Sunday, September 25, 2016

In The Now

- Diffusing clove, cinnamon, black pepper, and orange oil. Smells like autumn.

- Appreciating the cooler weather. Keeping the windows open all day. It was 60° inside this morning when I woke up which was lovely.

- There's never enough time, never enough money. In general, this doesn't bother me until I'm sad, and then it makes me feel like I've failed as a person.

- Drinking a venti flat white. Appreciating how a hefty dose of caffeine makes me feel less miserable for a few hours.

- Dealing with back pain and joint pain and brain fog. Totally unable to sort out what's due to stress, what's due to all the gluten I ate after life started to feel unmanageable, and what's due to injury.

- Crying a lot, especially towards the end of the week. I had a panic attack on Thursday night (first one I've had in YEARS). Right now I'm just trying to put one foot in front of the other and keep dealing with it, while also being kind to myself and also not let down any of the many folks who are depending on me in one way or another. Bah. I'm so tired.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

On Not Being Loving

It was not a good week last week.

If you had asked me on Friday what the problem was, I would have said there were behavior issues galore. At one point I thought the kids had conspired to drive me insane. One day everyone was "red zoned" by nine o'clock.  I spent one swim practice telling the same child repeatedly to keep his hands off the smaller child he was bullying. I had a difficult encounter with a person and I did not respond well. I was working hard but not getting enough done. It was like the universe itself was set against me.

You know what, though? My answer has changed. The problem last week was me. I was not loving.

I had a moment towards the end of the week where I suddenly stopped midstride and said to myself, "Nothing I am doing matters at all." I was completely convinced of it. Nothing seemed to have changed, but this work that I do that I normally regard as world - changing (because if helping to shape little lives doesn't make the world better, I don't know what does!) suddenly seemed meaningless. So what if kids learned to swim. So what if they swam fast or didn't DQ on their backstroke flipturn. So what if M learned to read. Everything seemed very unimportant. I was unimportant. 

It took me days longer than it should have to remember:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have no love, I am just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have enough faith to move mountains, but have no love, I am nothing. 

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have no love, I am nothing.

Love is patient and kind... It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful (ouch)... Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (Paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 13)

It stings to realize that you've invalidated yourself in a way that nobody else has the power to do. And it hurts - it really, really hurts, in a feeling small, injured heart of way - to realize that not only have you failed, but you failed in the one area of your life you've long claimed is the one most important to you.

In fact, in a true "pride before fall" moment, I posted this last week on my Instagram:

"I read this quote yesterday by Anna McCarthy ( "I am designed to love and love well." It hit home powerfully and stuck with me all day. There are (a lot of) days where I'm not doing anything particularly well. Where I struggle to do any one thing well... But I love well... I love passionately, deeply, fiercely. I have found my purpose in life, and I am infinitely, perfectly designed for it."

It's ironic how it only takes a few weak moments to lose track of what is most important. And you know what? It's funny that nothing in my life changed last week.  I didn't do anything differently. Nobody watching would have seen any change. But my heart had shifted, and while it was misaligned, I was right - nothing I did mattered.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fall Bucket List

*1. Bake muffins for the coaches
*2. Drink a flat white
*3. Start Christmas shopping
*4. Go to the fair
5. Take a walk to enjoy the leaves
*6. Do a pumpkin craft with the kids
*7. Buy a pumpkin
*8. Listen to a new book
9. Have friends over
*10. Girls night out!
*11. Buy new sheets and unpack the electric blanket
*12. Sleep with the windows open
*13. Make apple sauce
*14. Burn a CD (or make a new playlist) for listening with the windows open
*15. Eat honey crisp apples
*16. Make chili in the crockpot
*17. Go to Art Fest
*18. Buy new essential oils (cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg)
*19. Winterize trailer
*20. Go to an escape room
*21. Send a care package to Anna and Liz
*22. Watch a sunset
*23. Be kind
*24. Go to the farm with the kids
*25. Try a new tea
*26. Get my CPR/First Aid certification renewed