January 24, 2014

Learning Again

This new year has gotten off to a start. A start. It feels new, rocky, overwhelming, exciting, tiring and frustrating. I want to get a million things accomplished and I want to crawl back into bed until spring. Everything to be done swirls around me and can feel overwhelming and I feel like the man in the picture below. In a place of safety in the midst of the storm, but feeling a little trapped too.

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Our household is still full with three families. Many times it feels like 7 against 3. Or 7 and 1 against 2. Or 7 and 1 and 1 against me. I often feel like I'm in the center, offering stability and advice to everyone when what I want is for someone else to make decisions and take care of grocery shopping, chores, managing finances and offering encouragement on all of those things to everyone else. For someone else to listen to the concerns everyone has with everyone else when you have 10 people in a 1500 square foot home.

And we are going to grow by one. My niece and her husband are expecting a baby who will come as we transition from spring to summer. And I was not able to be excited for them.

I know some of it is my stress levels. I am working again; it is not full time, but it is something I can do and leave behind me when I walk out the door after my shift. And working is good, but it also means the time I had for studying and doing the household chores has been curtailed. I am still a student and this quarter has more reading than I anticipated and is pushing me in new ways which are good and difficult.

I keep reminding myself this is a season. And seasons come and go; the quietness of winter gives way to the new life of spring. Spring moves on to the growth and bursting life of summer who in turn gives way to the harvest of fall. And then fall moves over to the quietness of winter again.

But my quiet is not here. It is not around me, it is not in my home. And many times, it is not in me. The maelstrom of thoughts, intents, need-to-do lists, must-happen-now items, how-will-we-manage concerns seems as if it is only quieted at night in sleep.

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Although it can be hard to remember in the midst of it, I can always be thankful I am not alone in the storm of my thoughts and life.

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