Begin again

Everyone has moments – weeks, months, seasons – of sadness, fear, grief, anxiety.  That’s the human condition, right?  And we walk through the darkness, because, really, what choice do we have?  I can’t count the number of times in my life where I’ve felt like throwing up my hands, giving up, burrowing under the covers.  But then a child needs a glass of milk or help with brushing their teeth, or the work phone rings and I really have to take it, or laundry pile finally threatens to overflow the hamper.

And so I get up and deal with what needs to be done.

But the truth is that slogging through one of these valleys – even when I can see the other side, and know it’s bright – is tough and tiring.  Sometimes I feel like screaming up at God, or whatever the greater power out there that I hope I believe in is, “Okay!  Enough with the learning!  Enough with the tough love!”  Sometimes I just want to lie down and coast.

But I can’t.  I don’t know if others can; I really don’t.  A lot of people look better at dealing with the sine curve of life, at least from where I sit.  A lot of people – and I envy them, let me be clear – seem to experience fewer moments of spirit-shaking emotion than I do.  A lot of them can describe what Easter means to their children, or admire the clear, extraordinary blue of an April sky, or witness a christening, without bursting into tears.  Hell, a lot of people don’t burst into tears every single day.

I do.

Somehow that intense emotion, that wound at the very core of my being, is bearable most of the time.  Right now, though, it feels like too much.  I am bone-tired, my emotions are worn paper-thin, my is patience frayed.  I know my life runs close to the surface, that’s not news to me.  And this isn’t news, either, this sense of being deep in the weeds and of each step being a struggle.  It is so not-new, in fact, that I have a theory as to its cause: I suspect this exhaustion occurs when I’m letting go of something, even though I’m not sure what it is yet.  Right now I’m overly aware of the cracks in everything, and I can’t see the light they’re letting in.  Many days I feel a tightness in my chest and tears pricking my eyes and a general sense of sorrow that is, for now, as powerful as it is inarticulate.

But the children need their teeth brushed, and the work phone is ringing, and the laundry needs to be done.

What’s my choice, but to get up, to keep going, to begin again?


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13 Comments

  1. Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I appreciate this so much this morning as I’ve been going through something similar: emotions on sleeve, heart open and raw, bruised easily. And I must admit that I’m struggling with it.

  2. Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    It’s always such a struggle to figure out what the lesson is when we’re in the middle of it, isn’t it? Here’s to learning and growing 🙂

  3. Margaret
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Lindsey I think it’s enormously helpful and generous of you to share yourself, bare your soul like this. Obviously those of us who devotedly read your blog every day (sometimes several times a day – must go back to see the comments!) must relate to all this on some level. And I have NO DOUBT (and you have so much as written about it) that you are very much one of those people who appear to “deal with the sine curve of life” with effortless ease. Certainly with effectiveness and accomplishment. Isn’t it funny how different we are to ourselves than we are to the outside world, even those who are really in our inner world?… On more than one occasion, when I felt as though I were about to have a nervous breakdown at work, to come undone, a colleague commented on how I always appeared to be relaxed and with a smile on my face and a smile to share…REALLY???!!! It absolutely made me laugh. But I also know that we have loads more strength than we give ourselves credit for – or we wouldn’t be able to ever get to that laundry, that son or daughter’s toothbrush, that phone call for work…But I too wish the days that I feel positively overwhelmed and unable to pull myself into action were a LOT fewer and far between than they actually are…

    I have been listening to Adele radio on Pandora and taking a long walk with a friend or loved one as much as possible. Enormously helpful!! Good luck Lindsey. You are an amazing mom and person, I can say that even if I never meet you in person. Your writing and sharing is a true, true gift. And remember, you are right where you should be, doing exactly what you should be doing!! xo

  4. Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I hear ya, sister. And I hope you get a break soon.

  5. Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Yes times a million.

    The delicate balance between working and parenting and just being seems ridiculously difficult at times. But what choice do we have except to “begin again” as you said?

  6. Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Just getting out of bed is a battle some days; you’re defeating your demons with every load of laundry completed.

    I feel this way right now, too, and I have no idea why. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

    xo
    Amy

  7. Taline
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Well, you articulate beautifully even under difficult circumstances. And you remind me of something a writer friend once said to me when she was in the thick of cancer treatments, surgeries, and the emotions that come with all of that uncertainty. She said, “I’m tired of character development.” That statement stayed with me. I was tired of it for her. And you too. I hope you are able to coast soon.

  8. Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    This is beautiful, just beautiful, but I’m sorry it’s all too much right now. Look forward to catching up soon. xox

  9. Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    So beautifully expressed, as always. I’m also someone who stumbles, very often, over those sine curves. I hope you find the light between the fractures soon.

  10. Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Lindsey, this is beautiful, as always. And thank you.

    A question for you. What if there is nothing wrong with who you are?

    You are a gift. Truly.

    XOXO

    C

  11. Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Well this is the million dollar question, isn’t it?? How do we fall apart without actually falling apart??? If I ever figure it out, I’ll let you know ….

    Of course one thing that does help is time to yourself devoted to grieving or being sad or mad or whatever. I am also struggling with keeping calm and carrying on while also allowing a tiny bit of room for feeling what I need to feel. A work in progress, my friend!! xoxo

  12. Posted April 12, 2012 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    “Right now I’m overly aware of the cracks in everything, and I can’t see the light they’re letting in.”

    I have been searching for that light for a while now…sometimes I can see it, but lately, not so much.

    Your writing is just beautiful, you know that?

  13. Posted April 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Right there with you. And so well said.