There are periods when I am the most attentive and thoughtful lover in the world, and periods, too, when I am just unavailable…. When I “surface” again, I try to apply the poultices and patch up the holes I’ve left in relationships around me.

Toni Cade Bambara

We all need the space, from time to time, to do whatever it is we need to do—write, practice, think, dream, strategize. Sometimes we’re physically there but mentally preoccupied. Our estrangement can be tough on the people around us, whose needs and expectations do not change when ours do. Lovers become threatened; children feel abandoned.

It might help to let our loved ones know we’ll be back, that we need this time to concentrate on something that is important to us—may we please have their help? We are entitled to put up our DO NOT DISTURB signs; at the same time, we must learn to respect that others need their space, too.

Call to Action: On this day, I will seize space as I need it and give others their space as they need it.

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