I know that I usually save the Beatles lyrics and titles for Jude's letters, but really, who are we kidding? The Beatles wrote the soundtrack to my life, so I'd be an idiot not to use it whenever I can. And because I've been blessed with a few precious gems from a few precious friends lately, I had to share. Although this is for you, it's also for me. I need this. I need these reminders.
A while back, I wrote a desperate self-immolating post and got so many caring responses. One of them was from my dear friend, Ruth, whom I've loved since elementary school. She is one of the wisest, kindest, brightest souls I've had the pleasure to know. She is also a mother to two seriously beautiful children. She gave me the gift of this comment about that post:
...I also know very few moms of babies who don't consume in some way to make themselves feel better. The thing with those little people is that they just take so much. If you're like me (and every other mom I know), you feel like you've lost yourself somewhere in it all, and you need to find some way to give back to yourself, a little portion of the day that is your own. A little treat that gives the day some forward momentum when the lows come...as they do often, at least in my experience. And I sympathise that it is hard to find healthy ways of replenishing yourself, but you can do it. I do believe that it will require addressing the need to replenish yourself. You cannot just take away your self-comfort, you will have to find other, frequent, healthy, soul-addressing replacements for it.
This is the truth. I so often feel that Jude is taking something from me and I must give back to myself in some way so that I don't feel like I've completely lost myself in this child. I'm still working on giving up watching a TV show all the way through or finishing books in any semblance of a timely manner, or ever feeling well-rested when I wake up. But I'm working on it. Because I find the less I covet those things, the less angry or upset or annoyed I become when I don't get them. So I'm working on it. But really, I'm still making excuses for my daily 200-300 calorie, $5 coffee habit. I've been making excuses and I think I'm ready to stop wishing for a different me. I have to find the "other, frequent, healthy, soul-addressing replacement" for shoving food in my face every time things don't go my way. And hiding in the bathroom with my phone for some uninterrupted Internet time doesn't count, either.
Lately I've been feeling really positive about the possibilities in my life. I'm in a strange waiting room and there are so many doors I could walk through. I just have to make the decision and do it. And that's what this week is going to be for me. I'm going to sit down and decide which goals to pursue and I'm going to plan small steps I can take to get there. I'm excited and I'm ignoring that fear of failure that keeps me from so many good things in my life. One of those things I'm excited about is feeling like I'm taking control of the small things. So often I just allow things to roll over me and then complain that I couldn't help it. This is rarely the case. Small decisions can make such a difference and I must finally be willing to accord small things their due significance. I've been denying it and this small denial has become a major factor of unhappiness and a false sense of helplessness in my life.
So. Small Things Matter. Done.
I also find myself complaining because I'm so alone. Especially when it comes to my faith. I do feel isolated here because the way Kenny's family practices their faith is a bit different from mine. I attend church weekly, but I don't understand much of what goes on, even though I'm taking Jude to children's church. There's so much "holy vocabulary" I just don't get yet, so it's really hard to derive any kind of spiritual meaning (or any meaning at all) from my attendance. I often don't feel God is there. I know there are many ways to approach Him and I am the one doing the limiting here. Anyway, I mentioned this feeling of isolation and desire for fellowship and discipleship to a friend in an email. And she was so wise to reply in this manner: