My current motivation to write here is low. I’ve spent a lot more time lately on my anonymous instagram account, commenting on the posts about godly womanhood that trigger me, or interacting with strangers regarding whether or not Jesus really died for our sins. It is satisfying in some ways. I find out that I really am full of thoughts and even coherent words. The problem is they only seem to be able to come out that way when I have a person who I’m talking to directly. Even though I know pretty much everyone who reads this blog, I’ve never really mastered the art of writing for an audience.
When I was a kid I always dreamed of being in plays. I have an artistic side of me that craves an outlet. I also have somewhat of an exhibitionist streak that craves to be seen. One of my most frequent and repeated dreams as a child was to be standing naked in a store after purposely taking off all of my clothes. I don’t recall there being anything sexual about these dreams. It was just that as soon as I was conscious in my dream that I was dreaming, taking off my clothes was the first thing I wanted to do. If I woke up before I could get them off, I woke up disappointed, like I’d missed out on something.
I also used to pretend I was famous and doing interviews. I wanted to be an actress, and for my mom to take me to acting lessons. There was a fun and animated side to my personality that, in my opinion, never quite had a chance to shine. I had other siblings who outshined me in that regard, and it always felt like I was retreating back into the shadows when in the presence of others, both out of grace and consideration for them (or so I told myself) and also because there can only really be one star of the show. I never quite had enough confidence on my own to shine. I had to reflect something.
And I’ve always felt the compulsion to hide somewhere, and simultaneously, to show up somewhere, to see how long I can play the games of hide and seek with myself, to see how long I can go without saying a word, to come back and say something because I can’t bear the silence of being missing, of being gone, of being voiceless and lost and and non-existent and uninvolved anymore. The stars are too far away to be seen up close, and the planets maddingly walk their own path. One light rules the day and the lesser light was given to govern the night. I’ve always been more of a moon than a sun.
Today I was thinking about whether or not I miss the days when my kids were young, as in, thinking back to around the days when my oldest was 8 and the rest were younger. These days the youngest is 8 and the rest are older. Every day they grow up a little more.
I have regrets about wasted time back then. One of the devices we had was a Kindle. Often times the kids would play with it to take pictures and movies. On more than one occasion, the kids are playing on the floor and in the background is me on my computer. At the time, it just felt like they were doing their thing and I was doing mine. When I see it now, it feels like they captured a moment when I was not paying attention.
I really don’t miss those days too much. It’s not because I didn’t enjoy them. I enjoyed those days as much as I was able, and then some. But along with the joy were also the days that were lonely and hard. But even as I say that, it’s a memory that’s faded.
These days when it comes to my kids, I tend to see the present even with rose-colored glasses. I love my days with them, though it’s mostly the mornings that we’re spending together. At night I try to connect in some way with the older ones, though I admit I feel the sadness of too many nights gone by without going downstairs before going to bed. I feel the tiredness of letting the tiredness win, and joy for how God blesses me anyway.
I prayed for God to help me be productive today. I’ve got the feeling I have when there’ve been too many Saturdays of something going on. Josh and the most of the kids are at a confirmation retreat last night and today. I’m over the days of expending myself to clean to the house by myself. One of the boys and I went for a walk earlier. I swept the upstairs floor and folded a few loads of laundry. I journaled and also did some yoga.
I prayed and read from a book and an old journal. I complain about the excessive alone time, and yet I truly am grateful for the time God gives me to be by myself. He gives me a chance to feel all my feelings, think all my thoughts, and face the days knowing I am seen and loved by the grandeur of God. I also called my grandma this morning. Josh’s grandmother died earlier this week in her sleep. My grandmother is the only one left.
My son and I walked up the beach steps, the second time I have done that this year. There was a point where I truly didn’t know if I’d ever walk the ground of this camp again. Physical health is truly and blessing and gift from God. The boys and I spent every day we could in September down at the beach, and it was grand. That’s the second time I’ve used that word, because there is no other word close enough to describe it.