“My Bible study question talked about the country of Israel needing rest from war injustice, spiritual turmoil, etc. Then asked what kinds of rest I need. For some reason I thought of you and am hoping you are getting the rest you need.”
I was sitting in the Meijer parking lot collecting my purse and thoughts when this text chimed through. As I read, my eyes filled with tears. I am so tired. I do need rest. More so my tears came because I was so grateful to have a friend in tune enough with me – and God – that she reached out. Loving me from her words. I was physically stricken when I read it. How did I not realize how tired I was? How did I not know that putting one foot in front of the other had become so difficult.
I cried for a little while in my car alone. Sunglasses on. Overwhelmed with my list for the day, the gravity of some parenting choices I had made lately, pondering a few situations and wondering how I could have avoided or changed them. I gathered my worn out self with the strength she had lent me and went inside, crossing off my list one baby step at a time.
Our schedule is insane. My life is out of control. I am missing my kids grow up in an effort to keep them plugged in and engaged in life. I have never felt so weary in my 17 years as a parent. I have never felt so drained or empty. The pace is scorching. My energy waining. Until now I hadn’t acknowledged how tired I am. Her text had me asking myself what kind of rest do I need? What would make me peaceful? What would fill me back up? Do I even know?
In the grocery store I treated us to a 5 pound flank steak (all my boys’ favorite) and fresh veggies. I planned out a relaxing dinner at home that night — instead quickly eating and moving on to another project around the house (along with the insanity of two kids playing travel baseball plus one of those preparing for football, one kid playing travel lacrosse – we just had the dry wall repaired and painted in the garage forcing a mass cleaning (much overdue I admit) that had taken up my entire week) we were going to sit. Together. And eat.
Coop stayed home from an optional football camp that night, Jackson headed to practice and Aiden was home. I had 4/5 – not bad for us! We ate together, and then sat around our fire pit – enjoying each other’s company – talking and laughing. The boys told stories, Eric and I sat and listened. It wasn’t sleep – but it was a piece of the rest I needed. I felt a little stronger. My cup filling up. It was then I realized that while originally my friend’s text had exposed for me my need to sleep – to close my eyes and restore my cells and my body – it was dinner with most of my family that made me realize that part of the rest I needed was from the outside world.
Along with these hectic, crazy schedules we all manage comes an intrusion. An intrusion on our collective family time, an intrusion on our basic need to put the yolk of life down for a bit, to sit and laugh together – or even bicker – without the constant feeling of “C’mon we gotta go!” “Hurry up, we’re late!” of driving in circles and packing and repacking coolers and bags and filling up with gas. I need time with my family. I need time with my husband. I need time with my boys. I need some time with my friends. I do, also, need sleep. I am making mistakes – missing appointments, confusing game times, forgetting promises. The sh17 show I wrote about a few weeks ago that I was determined to tame – still rolling. I haven’t managed to shut it down but for a few hours here and there. I am just getting by. One day at a time. One mistake, one fire, one event at a time.
This morning after Cooper and Eric left for work around 6:30 I fell back asleep. I slept so soundly that I was a little confused when I woke up at 8 – I didn’t even remember E saying goodbye – which he has done every year for 19 years. I looked at my phone and saw I had missed a text from my brother, “Happy Anniversary Lara I hope you have a great day! Love you” I forgot. I had 100% completely forgotten it was our 19th anniversary – and I have never, ever done that before. Ever. I texted Dave back, “Thanks! Terrible … I forgot … So did E. Thanks for reminding me. Love ya” His response? “Better slow your role a bit :)” Amen. Slow my roll.
So I headed to yoga. I came home, physically fatigued, but feeling rested. Feeling better balanced. I noticed when I got home I had 3 missed calls from Cooper. He had backed his truck into my brother’s mail box – breaking the light and scratching the bumper (the brand new bumper. Like the week old bumper). My balance tipped. My peace left me. My life isn’t designed to provide me rest. It isn’t designed to provide me time. It isn’t designed to give me peace. There are too many of us. There are too many kids to parent, too many balls in the air. My mom always says “The more people you have in your life, the more you love, the more vulnerable you are. The more that can go wrong. The more you can loose. But there’s so much more to gain, too.” She’s right, more can go wrong. There is more to loose.