Monday, May 18, 2009

Be Still My Beating Heart...

I have been listening to some long ago forgotten CDs which I discovered while cleaning out for market. One is Field's of Gold, a great one by Sting. I have the warmest, in a literal and figurative sense, memories of this CD, driving in my '87 Honda Civic to Myrtle Beach over Spring Break during my senior year of high school. There is a stretch of back logging roads along that route that during April and May is simply stunning. Both sides of the road are covered with the most ultra bright and fresh green grass fields and wild flowers. There was a heightened sense of freedom during this particular drive and I assume it was youth, the end of high school and unlimited possibilities all coming to a head. Years have passed, 20 to be exact, and I have driven that street to the point where I could nearly do it blindfolded. Everytime though, I think of that one specific trip and my friend, Debi, whenever I hear the CD or drive that route.

As I busied myself around the house this morning trying to recover from the tornado of activity that accompanied a family wedding weekend, one particular song stood out - "Be Still My Beating Heart." As I listened and sang along to the lyrics, a line, much familiar to me, stood out: "And, I wriggle like a fish caught on dry land." I found myself sinking into a bit of a melancholy place. The song continues further..."I sink like a stone that's been thrown in the ocean. My logic has drowned in a sea of emotion." I can't say what Sting meant by those words, but I inserted it into my own life and well, just didn't like the outcome.

Maybe it is mid-life. Maybe it is that my youngest child is leaving for kindergarten in August. Maybe it is that life doesn't seem to hold to have as much...what is the word I am looking for - purpose, meaning, fulfillment? Possibly? Not sure that is it. It does have meaning and purpose, it just lacks focus, lacks a clear path at the moment. My brain holds years of biblical study that gives me the answer to all of this. Yet, I am tired of trying to keep it at the forefront. My emotions are simply drowning me and I think that the life preserver with my name on it lingers just out of sight. If I could only see it, touch it, and thrive because of it.

Maybe this is what happens when you decide to stop working for perfection and give it all up to simply live freely. I mean, while running on that comfortable and well-worn performance treadmill, I was solidly focused. Albeit it was a terribly never-ending and unreachable focus, but a focus nevertheless. Now, I am in limbo between two worlds, not feeling at home in either and certainly not where I currently reside. In fact, I feel a little lost in my freedom. Isn't that interesting. If none of this daily grind (you know, the mundane) really matters, then what in the world am I doing every day? My life seems to be nothing but mundane. Sigh. Not a good day for me and it was particularly punctuated by cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, dealing with a landscaper, taking a trip to Costco, the dry cleaners, picking the dog up from the vet, taking Jay his suit to work, taking Lily to gymnastics, picking up kids from school while listening to music that makes my skin crawl, checking homework, listening to reading, preparing for scouts, fixing and cleaning up after dinner, hauling kids to scouts, teaching 7 girls about geology (as if), and getting kids baths/ready for bed with a book and snack. When will this discontentment stop?

Lord, be still my anxiously beating heart...


debi said...

oooh, glad you flaged me on this one, i had missed it entirely. i absolutely remember that song, the road and the moment it was a perma - memory. love it

as far as the digging out of mom duty, i do have a few thoughts

1. you are not nurturing yourself enough. its a tricky balancing act of not overdoing the need to be alone and indivdual and becoming detached, and at the same time filling yourself with enough so that you have more to give more positively

may i suggest you give yourself just 30 minutes everyday to do whatever YOU want,

excluding computer stuff, reading, drinking coffee and staring out the window...

instead, something that is uniquely YOU

okay....for some reason i am full of advice for you lately, but another note would be that THIS stage of mothering is what it is all about. THIS is what they will remember. It matters so so much.


Keep it up, stay the course and take care of your kids mother!

I promise to listen more and rant less next time......xoxox

Sandy said...

Just wanted you know I've been there. It is an awful feeling of complete lostness (i know not a word)
Two thoughts for ya,
One-I posted a blog today maybe help a little.
Two- a book The Invisible Woman
(when only God sees)
by Nicole Johnson (women of faith)
It is a funny spot on look at mothering and even helps give some perspective.
Hope this helps and yes, even this feeling will pass.

Angela said...

I'm completely with you on the mid-life crisis, if you can call it that, thing. We (no kid and no husbands) need to go to dinner soon.

Robin Smelzer said...

Again, tears. I am there too. I think the giving up of striving for perfection has left me lost in a sense. Your friend Debi wrote about nurturing yourself ( more tears for me ) and I know this is true. I actually studied this idea of self nurturing when taking care of other in grad school ( for counseling ). One would think I would be better at it, but I am not. (If you do a dinner without kids and hubbies, can I please come!!??)
This may not be helpful, but just wanted you to know you are not alone in your experience. I do believe times like these are passing. Almost like a pause on God's path for one. Sometimes the waiting is nerve wrecking.

Nic said...

Hi! You said you had a blog about finding the fun life, this must be it.
If a child-free divorcee's opinion counts for anything....i see similarities in small ways. when i was in school and working, my day was full of important stuff but not fulfilling stuff. Feeling robotic, I finally remembered i had the right to ask, "what would make me happy?" for an hour on Sunday, for starts.

Sometimes the answer was Yoga, or trying a new sport, or getting out with a girlfriend weekly. (divorce of course, but regardless...) The ability to ask myself that was important, and accomplishing one of them was 1) fun 2) self-confidence building and 3) break from mundane to return fresh later.

i can't compare my mundane to the crucialness of raising human beings, but the time that the husband helps with child-care would be the perfect time to say, "what would make me happy that i can add to my life?"

i'm clear on my answers and i love my life and myself more since i've implemented it:
Be athletic and befriend athletes
Regular Happy Hours
Dance with someone on occasion

Angel said...

Wow - Something must be in the atmosphere - I'm feeling this way too. When I've been down adn lost in the past I turned to running. That was great when I felt I had no time to myself. 40minutes of me time helped recharge me. Now that Molly and Stuart are in school x hours/day I feel so isolated - too much to do to just be social, but sad to be doing it alone.

One solution has been trying to focus on 1 task at a time when I'm with the children. The I feel that I'm doing the best I can there, and that is my most important duty. To love and raise my children.

If you find a new outlet for "self" let me know, maybe I'll try it too. Still searching for the balance....walking the tightrope....