This morning started like most mornings; a cup of coffee, a morning devotion. Somewhere in the middle of my journaling, however, I experienced an overwhelming feeling of frustration - with my life in general - and started crying. I don't like to cry really, it messes up my makeup and fills my head with snot; very unpleasant. Sometimes you just can't help it though, you know? So, there I was, bemoaning my life as a past middle-age stay-at-home mom and feeling more than a little upset with God. It's all His fault, after all. He put me here. Actually, I felt more like He plopped me down in the middle of the desert and left me there and I was getting sick of manna! I decided to call my best friend. The one I used to live ten minutes from and now live twelve HOURS from. I suppose it could be worse. We could live on opposite ends of the country. There's always something to be thankful for if you look hard enough. Too bad I don't always look very hard. Anyway, I called my bestie and as soon as she said "hello" the waterworks and verbal dumping began. At one point during my tirade I remember saying, "I'm 54-years old! Why am I still a 'mommy bus'!" SIDEBAR: Neither of my sons drive yet, so I am still chauffeuring all of my children who live at home. I cried and vented, and my beloved friend gave me truth. She said I need to embrace my life the way it is and accept where God has me now. Easier said than done for sure. I've been attempting to do just that for several years now. I won't tell you exactly how many years because it would be terribly embarrassing. Let's just say "too many".
I am terribly blessed and I know that. My children are all healthy and happy most of the time. My husband is a dream, and I live in America. I really want to be a positive, upbeat person who appreciates her blessings, and most days I do okay with that. We live in a fallen world and all have struggles - I'm no exception. Today just happened to be one of those days when my struggles overwhelmed me before I had a chance to put on my armor.
Just for information's sake, I'm going to share with you where my head was this morning. See if you can relate at all. I have two sisters; one is four years younger than me and the other is nine years younger. Both are empty-nesters and have been for several years. They both have fulfilling careers and their income combined with their husbands' makes for a fairly comfortable lifestyle. More so than our one-income household with three kids and four pets. These facts are seldom far from my mind. One sister, who shall remain un-named, used to like to tease me about my full nest compared to her empty one. Fortunately, she's gotten a little more merciful lately and doesn't do that so much. I think she realizes that I'm getting tired. So, I'm tired; I struggle financially; I have career envy; and I'm upset with God. You now know more about me than any of my neighbors do.
I think "tired" might be the keyword. I just get tired. Tired of laundry, cleaning, meal planning and cooking, chauffeuring, griping at the kids to pick up their socks and feed the cats. There's no creativity when you're tired, no spontaneity - no fun. I have a second-grader. I need some creativity and I need to be fun sometimes. I remember when my boys were little and I had so much more energy. I was always thinking of fun things to do and cool places to go and see. Nowadays, printing out craft projects from Enchanted Learning is about the extent of my creativity. It's sad! I have to do better than this. I have to continue to fight the good fight and raise one more well-rounded adult at a time in my life when loud noises grate like never before and my energy level goes out with the tide every day. My husband's mantra lately is, "I'm old." I have to rebuke that. We don't have time to be old. I just wish my body would comply with that knowledge. I'm a fifty-something struggling to do the activities of a thirty-something. Do you know what it feels like to be the oldest mom in the room? Talk about weird. I have nothing in common with the moms of my daughter's friends. My youngest son was in class the other day and his teacher asked the class by a show of hands whose parents were in their fifties. My son was the only student to raise his hand. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when he shared that story with us. My husband and I simply did not think very far ahead when we decided to have kids in our mid-thirties. Hind-sight is 20/20, they say. I say, "What were we thinking?!" The answer: We weren't!
Please don't misunderstand. I adore my children and the years I got to spend at home raising my two youngest boys were some of the most precious of my life. I wouldn't trade them for anything. I'm just tired now . . . I'm just tired. I look up from mopping the floor or cleaning the latest bout of my seven-year old's "creativity" off the kitchen table to see other women my age getting ready to go on a cruise or engage in some other activity that includes no children and complete freedom (from my perspective anyway). I envy them. I'll just be brutally honest, I envy them their freedom. There's some irony here though because some of them envy me. I have friends who are widows, friends whose children are grown and living in other parts of the country, and they're lonely. They miss the noise and the chaos of a house full of children. From where I sit right now, that's hard to imagine, yet there it is. Listening to those friends reminds me of what I know in my head. One day they will all be gone and it will just be me and my husband (The Good Lord willing) . . . and we're gonna enjoy every minute of it!!!
Until then, I'm going to do my best to cherish these young people The Lord has blessed me with the privilege of raising. I'm going to pray for His strength and cast my cares on Him. And when I have a meltdown, I'm going to call my bestie and listen to truth. The truth that God is in control and I am right when and where I am supposed to be for His divine purposes. Amen!