaustion, depleted, and not all that useful to anyone.
When I see you and I catch you mid-yawn, or your posture is stooped, or your eyes are unscored with dark shadows, I won’t speak the obvious. Instead, I’ll elect to ask how things are going, how I might help, or I may figure out a way to connect and empathize with you.
I won’t tell you that you look tired.
Because we’re both feeling it. Really, we all are. It just shows up more on some of us.