I haven’t felt much like blogging or Facebooking lately, mostly because I am trying just to get through each day. I suppose that if you tried to create a recipe for insanity, my life has most of those ingredients.
* One middle-aged woman who’s fairly level-headed most of the time (of course, that’s my perspective) but thrives on order
* Said woman is moved from an editorial job in which she felt comfortable and competent (and even passionate about her work) to marketing, an area about which she knows next to nothing, with an unclear job description
* Enter at beginning of summer one highstrung but greatly loved daughter who moves back home from her first year of college to discover that her older brother has moved into her bedroom and she doesn’t have enough space for all her stuff
* Older brother graduated from college with a B.A. in sociology at end of December, moved back home, and is trying to figure out the next steps of his life while he continues his part-time job delivering pizza
* Husband and dad is suffering from depression and is not his normal jovial self
* Add two car wrecks within five months, totaling both cars, and mix with a family already struggling financially
* Remove middle-aged woman from her support group of work friends and thrust her into an unfamiliar environment in which she has to figure out where she fits in and carve out her own path
Mix and stir…and watch the explosions that result.
Oh, and I should note that John and I have undergone many transitions this past year: our youngest child has left the nest; we have left our church home of more than 20 years (that has been a healthy thing for us; still, we are developing new relationships and don’t want to seem too needy); my 87-year-old dad has been in declining health.
I am just trying to make sense of it all. I find comfort in routine: getting up early in the morning, making my coffee, sitting down to read my Bible and The Upper Room devotion for the day, reading something spiritual from another book (my definition of “spiritual” is quite loose), and checking Facebook somewhat obsessively to see what my friends have been up to. I find comfort in journaling. I find my spirits lifted by friends’ jokes. I enjoy the community formed by the exercise group I’ve participated in for a long time, especially my Walkabouts team, three other women with whom I’ve shared a two-month fitness challenge. I cope with stress by exercising, talking a lot (I sometimes feel like I dump on my friends), doing yoga, and praying.
I am trying to practice gratitude and kindness each day. I am grateful that God has seen fit to give me another day of life, even the shitty days. I am grateful for relatively good health, especially after a two-month bout of a sinus and ear infection that left me feeling like a car whose tires have been deflated. I am grateful for my sweet family, even though each one of us has issues we are dealing with. I am grateful for a husband who has been faithful to me for nearly 30 years. I am grateful for girlfriends who listen and laugh and cry and pray for me. Now, about that kindness part…I manage to do a little of that, but mostly I’m just in survival mode right now. I am grateful that God hears my prayers, even if they’re only, “Help, help, help!” or “Please give me a clear and healthy mind, dear God…right now. I need you!”
I am grateful for a church home where I hear words of grace, comfort, and encouragement each time I go there, even though I can’t remember half of the people’s names! I am enjoying singing in the choir, which does challenging music and has an awesome director of music who has taught me more than she will ever know.
I am grateful for my yoga teacher, who is gentle and encouraging and laughs (not at me but with me) when I do something stupid, like when I fell over while we were doing a seated pose the other day. I am grateful for Shaymus, a guy in my yoga class whom I don’t know well, but who joke s with me about our supermodel training not teaching us certain things.
I am grateful for a musician neighbor who graciously invites me to play his piano anytime he’s out of town (which is pretty often)…I have a place to escape to when things get nuttier than usual at my house.
Thank you, God for these and all your blessings. Help me to keep one foot in front of the other and to be faithful to you. Amen.