I’m so ready for Spring. The sun here in Texas has been absent a long time, except for glimpses here and there long enough to tease us. Yesterday, for the first time in days, the sun shone and the temperature was 75. We basked in the glory and soaked up the rays…only to wake up today to gloom and temperatures in the thirties again.
This time of year is notoriously hard for me. The holidays are over, the adrenaline from the new year rush long died. It seems there’s nothing to look forward to and the monotony of the everyday turns to drudgery. I then begin to struggle with the lack of sunshine and over-done routine. This year is especially hard. Grief still suffocates my soul, his absence seems to be growing more keen instead of easing. People forget your heartache; they stop checking in. After all, life moves on for them. I keep just wanting one person to ask, one person to remember.
And then there’s Lent next week. Lent is also a hard liturgical season for me. I struggle with being far too hard on myself and making myself miserable for over forty days. I pile on mortification after sacrifice until I’m trudging through Lent even more depressed than I started. Lent, traditionally, is a dark season that focuses on Christ’s time in the desert and ends with His Passion. Since I am a melancholic, it really can wear me down. Lent also comes with the two anniversaries of our sweet John and James. In fact, next week marks four years since we lost our James. It’s a very difficult anniversary for me every year. I don’t set out to remind myself, but the day just kind of seems rooted in my head.
I usually combat this dark time of year with working out. But, I’ve had a nagging cough for weeks that keeps me from anything too strenuous. I miss the endorphins and the victory of sweating (I never thought I’d say that until I started consistently working out a year ago), the competition against myself and pushing myself just a little farther each time.
I have this sudden desire to run away. I am not a spontaneous person. If something isn’t on my calendar weeks in advance, I struggle with doing it even if we are technically free. I need things planned out so I can plan for them. Uncharacteristically, I want to pack my bags and run away this weekend to somewhere out of town. I want to travel somewhere close for a happy reason and replace the sad reasons. I want to go laugh and unwind and just be free. I am finding myself dreaming, too, of the beach. I miss our vacation in September of last year to Corpus, just before my world turned upside down forever. But we can’t travel this weekend. And the beach is unrealistic right now.
So, I have to figure out how to put joy back into my day. I need to figure out a way to shake myself out of this monotony and drudgery of the dark days of winter; I must find a way out of the spiraling. I have to figure out a way to be spontaneous and live in the moment without jumping in the car and leaving last minute. I need to refresh my weary soul and ease my aching and tired heart.
Above my computer, taped to the wall, is a picture that says, “Live in the moment.” I’ve forgotten how to do that. For months, I was living phone call to phone call, hour to hour. And then it all came crashing down and I went into some sort of numb shock. The plague hit and we entered survival mode. Now, we are mending and reality is hitting harder than it did in December, and I’m finding I’ve forgotten how to live in the moment. I’ve forgotten how to stop and look into those four sweet faces, and soak in the joy they exude just from me locking eyes with them. I’ve forgotten how to just…sit with them, enjoy them, and not have to think about anything else. I’ve forgotten how to find peace in the moment and not worry about what’s to come. Oh, the fear of what’s to come.
But, these sweet tiny souls are growing up before my eyes. One has her ears pierced and has an incredibly witty sense of humor. One has a huge heart and reminds me so much of myself that it steals my breath. One is aptly called Tigger by my mother and keeps us all laughing with her perspective on life. And him–my tiny boy who has a piece of my heart that I thought would never be stolen this side of paradise. They are getting longer and leaner and bigger everyday.
Live in the moment.
Time to get out of this rut, somehow, and get back to living in the moment. Time to remember how to just sit. To stop worrying. Stop panicking. Stop aching and hurting…that part will come over a long time. His race is done, his work here finished. And I know he would be lecturing me and telling me to stop worrying, stop fretting because the children need me. But the irony? I get all those tendencies from him.
How? How do I get back to peace and joy? I don’t know. But I pray to God He will help me. Part of it is building the habit, stopping the worry and panic; building the habit of quieting my soul and just being still. Building the habit to once again live in the moment.
Until then, here’s to Spring coming someday. Here’s to, hopefully, the light I desperately need cracking into my soul. Here’s to building habits of choosing peace and healing hearts. Here’s to now, this moment, given to us by Him.