I've been thinking too much today. Really.
I woke up this morning and as my alarm sounded I felt like I was on the moive "Groundhog Day". Instead of living the same day over and over however, I felt as if I just kept living the some few seconds of morning wake up call over and over and over and over. Like, every time I turn around, it's time to get up and somehow those few seconds make such a strong demand on my emotions that they seem more powerful than the rest of the day. They say "Get up! Do it again! Face it!" I literally ask myself "how is this possible that it's morning and my alarm is going off again!!? Did I even sleep? What day is it? Does it matter? Do I live a perpetual motion of waking up!?"
Now, this blog post is not for the "together's". It's not for people who just formulate, simplify and have it all lined up, planned out and payed forward. It's also not for those who'd be tempted to respond to me "oh, just suck it up Alicia, we all have tough stuff, get over it." You can leave. I don't care for this moment what anyone thinks of the proceeding writings....it's just the view from here people.
I can't seem to find control on any level. I can't seem to control what happens in life on a big scale, or a small one. My schedule and driving plans (especially with one vehicle) are completely at the mercy of others. I don't know who is coming or going at the house, who will be home, or over for dinner. I never know if my husband will be off at a regular time or will be working over. I don't even know what time dinner is anymore and I don't know what's for dinner. Do you? Who's cooking? Don't you like sandwiches? I do.
I can't control my focus. I have to switch focus every few moments or have it demanded of me that I do even if I don't prefer it. This also is true on a large and small scale. On a large scale, I can't seem to focus on getting some exercise, keeping the clean clothes put away, Keeping the chore routine working on building my business....on and on. On a smaller one, I can't focus on what anyone is saying to me at the time. After a plethora of "Mommy...." reports, I start to stare into their faces in a fog of non-comprehension only to hear the eventual "Are you listening to me?". This is usually accompanied by another one asking me something in the background, or the dog needing to be told to get off the couch..."oh, I'm sorry, I AM listening (right!? I am right?! Someone please tell me that I am..), what was that?" Only to get a frustrated exhaustion of air and "Ugh, never-mind !" OMG...people....I'm trying!
I can't control my energy level. I'm working on that but all good plans of productivity lately seem to be sacrificed on the alter of "I've got to lay down!". There are days I feel I could hit pause on life and sleep for 36 hours straight just to catch up on all levels both mental and physical.
I can't control my frustration with the fact that I can't seem to get things under control. Yeah, that's a fun one.
So, anyhoo...I was so overwhelmed this morning the minute that alarm went off and I literally felt like I was living a skipping DVD play out of my life. It just repeats a few seconds after the wake up call. I walk out of my room each morning not knowing what the teen age emotional status will dictate and I'm almost always met with something that somehow is a crisis. Usually the crisis of unknown origin hits before the coffee even reaches my lips.
I was also overwhelmed this morning at my age in all this. Here I am, getting to the point in my life where things have been functioning long enough to start showing wear and tear both figuratively and literally. Marriage after 16 years is great but also challenging. It's like you finally realize, if we don't sort out some of this stuff between us, when will we?! Patterns of "repeat" in both of us are becoming louder and louder in their obnoxious droning. Our bodies are getting older, our responsibilities greater, and yet the demand on our time and mental health is coming from hormonal crisis "The world is ending" beings around us. How is one supposed to assist the crazy people when one is crazy themselves? How am I supposed to help a budding life form get things straight and know how to manage life when I'm more fuddled than ever? I feel like the parent throwing the baby in the pool and saying "here! swim!" I don't know if you will, but if you start to go under we will just have to cross that bridge when we get to it. That sounds so awful but it's so true! You just can't cure all the life crisis for them! You don't have the perfect solutions or advice sometimes, and you certainly don't have the stamina for the drama of it all. You are hearing a little creature vent and moan and yell about their little life of challenges when you know inside you what REAL challenges are like. Life, death, marriage, sacrifice, finances, getting food on the table....and then you feel guilt for not being more sensitive to their struggles.
Then hits the apathy. I think it comes out of pure exhaustion. The wear and tear shows like I said mentally, relationally and even practically. Shoot, the house is falling apart too. Things need to be fixed and you have no control over fixing them. There is the battle of your own apathy and the frustration at the apathy of others. Then you deal with frustration again with yourself for giving in to apathy (which get's you no where in the end) and the fact that you can't control the productivity or lack there of of others. This starts to apply in their school and developing lives. You can't control the stress procrastination brings them when they don't get their work done ahead of time, but you have to deal with the short temper they have toward the world for getting stressed out at the end. You start to have less control on when they fall asleep at night, but you have to be wise and cheerful when the monster comes out of it's cage early in the morning. You tire of saying "how can you live like this!?" when thier rooms repeatedly get trashed and only you seem to see it. I really wish we had a home with a long hall or an upstairs and I could ignore this like most people can. We live in a modular home where you can see into each room from the central part of the home and directly into one of them, as can all people who stop by your house....ugh. Again, no control. You begin to feel like a constant nag and drill Sargent, hear your own voice and hate the sound of it.
For me anyway, there seems to be no one to talk to. I'm the only one I know with kids my age in school. I am my own counselor with wonderful encouraging words to myself like "suck it up" and "just keep swimming, just keep swimming". I don't know anyone else who has my view of what hills to die on with my kids either (at least who have kids this age). I don't know anyone who has a high strung, highly stressed 15 year old female in their home who dominates all time and attention it would seem. I start to think of talking to someone or finding a friend in the trenches and I realize that the circles of people I do know in this time of their lives (even if they get close) would want to try to give me solutions. I know what the solutions are, I don't need measurements, I need someone to look at me and feel it, and say....you are right...it's tough. It's like a reservoir that collects with no outlet. There is no end, no relief, no quiet. It's really really tough. I just want to see the face of someone else who knows that feeling, and maybe tell me a horror story of their own that will make me feel normal again.
Then I thought about the news Rick brought home last night about a man we have known for years being given two weeks to live because of cancer. No control. Turn a corner...bam. I'm not saying I think it's good to have control, I'm not saying I don't recognize that God IS in control. I'm saying that when you feel out of control on nearly ALL levels...it get's crazy. I felt overwhelmed for this man. I think he may even be younger than my dad was but I'm not sure....and then I remembered...
After all this swirling in my head this morning, driving my teen to High School, watching her get out and be met by her African American boyfriend (which I have no problem with but never imagined I'd journey through....), I drove off fighting tears, feeling helpless....I remembered the date....
May 17th. Dad has been gone for 6 years. Somehow things have been insane since he died. My kids were young, I had control. We home-schooled, I had control. I was a stay at home mom, I had control. Everyone when to bed early and we had time to ourselves, we had control. For those of you who think like me that things will get easier as they get older, they don't. The things just change and the biggest one is that you are less and less in control. If I run into people somewhere down on the age scale or families void of females, I literally don't want to hear their wonderful plans of how they will structure out the teen years. If they are through it, I may want to talk to them depending on their attitude about it. If they are in it and their kids are sheltered, I'm so not interested. Yes, my attitude stinks. I have no energy for a good one on that level. I'd be exhausted from listening to them and trying to respond kindly let alone absorb their great laid intentions for themselves, or hallelujahs for how well their kids turned out. Oh, and if you are not only raising a young brood but preserving your own food from your own garden or making your own clothing from organic fabric....please, just walk away before I have visions of hurting you. I just want to put something other than a granola bar in my kids faces at 6:30 each morning. I just want to get to the grocery store enough to have an apple as an snack option. Please...shhhhh. Ugh..I digress completely.
Well, like I said on my facebook...no, I'll just end with that:
This year, on the anniversary of my dads death, I've thought so much on how brave he was. Facing cancer taking his vitality slowly, knowing the end result was on its way and watching it come. Damn. But life is sometimes just as hard as death when the struggles and the efforts drag. I feel I'm at a time in life when I just have to hang in there and get through. I hope to be brave like him. Face whatever God brings and be okay when the joy bubbles are not always floating around my existence. When joy feels just out of reach. One can be completely assured of truth and groaning at the same time. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Knowing Gods promises does not equal a light heart or skipping step all the time. Some days it may even hurt to smile. Embrace it all. Be brave.