Sunday, January 8, 2017

For What Have I Been Waiting?

Existence rightly considered is a fair compromise between two instincts—the instinct of hoping one day to live, and the instinct to live here and now. ~Arnold Bennett

I read this quote looking for the one in my last post and it stuck with me. I have had a tendency all my life of hoping one day to live the life I would like rather than making the "here and now" that life...if that makes any sense to you. In part, I think it was a coping mechanism I used through my abused childhood that became so ingrained in me that at times in my life I have had to take a few moments to realize I am living my life right now.

I get swept up in workings within my mind, so much so that I have this habit of forgetting where I put something that I just had in my hands five minutes ago—or even just seconds ago if I am going to be completely honest—or I cannot remember why I began walking toward a particular room because my mind has thoughts of so many unrelated things between where I started and where I was going (but I never get lost like that when I am driving). It is not that my memory is failing; I have always been this way, but it is worse when I am under stress and have time to think too much. I quite focused and practical in a crisis, but make it just urgent or anything less with more time to think and my mind is racing in several directions at once.

The reason I am mentioning this is that I do not shut down easily. I have enough things going on in my brain that I often wish I could escape from my own self. Add outside influences, I get overwhelmed easily and end up not really doing anything productive...like spending time to complain on my blog.

When I think over where my daughter was a year ago and see where she is now, I am delighted, like I was delighted by her when she was quite younger. She is still a teenager with mood swings but we are close again. We talk to each other about everything and anything and even nothing. We laugh together. She defends me with her friends. She hugs me when I am having a bad day and even just because—I thank her hug-loving, never-say-no-to-hug, hugs-are-healing-believing youth pastor, who is really into hugs (in case you missed it), for part of that as she has been spending most Thursday afternoons with my daughter. Simple things that were completely absent a year ago. After working on rebuilding trust on both sides throughout the last year, my daughter and I presently have the relationship I really wanted for us both. But...I wonder if I changed more than she did.

Before I was stressing to her and stressing out about her education. I was steering our homeschool exactly where I never meant for it to go—stressful. She was not fitting my expectations and worse she could see through me to that. I was not even fitting my own expectations as to guiding her home education. I was as unhappy as she was, but I believed we were on a track going the right way so we would arrive at the right destination eventually. When it all fell apart for the Princess a year ago, I had to jump off that track and take a good look at the reality of our surroundings, which way off from where I had hoped to be, and remember my purpose for homeschooling so I could get on the right track with my daughter.

Then I relaxed, probably for the first time since the Princess was a tween.

Homeschooling became far less important than my daughter's emotional and spiritual health. Devotions, some days, took up a couple of hours and often spurred long talks. I did not push her away, stressing she had to get her lessons done as I had done in the past. I stopped looking at those talks as a time to lecture her or that she was using them as a stall tactic. I began working at helping her to realize that she was shaping her life: not my rules or my expectations. It took months but we are where I wanted for us to be and a funny thing happened: The more I eased up on controlling her education, the more the Princess became determined to take serious initiative and personal responsibility for her education...with a good attitude.

The past year's events seem like a bad dream and this was always our reality, but in truth I know it was not. I know we both learned to change and to trust each other. My home life is peaceful and stable because my daughter became my highest priority, but unfortunately that had an one adverse effect: I pushed everything I wanted for just myself aside...again.

So, I was highly excited about this coming year. I bought the Princess lots of art supplies and had this plan that we both be motivated to create a creative space and do art together. She would still get the attention she needed and I would get the time to be creative that I needed. I was looking forward to it so much and then....my mother-in-law fell.

The point is that all my life I have been waiting to really live my life. A series of things happened during my life, so I did not get back into doing artwork. In fact, every time I started back into art something happened that took priority, including homeschooling. I feel like here I am again....

I really have no idea what going to be happening in the next week: Are we going to Florida or not? What will we be doing there when we do go? Will my mother-in-law still be in rehab or will she be going home? How will we do her move? Will she really need assisted living or will it be good living with us with home care assistance two to three times a week?

Too many questions with no answers yet.

I do not make New Year's resolutions. My philosophy is if it is something I am resolved to do, I should just do it. Why wait until the New Year? However, it seems I am always waiting for some other thing in my life that is taking priority...maybe I really do not know what it is that I really want, but then why do I feel like I am giving up a part of myself again?


My Lord, help me to want what You want. I know You can make it all work out. I know you hear the unspoken words in my heart and count the tears that I will not allow myself to cry. I will be waiting on You.

1 comment:

  1. I just don't have the motivation anymore for the *me* things ~ but then the Lord opened up opportunities that use many of my skills anyway so perhaps it will be enough ~ or the best is yet to come. ☺

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.