It's not often that I come here to use my voice, so to speak. In fact, I don't think I've done that since my very first blog post. But today is different. Today, I actually have something to say.
My husband will tell you that when I break a nail, the whole world shuts down. I've eased up on my nail break meltdowns over the past few months ... as long as the break doesn't happen to my famous hand. I mean, my left hand is my blogging hand, right?! Well, last week I freaked out because I cracked one of my famous nails. It didn't break though, but still, I was panic stricken.
And then came Friday.
The day when we all heard whispers of a tragedy and turned to our computers and televisions to watch the unthinkable unfold. There was so much to question, so much to speculate about, and so very much to grieve for. I could not take my eyes away from the news, as I'm sure was the case for so many of you. All I could think about were those sweet little angels and how afraid they must have been, and about the parents and their frantic drives from work and home, all the while praying and hoping against hope. I can not even imagine having to hear the news of my child's passing. I don't think any of us truly can. Also, the devoted educators, who are so often such unsung heros in our children's lives. It's nothing short of senseless.
I am in the frequent habit of clicking my thumb nails against my other nails when I am focusing on something. Through tears, I happened to look down at my left hand as I did this, and I stopped on my cracked nail. I quickly thought back to how upset I was when I cracked it. And then I had to scold myself. What a silly thing to be so upset about. A cracked nail? Honestly, Nicole. At that moment, I was utterly ashamed of myself.
By the next day I still hadn't patched my nail. It just felt so petty to me. And yes, I very much understand that, technically speaking, my nails are my livelihood in so many ways. But I sat down and grabbed my clippers, and cut every single nail completely off. My finger tips are so tender, and I can't even type properly now. But they'll grow back. Eventually, they will come back.
It may not make sense and it may seem like a silly thing to do, but in actuality, it was a way of getting rid of my own silliness. There are so many people who are dealing with a nightmare brought to life. The realization of that brings your true concerns to light. My concerns are for my family, and all of the people I love so very dearly ... my concerns are not for my nails. So I let them go.
I will, of course, continue to do my nails, and blog, and produce Elixir. But it won't be my entire life. I'm going to take more time to enjoy the little things in life, and most importantly, the big things.
I don't know what epiphanies this may have brought to the surface for many of us, but I do hope, through the sadness, grief, and prayers, that eyes were opened and hearts were softened to all that is truly important to us. Please feel the magnitude of this awfulness and do not use it for water cooler conversations. It isn't gossip, it's our worst fear. Remember the names of the fallen, not the name of the madman. Pray for those affected, and love those around you as much as you can. I know I will.