It kind of snuck up on me, the New Year. I caught myself writing "2010" on a bill stub last week. Whether that was a Freudian slip, I can’t quite say. 2010 was a good year, after all. But come to think of it 2013 was too.
My 30s are approaching. And while I certainly won’t wallow in the fact that I’ve been given the privilege of living 3 decades, it is a bit of a mental reality check on life & the purpose of chocolate (or something).
2012 was admittedly my low-point. I lost all the zest & I stopped caring. And I think, intrinsically & subconsciously, I was just surviving. The survival part seems necessary--I had just had a kid & all--but the zest & spice, that stuff that flavors the day-to-day & makes meals a bit fancier than regular rice & bland beans was gone.
I think it is back now. For how long I’m not sure. Another baby is on the way & I can feel my mental axis tipping ever-so-slowly--perhaps a pre-emptive warning sign that I (we) need to plan for intervention. Or invention. Or innovation. Any of those "I" words would probably do.
Unlike the previous decade of my life, 2013 was not filled with reflection. Aside from the growth of our giant child, my own heart felt stagnant. And maybe for the first time in a handful of years, my faith felt like more of a burden than a blessing. (Honesty is harsh, sometimes). I used to thrive in lists, planners, & concept maps. Cleaning, the ritualistic cleansing of everything tracked in & smeared on, was restorative. And my solitude--the time I took to pound the pavement or sweat out the day’s worries or listen to the furnace roar in an empty house was exactly what my busy mind needed to re-center itself.
But now, life is different. And though my nature desires to have all things the same, the nurture in me--the functional everyday part of my existence--screams that it just can't be so. I’ve convinced myself that faith alone is not enough--& spent my time reflecting on my lack of scripture reading instead of actually absorbing the life-Words. The lists sit unchecked, notebooks unpenned, & planners (mostly) unplanned. The floors are dirty, the baseboards need to be Magic(ally) Erased, & the curtains desperately need a trip outside in the sunshine. I probably need one too.
In the midst of it all, though, I have to give myself a bit of credit--as much as it doesn't feel deserved. The bottom line, through all the failures & cold meals & cereal-for-dinner's & sleepless nights & times that I didn't respond with love & pictures I wasn't in--through all of those, we survived.
And through those long nights of nursing. And sleep-deprived days teeming with unstable emotion. And ups and downs of marriage & friendship & belated birthday gifts. Through all of the muck-that-doesn't-really-matter, I have changed. My person has evolved. Our marriage has developed. Our kid has gotten bigger (believe it or not). And even though I may not be a better person, I am still me. And I am still changing.
My goal in 2014 is to write more. To reflect more. And really, to appreciate more. Heaven’s Son wasn’t Heaven-sent for me to wallow in the life I’ve been given. It is fleeting. And short. And the days are long sometimes. But for all that matters most in life, this little space of writing & reflection, so I’ve come to realize, is just that: a space. One that I think I’ll want to look back on in 15 years & realize that hey, we’ve come a long way baby. And through all life throws at us, sometimes it is the clicking of keys & quiet solitude that this space forces that inspires me to recognize my abundance.