Thursday, March 08, 2007
The Me I've Lost
I’m given to feeling disquieted even when there seems to be no reason for it.
As would be appropriate approaching one’s fortieth birthday, I’m doing even more examination of my life than I do normally. And normally I examine things obsessively; so you see my situation. It’s the feeling that the time for planning to do is a luxury I can no longer afford.
I have accomplished a good deal of that which I had set before myself. I have a wonderful marriage to a wonderful man, who; at the risk of hyperbole, I will state that I adore. I have thus far succeeded in raising my kids into young men of honor and stability. The truth of the matter is; from here it is their own steps that will predict their futures more so than my decisions on their behalf. I have lost the weight I needed to and continue in the battle against that addiction with which I presume I will always live. I have returned to school, finished and gotten a solid job.
I have found a church into which I am finally a “good fit.” I have settled into a ministry that I love and pray that God will continue to use me and to grant me more opportunities to teach. I have the most amazing circle of friends in the world.
And so, why am I at times disquieted?
I think as the tasks of life have been ticked off; done and done and done, I’m left with the next step. Introspection stands before me demanding my attention. I am learning to move from doing into being in my life. Honestly I find it just the littlest bit daunting.
I’ve spent quite some time now trying to figure out just what might be lacking in what seems to be a well-rounded if not spectacular life. I think I’ve put my finger on it. Certain things which I’ve sacrificed along the way to make my journey a bit more aerodynamic could now fit back into my life. Sounds rather vague doesn’t it?
There’s nothing dramatic on the list. It’s just that in the process of raising kids and going to school and juggling various stresses and challenges I ran out of energy or resources to enjoy some window dressings in my life. I feel I have become almost entirely made of functionality. I’m no martyr, believe me. I am not shearing my own lambs to make socks or anything quite so impressive. It’s just that there are little details to life that all of us enjoy. Food for the soul, one might say. Sometimes lately I look around and think that the only thing I’ve hung on to just because I love it is reading.
Now as the requirements to my life have changed I find myself hungry for those other things that simply filled my heart up. Some simple and some more complicated. A fresh coat of paint throughout my house is on that list. Actually quite a few home and hearth type things are quite lacking as I’ve pared my existence down over the years to accommodate little more than studying and adjusting to a new career and seeing daboyz through to graduation.
I’ve jettisoned some things that I just couldn’t seem to carry through being not so strong as I sometimes appear. Now I look back and I’m ready to restock my life with the stuff I threw overboard.
I want my house to be not just a roof over my head but a refuge. I need it to be a place that feeds my tired spirit at the end of the day. So I need to get to it and reclaim these “four walls and a lid” to quote my pastor.
I need to be a better keeper of this place because much of the mess is no one’s fault but my own.
I need to expect, nee demand, some help from these other three grown-ups who live here.
I need music instead of television in the background and flowers in my front yard and a picnic table in back for summer evening hot dogs on the grill.
I need drives into the country and by The Farm. I haven’t been there since 1976 being afraid of the emotions. Now I need to feel them and to sit in my car on the side of the road and cry if need be.
I need to do my laundry and groceries on week nights so my weekends are available for resting or movies or museums or whatever might fill up my empty spaces.
This is just a taste of the stuff that slipped quietly away from me and leaves me feeling disquieted for the lack of it. It is nothing monumental to be sure. All just little things that make up the me that has gotten caught in the business of doing and not being. Childhood treasures I could have again should I just make it a point to keep them in my hands.
I’m not sure any of this makes sense to you but it is very much what’s on my mind today.
In a month I’ll be forty, and I’d like to be completely me from here on in.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.