Thursday, November 17, 2011

where am i again?

when my family and i left our hometown so my dh could start medical school, i had been working at my children's school. a really cool private school that included kids from 18 months to first grade. it was such a great place to send my kids, that i really, really wanted to work there. the staff was, well, awesome. they were sad to see us go. and one of them gave me a card that i said, "sooner or later, we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. the true joy of life is in the trip." (robert j. hastings) i knew this would be a theme of the next eight years. (i also knew "i can do all things through christ who strengthens me" would be a theme...but we'll save that for another blog...)

there is no one station to arrive at once and for all...i have learned this...i think. or at least, i've begun to understand it. there a baz luhrmann song called "everybody should wear sunscreen" of the lines says "the race is long...and in the end, it's with yourself." and it doesn't end until we die. and even then, i'm not so sure it ends, but i'm pretty sure it changes, so we can definitely say it ends as we know it. lol. anyway. the road goes on forever, and the party never ends. (that's a robert earl keen line...why am i suddenly channeling all of these musicians?) i'm starting to "get" that every time i think i've made it through one challenge, another comes. that life doesn't really go back and forth, like i used to visualize it. it is always forward. just side to side, so to speak. like kids, life vacillates back and forth between equilibrium and disequilibrium. (and let me tell you, sometimes it can almost fall the hell off the charts, it gets so far off on the disequilibrium side...)

the true joy of life is in the trip. this is easier for me to understand. we're a road tripping family. we road trip well. we know what you need (beef jerky and comfortable pillows...and small electronics with extra batteries). we know how to enjoy each other when we're confined in the small space of our car. and we know how to shut up when we're getting annoyed. we like similar music, so we can fill irritating silence with tunes that bring us back together. we enjoy the same books on tape, so there's that. and we all seem to have about the same sized bladder. we are one perfect road tripping family, the more i think about it... so yes, we have had our vacations where one of the best parts was the drive. and i get that. i really do.

but i like consistency and predictability. and i think one of the hardest things about life for me is that it is not very rhythmic. at least not when you're wishing it would get somewhere, get to a place and stay that way. now, i've definitely had my times where i think to myself, "oh dear god, PLEASE, don't let it stay here...whatever i have to do, PLEASE don't let it stay this way." but i admit, i would like life to get good and stay good. is that so much to ask? as i sat outside last night, a cold front was still blowing in. the most wonderful breeze would blow and knock a few leaves down. it occurred to me that even if winter blows in somewhat predictably each year, that you could never predict the patterns that the leaves would fall down in....that it is unique each year. and for some reason, that just cracked open this whole realization that we have to change...that the very nature of life is change...and that part of my problem, my BIGGEST problem, is fighting that change. (no WONDER i'm so damned tired and overwhelmed and stressed's like i've been trying to make the world turn in the opposite direction using my BARE HANDS...doh!)

so i'm just going to sit with this realization for a bit...let it do its work...because while i know a new day of understanding is dawning, i also know there are more days to come i want to give myself a chance to absorb this, lay a good foundation. i guess when you realize how much longer the race truly is, that there is no end in sight, have to pace yourself differently. so that's what i'm going to work on...finding a more natural pace.

(as well as realizing i do not have to run or be propelled from good to bad or happy to sad...that this journey all moves forward...that really helps me, you know what direction i'm traveling...)


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