“Don’t forget that beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies.”-Paulo Coehlo-
The day can dawn, beaming with peace and bright light, full of possibility. By lunch, it’s a total disaster. Clouds roll in, a sour expression parks itself on the landscape of your forehead, and the dam of your emotions threatens to wash your afternoon in a tsunami of tears. As you climb the mountain of self doubt, you become shrouded in the fog of discontent.
Then, slowly, a tiny sliver of hope breaks through the storm clouds, reminding you that this is all TEMPORARY, and what waits on the other shore is that same peace you began the day with, but the horizon is painted with calmer colors. You’ve walked yourself out of the doldrums and can be reminded that it is just one day.
I began the day with a sense of accomplishment. I’d gotten up from the haze of a lack of good sleep, put on my walking shoes, saddled up the big girl, and took a gigantic, fast-paced, walk through the trails. My health, both in short/long term, has been thrown to the forefront of my days. I have been finding my “spare tire” around my midsection growing to the size of tire that could fit an 18-wheeler or one of those trucks in Monster Jam, as I glue myself to my computer for countless hours. One day last week, I only got up from my dining room work battle station twice in ten hours.
Along our 1.25hr walk, Darcy said to me: “Mom, I think that there’s a reason we have this virus; I think it’s God’s way of teaching us about all we’ve been doing wrong.” Wow. Perspective.
Back to the day…accomplished. At first. After cleaning off the gallon of mosquito repellent from my Texas-spring-humid self, eating a minimalist breakfast, and checking my ‘to-do’s’ list for work/school and the kiddo’s learning goals for the day, I ambitiously packed all the things and headed out to my MIL’s for assistance. Y’all, this parent-teacher duality has been calling for extra hands on deck, and who better than my educator family member who has been diligently containing herself to avoid germ-city? Here’s where the storm came rolling in, and it was all of my own making. For those not in the education world, please keep a special prayer for the teachers, and especially those who have been tasked with focusing on digital learning AND continuing the education of their own offspring.
I am weary. I am caged. I am trying my best. I am irritable. I am struggling. There, I said it.
This is a STRUGGLE.
One that I will overcome. Hopefully.
After the entire afternoon of peaks and valleys, mistakes made on my part, confusion by my girl as to who was the teacher and who was the parent, I had myself a good cry on the way home and my child said to me: “Mommy, please do not cry. You’re not a failure. You just see things differently than other people. Do you wanna know what helped me? When I was sad, do you know who was there, cheering me up? It was YOU. When I didn’t understand something, you tried your best to help me. Don’t give up. We will get through this together.”
Y’all…from the mouth of babes.
Just when I thought that the storm would swallow me whole, my own kindred spirit spoke to my heart.
“Make the clock reverse, bring back what once was mine. Heal what has been hurt, change the fates’ design, save what has been lost, bring back what once was mine…”“Healing Incantation” -Tangled
Something that is said to me more often than I have fingers and toes to count is that I try too hard, or that I am too hard on myself. I grew up that way, always chastising myself when I didn’t feel good enough. I suffer from a severe case of a lack of confidence. I refuse to let my children feel that way about themselves—and by children, I mean the ones at home AND the ones in the desks with me.
The evening ushered in the peace that I so desperately needed.
We picked up takeout from our favorite local Italian place by the riverside, chatting with the owner and his manager, whom we have come to know and love since Hurricane Harvey ravaged Kingwood and he rebuilt. Darcy and I wanted an outdoor picnic, but, well, social distancing…so, we chose a new spot, at the top of the (very deserted and eerily quiet) parking garage at King’s Harbor. We ate our delicious dinner with picnicware, the littlest human in our household fell asleep to a soothing breeze, and our big girl stargazed and saw Venus in the night sky, coupled with a sliver of a moon. Tim and I shared funny stories.
We told jokes.
We were whole again.
The blessing that came out of today was an introspective one – – I got to witness my own weakness overwhelmed by my own strength. You have this within you, too. My prayer for you today is that you do not let the weight of your troubles bury you, or cause you not to see the peace that passes all understanding.
“Just give hope a chance to float up, and it will.”-Birdie Calvert, “Hope Floats”
Today may present me a new host of troubles, but by evening’s end, it can all be made right. We all have the chance to begin anew. Now, more than ever, I am reminded that this life we lead is like metal heated in a crucible—something beautiful can come out of intensity and be made stronger by the mixing of faith, hope, and love.
~Kindred Spirit~ 3.27.2020