Life these days is good overall. We are in a good place, a safe place, a comfortable one. Yet, I am unsettled. It’s that I keep looking at what it is I am supposed to be doing.
How do you make new friends and keep the old in the age of Facebook? What does that even mean? Now that 90% of me hates Facebook, what do I do? And for goodness sake, what do I do about my life right now? Which people do I become real friends with? Do I plunge on regardless of my insecurities about the new people I meet? I suppose I do. And I do. But not without miles of silent internal dialogue and self-critique. (And to reassure all you new-to-me-friends, you’re all awesome-these are just the vulnerable writings of a thirty something…)
The best part of my day right now would be the first few minutes. I get up, grab my Bible and flip open to Proverbs and then dig into the chapter I’m challenging myself to read for the day. I love to look for patterns, to find words that pop out, to search for messages that hit home. And to share it. Then to color in the lines, to sketch something, and to gaze on it, letting the meaning and the words sift through my mind. These are the moments that I think the Lord is talking to me. And I’m sure He is. I don’t know what He is saying much of the time, but I keep coming back to it. There is something important happening here. It’s the clearest part of my day.
But before I know it all the kids are downstairs, pulling place mats out and looking for bowls, cocoa bunnies and milk. And the day is going. Packing lunch for school, driving kids to preschool, slipping in a visit to the gym maybe. Lunch. Naps. Snacks. Crumbs, bathrooms, laundry, dishes. In between, I spend a few minutes thinking about what I’m doing in life. Wondering why I’m not writing or building a fitness business or chasing after PhD. After I do that, I press as far away from me the idea that I might be wasting my time and flip on the TV for the latest Netflix series. It’s nap time, not time for deep thinking or mental misery.
Then one by one they are up and about again. One with an angry face searching for a sippy cup. One pouncing around at the foot of the stairs, ready to run wild. One with hair a mile long ready for “morning time.”
Okay all, get up, give me something else to think about and do for the next six hours. After all, I’d rather be handling you all than thinking dejectedly about the fact that I don’t know what I should be doing with my “free” time.
Snacks, bus stop, grab the firstborn and homework time. Cue an hour of sitting at table learning what first grade looks like these days. Learning about soccer on the playground and a kid named Ethan on the bus. Maybe the story of 7.
Dinner time. A few words with the husband about work and the day, but nothing from my end that is consequential or life-changing. When I have something to say, something new about my family or a friend we know, it seems to pivot on negativity. Add to this that these days the news is often sad or disappointing. To talk about it doesn’t help much. Problem is I can find little solace or comfort from conversation. Largely because I can’t hone in on what really bothers me in the moment.
Which is likely why I am writing.
Finally the kids are in bed, neatly tucked under blankets and heads settled into big white, fluffy pillows. I love them I do. I want them to know it. It’s just so much easier to let Huzby put them to bed. Then I don’t have to hear “I want you!” or him in his firm voice saying “go to bed” and “quiet now.” They don’t cry as much when I’m not around during the bedtime routine. But am I missing something by not being there? I don’t know.
It’s another five minutes of free time for me that time is. But what do I do with it? Maybe catch the rest of the Netflix series I left unwatched mid-nap when the kids woke up. Maybe stare into space at nothing. Maybe take a call from the mother or sister and get a dose of the day’s family drama.
I’m lulled back into numbness when he comes downstairs from putting the kids to bed. We flip on the TV if it’s not on already and catch an episode or two of “our” show, something that is not too racy, not too violent, not too embarrassing, though likely at the edge of all three. With one eye on Words with Friends and a fast moving thumb going between FB messaging and text conversations, I miss vital pieces of the show. I don’t care. Soon the clock is striking 10 or 11 who knows. It’s bedtime.
I snuggle my pillows and blankets. A comfortable moment. But in those moments between being awake and asleep the existential question rises up again. What am I doing? Am I serving? Should I be doing something more? Which goal should I be shooting for? How can I minimize conflict? Avoid it? Should I be writing something? What? Maybe this?
I hate this present fuzziness. And the daily cycle of thought followed by numbness followed by thought.
Today I bought a couple of cheap plastic boxes and furry pom poms for the kids to play with at the store. “Let’s organize them,” I said. They loved it. I watched them doing it and that was fun. But I keep them at an arms reach. We are closest on the couch when I watch their shows with them on TV. Huzby is great at sacrificing his time and playing soccer with the kids or chasing them around the house. Why don’t I do this? I thought I would have wanted to. Maybe there is something wrong with the mothering part of me. I just sit there though and cuddle them, watching their show, not wanting to budge.
And another life grows on inside me. Only a little over four more weeks to bake. What am I thinking? Not about how I will manage four kids and a baby. Naturally, I’m thinking about the same theme, that I should be doing something world-changing. Yet I can’t seem to connect that desire with the reality that I’ve got these four jewels in my hands. And one in my belly. World-changing opportunities right?
The fuzziness persists.
Nevertheless I go on, searching for wisdom, searching for prompting, searching for a glimpse of insight. I know that He rewards those who seek Him. The author of Proverbs encourages the readers to “Seek wisdom” to “Gain insight!” I’ll keep on my journey. I will. I promised blogs and insights along the way. This is the first one.
Give me a few minutes and this fuzziness will dull fully. Things will be fine. Life back to overall good again. The TV back to on. The numbness button on. In these minutes, sleep hopefully.
Until then, I lie awake and wonder. What am I doing?
Cue the cycle. Over and over and over again.
Maybe I’ll sleep now. Maybe I’ll think. Then sleep. Eventually the one will bleed into the next.