Is there a point in our lives when we stop feeling like we are in a constant state of transition? Or is it just me?
I keep thinking, around this corner and THEN life will feel more consistent. I’ll feel more content and maybe I’ll even figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
Instead my mind is constantly questioning my life decisions and wondering if any of this is making sense.
Lately I mostly blame it on living in a fallen world and I long for heaven a little more.
The last 4 months have been more of the same. A couple weeks after my microphone broke -and with it my Fall 2017 podcasting season- it became clear that I would have to renew my job search. The new job wasn’t working out for a number of reasons and I was just plain tired of being stressed about money.
In some ways the timing was perfect. I got fed up and starting collecting help-wanted ads at the same time an ideal office position became available. December 4 I started the new job; the sort of job that will pay the bills and be kind to my anxiety AT THE SAME TIME.
It really is great on so many levels. I’m very thankful.
That was of course during the busiest month of the year –December. By the time I hit January I was feeling rather overwhelmed. (I know I’m not the only one who has a lot going on; that’s why you feel like this story is somewhat relevant to you.)
At the beginning of January I felt pressure to figure out what the heck I was going to do with She Finds Truth, but also I was pretty sure my brain wasn’t in the best condition to figure it out. By the grace of God, I was moved to decide I would take the entire month to reflect and pray AND NOT WRITE FOR AN AUDIENCE.
I decided I should write during this time. Journaling would do me a great deal of good. But not for anyone other than me and God. (Much of my journaling is in prayer form.)
This plan meant NO decision making. No official plans. No podcasts or blog posts where I felt like I had to explain to my readers or listeners what had happened to me since October.
The first 15 days I was fighting it tooth and nail. So used to feeling behind on the blog, it took a couple weeks just to drop the nagging feeling I was supposed to be doing something more. But I needed a break, so it was necessary to talk myself into it: Maybe I would quit the blog altogether. Maybe I would take an extended hiatus. If the future was unknown I could drop the feeling that I was behind on a schedule. There was no schedule.
About 15 days of fretting and it finally eased up. I don’t know if it was when our kids got the flu or when our schedule crowded out some of the crazy in my head, but I finally began embracing the project of not-making-a-plan.
(I love plan making. I love big ideas. I love the hopefulness and excitement. So that how I had to frame it. The lack of project was viewed as a project. That helped.)
But really there is a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted. This was not the time for making plans. This was a time for rest.
Besides I needed room in my brain for the other things:
- My dad’s stem cell transplant.
- My new job.
- Starting a new 4H club with husband and another couple.
- Daughter’s volleyball season in full swing.
- Youngest starting basketball.
- Homework. Meals. Budgets. Groceries.
- Then we got the flu.
Just like your life, there’s always something.
But as we processed through all these things (Dad is doing well btw!), I was processing all the other stuff running through my brain too:
“This job is great, but it’s not my dream profession or anything.”
“I’m jealous of other people who get to speak professionally about what they love and have turned it into a career.”
“I’m glad I can mentally be available to take care of my kids.”
“Starting this 4-H club was the right decision and it’s going to be a great experience for all of us!”
“I even have sick days! This job is a godsend.”
“It feels so good to be able to pay the bills.”
“I miss sharing with my followers.”
“Maybe I can keep podcasting because I love it and a lot of other people do too.”
The end of January is just a few days away as I write this and I have gained so much from the month of allowing all these ideas to simmer on the back burner. I’m so glad I didn’t make the decisions I was contemplating back on January 5th. I’m so glad I took time to pause. I’m thankful for wise counsel and listening ears along the way.
I’ve been preaching margins for years. We all need space. We all need to set up a life that allows for mess-ups and blips in the schedule. I learned it a decade ago and I’ve been telling people ever since.
So I took all the space in the margins this month. I spread it out wide across the paper and took a stroll through the breathing space. It felt good.
Maybe life IS just a series of transitions. Maybe it will never feel like it’s “supposed to.”
Meanwhile, we have to give ourselves permission to rest. We have to demand our minds and bodies get the breaks we need.
And I’m pretty sure it’s not just me.