A very unoriginal metaphor

I feel like I'm slowly making my way across a series of rocks jutting out of the ocean (with storms and crocodiles beneath; might as well go all-out with this), through a dense fog, with a flashlight, and it takes every last bit of my concentration just to see what step is coming next and make sure I don't go hurtling over the edge.  I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing one step from another (I can't think about THAT until I'm done with THIS) but I never get to enjoy the fact that I made the latest leap safely, because I'm already balancing on one leg getting ready for the next.

Every once in a while, for no apparent reason, the fog lifts and I take a deep breath and have ambitious thoughts like, "I should have a dinner party!"  If I actually do something like send out invitations during this brief window of clarity, then it happens simply because I can't back out of it.  Otherwise---the thought flutters down to join the rest of the good-intention pavers on the road to Hell, or pick your preferred metaphor. :)  Then the fog descends again and I'm left with my flashlight trying to see what's next.

It's not that I'm actually depressed (thank goodness), but just, I so rarely have time to think about anything larger.  Anything except WHAT'S NEXT, and getting through it (either well or badly, depending on how much energy I have).

And I'm not really trying to complain, because occasionally the next step is something enjoyable and it's fun to figure out how I'm going to balance my way over there to it; and even if it's unpleasant, each individual step is not really too terribly daunting in itself, as long as I successfully block out the anticipation of any subsequent unpleasant or difficult steps, and, you know, how they're going to go on FOREVER and all.  So it's fine, but it's just . . . tiring.  Sometimes I get tired of it.  I'd rather just, I don't know, float or something, and quit all this clambering around, you know?


  1. Oh, honey. I know that place. I knowit. For me the metaphor has involved a racing revolving door. Or an insane carousel - you keep looking for that ring, but by the time you see it, all you have is the memory, the ring long gone behind/ahead of you.

    All these metaphors begin with God. He did the design (or commissioned and okayed it - however that went), and he worked the principals of the universe and of living into the visual and logistical construct. I believe there are so many that fit what you are describing because this state of living is so ubiquitous and so very real.

    I am the same - especially about things like the party. You know what it cost me to have even that tiny little get-together for Ginna? She was coming, and her birthday (or whatever it was), and so the window opened and I said, "Let's do this," and then stumbled through the next little time, blundering around looking for the ideas, energy and awake-ness to make the thing happen.

    And I don't even have kids. Not your kind, anyway.

    But I'm looking at the things you write about (the writing, I think, is part of the problem. But more about that in a minute). You are throwing things in the family pot - walks, adventures, that kind of thing, as they come to you. Like making a quilt (another metaphor original only with God) without sitting down at a pad of graph paper with three sharpened pencils and a plan. You pick through the fabrics, grab the ones that hit you right, cut them into shapes, applique them together -

    When you are where I am, scanning all your old photo albums and making them into hard back books, let's say - and thus revisiting a number of years in a relatively short amount of time - you have enough distance to see the over-all pattern. When you are there, you will be amazed at the richness of the color, the complexity and beauty of the stitches - because your on-the-fly life is really something rare and amazing.

    About the writing: no kids in my house. No job. But I can't write a book. Not for anything. I've tried and failed. I write the blog - I plan it, keep in mind that I want to write something. I've done this for over a decade, for maybe two, only in a sort of mailing list email-essay form. Now I have photo capability. So I am always telling some kind of story, trying to define one and encapsulate it - like having to get out a daily or weekly or monthly editorial or magazine or something.

    It's like a program running in the background, and i think that really increases the noise. But more than the time and creative energy that this writing sucks up, it's the kind of person we are - we map BACKWARDS, not forwards. We FRET forwards, but the detail is in the backstory.

    And being tired doesn't help. Are you eating veg and taking vitamins?

  2. I totally understand this. It's not just tired, it's soul tired. I think we all get there. We all have our trials to bear and its easy to see other people's lives and say "wow they have it so easy" and it's never true. Life is made up of trials, and most of them are just getting through the next thing. Sometimes you just have to step back and take a deep breath, look at all you have, I know it's clicheic (sp?) but if you count your blessings especially the ones that get you through your moments it helps you deal a whole lot better with life.

    I'm sorry your struggling, but we love you and are here for you.

  3. Amen, sister.

    PS Want a seven year old red head?? She's cheap and after two weeks with her you can return her and your joy will overflow that she'll never return. Just a thought. :)

  4. Yeah. I start out every day happy that I get to be with my kids and cook food and clean up and I'm always exhausted (and grumpy) by the end of the day.
    I tell myself over and over again when I'm feeling overwhelmed that I LIKE being busy (just like when I have to call someone I tell myself I LIKE talking on the phone). It's a good life, and it kind of feels good to have so much to do that you feel like you're maximized. I feel in those moments that that's when the Lord truly makes up for the deficits in my mothering.

  5. Well it looks like everybody else already said this, but your metaphor might be unoriginal but it's UNIVERSAL! We've all been there. Some longer or more than others. Life is good and important and awesome but seriously so exhausting. And I don't even know what I'm talking about with just 1 little guy instead of 4!
    Kids are so amazing, and they're also so frustrating. Life is tough.
    I'm glad we all have each other. :)


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