Monday, December 30, 2013

Mom Goes To School: Thoughts on a New Year

This has been such a monumental year in our lives. We've had some pretty big changes and in my typical fashion, I worried about every single one of them. We are a family that does well with plans, with schedules, with predictability. We like adventure, but really, only when we plan it.

Wading out into the dark waters of going to school and leaving my boys at home will go down as one of the scariest decisions of my life. In doing so, I gave up a lot of security for the promise of something better for my family's future. The initial change was very hard. There was the loneliness (not all that shocking) but even more so, the aching for the familiar that was pretty much my constant companion.

Something happened towards the end of the semester. I settled in. I wrote about taking the big, deep breath. I realized that I better take advantage of being in a big city by myself, instead of locking myself away in my little dingy apartment, longing for my boys, my family, and my friends. Spending hour upon hour in a coffee shop with no agenda but to read and write became the norm, when I felt like it. Coffee shops are sure great until I'd see a mom come in with her little boy. In fact, any time I saw a child, I got that sad, achy feeling. Something was missing, but as quick as those moments came, I resolved to as Jon would say "keep on truckin." I started to go out on a whim because I could. For me, that meant taking a walk whenever I felt like it or stopping at a cute little shop I drove by, just because it looked cute and I could. Parents understand this, but its the things you can do with no kid around. Would I rather have my child and husband with me? Of course. But when they're not, I resolved to do those things, the things that I love while the freedom is there to do it.

Yesterday I had breakfast with some girlfriends and it felt great, but it also reminded me that nothing is the same. I miss my friends. I miss knowing the ins and outs of their weeks. As their lives of mothering and working and hobbies and living in our small town are going on, I am in a completely new place, very much removed. I try not to dwell on that fact, but it is always there. I've been reading a lot lately about leaning into the newness of things. About not fleeing from discomfort. We humans want to flee the minute things get dicey. The minute things get less than perfect, we are out. We claw our way in the opposite direction of pain. But it is in the discomfort and pain that growth happens. It's when wisdom happens. Logically, I know this. And I also know it in my heart. I know this because the most personal growth I've ever experienced was after having Jack. In the utter heartache, the life and death, the lost dreams, the earth-shattering of it all -  his birth monumentally realigned my priorities, my relationships, and my thoughts about life. I grew up, ya'll.

If there is one thing I've prayed to God for over the years, it has been for wisdom, for discernment. I always want to know his plans for my life, for my child's life. But I don't always want to trust Him or want the discomfort and messiness of actually living it. In all the years I think I've been missing something elementary to this whole wisdom thing. Wisdom is just not going to be handed to me as I sit nicely here in my living room, drinking my cup of coffee, longing for it. Wisdom comes through life experience, sometimes uncomfortable. Through learning. Through discipline. Through heartache. Through stretching and moving. Through others who have gone before.

I'm not wishing for an easier or more comfortable 2014 (by all accounts we are healthy, which is most important to me), but I still long for wisdom, discernment, and perspective. I want to enjoy this next year. I want to be stretched, to be more empathetic, to listen better, to do well in my schooling, and to be a good wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend. I don't know if this is too tall an order, but I will try.

To the New Year,

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1 comment:

Julie said...

Maybe one of my favorite posts yet. I felt similar during the deployment...alone in that no one understood my day to day life and separated from friends. Yet, the wisdom I gained is worth it. I think I have learned too, that in friendship, there is a much greater depth and value to loving and accepting each other because of our differences even if those differences feel disconnecting sometimes. Love ya