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There’s Always More to the Story

For some reason (or possibly a variety of reasons), I felt sad yesterday. It happened to be Christmas Day … the happiest day of the year (supposedly). 

We were home for the day … the five of us … everything (almost) went off without a hitch (the Cricut cutting machine Mackenzie received was broken). The girls seemed to enjoy their gifts for the most part (though Cambri really wanted RED sparkly slippers, not BLACK). I never forgot anything. I worked hard to be present … I tried to spend time with them … we watched a movie together … we ate together … we went out for a walk together (despite the “deep freeze” we’re living in these days) … 

All day though, I couldn’t seem to combat my feelings of discouragement … my “what’s the point” attitude … my “why bother” thoughts … a couple of times, my oldest asked me what was wrong (she knew something was up), but I had nothing … 

“I’m going crazy!” 

“I’m going crazy!” 

“I’m going crazy!” 

… the phrase repeats in my mind (it’s been running through my mind the last few months actually … I even sought out a counselor at one point to try to gain some perspective) … sometimes, it even escapes my lips … I don’t exactly know what it all means, but it feels like an “explosion” about to erupt … tears hide just under the surface, ready to spill at any given moment it seems … 

I’m not even sure why … 

Except that for the last million months, I feel like I’ve been in “survival mode” … 

I’ve been barely holding it all together … I’ve been missing walks … daily workouts and stretching are non-existent … I’ve been eating the same old things (or not eating much at all) … I’ve been super busy getting Christmas “things” organized (attempting to make things extra special for the kids) … my job has become VERY demanding (but it also serves as the one place where I’m ACTUALLY contributing to something “bigger”) … prayer and quiet time have been minimal … I’ve spent almost no time with friends in the last several months (and don’t know when or where I’d possibly carve out more “friend time”) … I’ve neglected 1:1 time with my daughters … homeschooling has been all fight … and, lately, by the time the evening rolls around, I’m apparently beat (and can’t even muster up an interesting conversation with my husband or watch a history show together without falling asleep) … my eyes are burning constantly it seems from being “tired” (yet I get plenty of sleep every night) … I hadn’t seen my dad for two months until he came for Christmas Eve supper two nights ago (he lives in the same town as me) … and I haven’t seen my brother for two years (he now lives 2,000 km away) … my reflections on 2021 seem dismal … I can’t see much worth celebrating … much worth noting … my contribution … my influence … seems so small …

This steady and lingering state of “survival” sucks … 

It’s sucking the life out of my life … it’s swallowing me up … it’s burying me alive … I feel like I’m drowning …

I’ve forgotten how to dream … I don’t even know how to “start” again (or if I have the time or the energy) … how to pick up where I left off … how to get back to a life of encouraging and inspiring others … I don’t know how to get back to spending time with others in a meaningful and consistent way … I don’t know how to “spark” new initiatives in a way that matters … I don’t know HOW to contribute (or WHAT to contribute to) … 

And, of course, this all feels so “dark” … it’s hardly inspiring or encouraging in any way … but it’s REAL … this month, I’ve spent the last 26 days listing the “gifts” in my life in a journal (in an effort to combat the darkness) … as of right now, I have 394 gifts written down (with only a couple of “accidental” repeats) … my goal is 1000 … this practice is supposed to lead to JOY, which is why I chose and committed to it earlier this month … I NEED more JOY … I WANT more JOY … and while I’ve truly en-JOYed writing down the things I am grateful for each day (even the “ugly beautiful”), the residual effects of this practice seem fleeting so far … “the hard” … “the dark” … “the struggles” just keep creeping right back in …

There’s obviously MORE to the story …

But sometimes it just gets to be a little too much … like yesterday … and I can’t seem to muster up the energy to combat those “dark” feelings (KNOWING full well that my thoughts create my experience) … instead, I want to wallow a little … I want to sit in the sadness … and I can’t help but wonder who else might be fighting something similar (or something much, much worse) … and they’re battling it alone … like me … too afraid to “speak their truth” … too afraid to sound too complain-y (if I just counted my blessings a little more, maybe I wouldn’t feel so crumby) … too afraid to “acknowledge what is” … too afraid to “name it” … 

Sometimes, we just have to “name it” though. 

Go ahead and name it.

Of course, today feels a bit better … though I’m not quite sure why … perhaps a good night’s sleep, a bit of “clearing the clutter,” and a few minutes to myself has helped … 

“Dark” days like yesterday are an important reminder for me … an important “nudge” for us all, I guess … we all have our “dark” days … generally, they pass … I trust this is just another opportunity for compassion … another chance to “dig around” and determine what’s REALLY going on … another reminder that there’s more to the story …

Isn’t there ALWAYS more to the story?

I KNOW this, but my feelings of “listlessness” persist … and the battle of how to “start again” lingers … so many things have come to an end in the last couple of years, it’s so hard to know “what’s next” … what to look forward to … what to be excited for …

I truly hope my desire for “adventure” … for “new” … for more time with good humans … for some excitement … comes to fruition soon …

I’m apparently quite desperate!

I guess it will be up to me to make the change … to “do it anyway” … to “dig” some more … and figure it all out …

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