Friday, February 10, 2006

A Great Big Giant Cosmic Hammer

Please read my "Seven Songs" post before this.

Not too long ago I hailed the arrival of 2006. I saw it as a new beginning, a chance to start over. So far, it’s not been pretty. In the six short weeks since then, the girls have gotten sick, Danny has come down with the stomach flu, Allison had a febrile seizure, the antibiotics prescribed to deal with the cause of Allison’s fever gave her blood-tinged diarrhea that required Mommy to collect a stool sample and I came down with a brutal case of tendonitis in my right knee. 2006 is not going to get a Christmas card from me.

When bad or uncomfortable things snowball on you, you can’t help but wonder what you might have done to deserve this. Why is that giant cosmic hammer in the sky always targeting you? People have been asking questions like that since the beginning of time. An entire book of the Bible is dedicated to “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”. If I had an answer to that question, I could charge admittance to my blog. (If you do, however, think that I have answered this question, please feel free to send some cash my way!)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to write a blog entry. It was about how I’ve been daydreaming about escaping my life and starting over. These daydreams kicked in not too long after we brought Allison home from the hospital. Actually, the first one happened as a way to escape one of her first colicky episodes. It’s no wonder that I’d be daydreaming – wishing – for a different life at that particular time. They just haven’t stopped. On top of that, I keep hearing a song from my college days (see my Seven Songs post) that reminds me of when I was most carefree and (somewhat) happier. I feel guilty preferring that to my current life. I finally got about half way finished with the entry yesterday afternoon. I couldn’t finish it. I didn’t know where to go with it to give it any sort of positive spin. It was like an open, honest letter you’d write to someone to get your feelings out and then burn immediately so that it can never be read.

Life was great pre-2005 when Erin gifted Danny and me with beautiful Emma, when losing weight was easier for me than breathing, when God breathed Allison into my womb and when work was a fun and comfortable place to go Monday through Friday. Everyone needs times like that. In some ways, you need to earn those times and know that you’ve earned them. Otherwise, the danger is taking those times for granted. I certainly have. I’ve become bitter and angry that I have to work at things.

I traveled to another worksite for a meeting yesterday afternoon with my VP. His earlier meeting ran long so I sat myself down in an empty conference room. I’m not looking forward to some meetings at work. While I was waiting for the meeting, I jotted down a few things in an attempt to help me deal with work situation. My immediate reaction is to jump ship (there’s that escaping again) and find another job. The first thing that I wrote down was that I would only be hurting myself if I left my current position without deliberate planning and consideration. My thoughts flowed from there. Over the course of those twenty minutes trying to write down coping strategies for myself it occurred to me that I have a lot of learning to do right now. There is no giant cosmic hammer. An unjust god is not allowing my life to ruin. It’s just that I need to grow as a person. You can’t grow unless you’re challenged. Hence, challenges are being presented at every turn. Escaping challenges seems like an immediate breath of fresh air. It just doesn’t say much about you as a person. If you constantly ran away from any challenges that you didn’t hand pick for yourself, your life is all but wasted. That rusty red truck might as well have crashed into a tree and killed you. Your life never really would have amounted to more than the feelings you had from that two minute song anyway.

So, I’m back to being a student again. I don’t like homework, but I am always looking for an excuse to buy new clothes… ;)

3 comments:

Trista said...

Firstly, I think a student of life needs hot pants and gogo boots. ;)

It can all be so overwhelming, this motherhood thing we're trying to do here, while juggling adult commitments, working on a marriage and "me-time." How else are we supposed to cope, but to fantasize about easier times?

I find myself reminiscing about post-marriage but pre-kid time as being so free and fun. We could go out for coffee at 11:00 p.m. on a Tuesday without a second thought. We could go out of town on a spur-of-the-moment whim. We could SLEEP IN on a Saturday until - oh my gosh - 9:00 a.m.! Ah yes, freedom. Days not spent saying "no!" and "stop that" and "be nice to your brother/sister." It is those times that I turn to Mark and say to him (guilt-free, mind you), "I will be in the bath for awhile. Good luck!" And I enjoy every second of alone time - it seems there is just not enough of it.

I hope you are able to carve out enough time (without guilt!) that can be spent not focused on the blech of day-to-day life. I firmly believe that every woman needs that. I love you, girlfriend!

Melissa O. Markham said...

Jennifer,

Your post touches truth for all of us. We all (moms and dads) have times like that. Daniel and I joke about our little chaperones. We can't even leave the room for five minutes it seems like with them following to see what we are up to.

It seems like I rarely get to go to the restroom without a child outside the door saying, "mommy?" It is natural to remember freer times (just remember, memories grow rosier with time). When you are feeling the need to escape, get yourself a little me time and don't feel guilty about it! Becoming a mom doesn't mean we stop being people!

And then after you have had a breather, look at those darling children smiling at you (after they have wrecked the living room of course) and bask in the love they have in their hearts for you and you alone.

And you are so right, there we need challenges in our life to make us grow.

I am looking forward to seeing a picture of you in those hot pants and gogo boots;)

God bless!

God bless!

Kary said...

Jennifer,
Danny sent me the link to your blob and I started reading. This post really hit home. I admire your self-awareness to know that you can't run from things--that you need to sit there and learn from it. I found this quote (on a Successories ad in the SkyMall magazine on the plane):
"Unless you do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow".

I thought it was fitting with your post. And the nighttime thing--I totally sympathize. We had it good until we moved Owen to a big boy bed. Apparently, he thinks that it is license to come sleep with us. We have to stay firm (and somewhat sleepless) and force him to stay in his bed. I know the longer I let it go on, the longer it will take to "break" him (which I thought we'd already done with the Ferber method at 5 months!). Just when you get over one hump, here comes another. I guess that is it--they never stop coming. Wouldn't trade it for anything!

Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts online.

Kary