The Five-Letter Word That We’re All Feeling

wordle, word game

All aboard the Wordle bandwagon! I have officially jumped on. If you haven’t, it’s worth checking out. 

For those not familiar with Wordle, it’s a popular online word-guessing game that you can only play once a day (no app needed!). You start by guessing any five-letter word and typing that word into tiles. Each guess must be a valid five-letter word. After each guess, the color of the tiles will change to show how close your guess is to the word. You must guess the Wordle in six tries.  

Speaking of five-letter words, I have a five-letter word we’re probably all feeling right now but not admitting. I’m here to tell you that you aren’t alone, it’s okay to admit you’re feeling this five-letter word. All you have to do is look around, watch the news, or scroll your Twitter feed and you will see it. Any guesses what the five-letter word is?  

The five-letter word 

I will give you a clue. It starts with an S and ends in a T. And it’s the reason I’m writing this blog on Wordle rather than researching what I’m supposed to be researching, which is community lawyering.  

This feeling has nothing to do with community lawyering, rather, it has everything to do with the five-letter word (NOTE: If you’re reading this, that means our communications director accepted this blog and is still talking to me). 

The five-letter word is S-P-E-N-T 

The way I’m using the word, according to Merriam-Webster, is “drained of energy or effectiveness: exhausted.”  

After two years of a global pandemic and a recent surge in new cases, social unrest, changing the way we work and conduct our days, and Zoom call after Zoom call, I’m spent. And I could go on and on, but if I go on, I’m going to be more spent than I already am. 

Time for a new five-letter word 

For all of you out there who are feeling as spent as I am, I have two things to help: 

1. Permission to acknowledge

As lawyers, we often feel like we can’t admit to anything that is seen as a weakness. We must remain strong and in control at all times, no matter how much our lives are spiraling. However, this front isn’t reality. And not acknowledging our struggles, exhaustion, and pain is doing more to hurt us than it is to help us.  

So, I’m acknowledging that I’m spent, and I’m giving you permission to acknowledge it too. If it helps, take 10-15 minutes to write out how spent you are or to talk with someone about it. I’m guessing they will be able to relate.  

2. Recharge

After you let it out, take 20-30 minutes to recharge. Would you let your cell phone’s battery run out of juice and still keep trying to use it? It wouldn’t be able to do the job it’s intended for, right? I’m guessing none of us would try this, so then why do we do it to ourselves?  

Show up for yourself and spend 20-30 minutes on something that will reenergize you. If you need some self-care ideas, you can check out some of my other blogs 

As for me, I’m bringing this blog to a short close so I can take 30 minutes to go for a walk or watch an episode of Emily in Paris. Maybe I will even do both! 

These two things aren’t going to fix all that we’ve been through over the past two years, but they’re a start.  

If we can do a little each day to create healthier habits that help us acknowledge and deal with exhaustion, we will be closer to changing spent to a new five-letter word: R-E-N-E-W.  

Share how you recharge in the comments as well as your best Wordle score.  

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2 thoughts on “The Five-Letter Word That We’re All Feeling

  1. Start also begins with an S and ends with a T. Thanks, Stephanie, for this important reminder for all of us who are feeling spent!

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