Last night, I said out loud “I feel like the old Andrea again!” I was smiling ear to ear as I told Jason “I went to the bank, the store, picked up the girls from cross country, made lunch, went for a mommy-daughter date with friends, dropped the big girls off at Hunt Valley, made dinner, took everyone to the pool, fired up the grill; and I’m NOT hurting!” There. My list of “accomplishments.”
The smile faded and I went to bed unhappy. I have had several days of no pain. That, in and of itself, is worthy of cartwheels! Very stiff carthweels. But something was feeling eh. I tried to lay down earlier, hoping I could relax. But, the list-making was back and it was loud. Prioritzing housework, delegating who would do what, mapping out my route to “make the most of the day”– sound familar? I’m actually really good at mapping out my errands in a circle so I end up at home feeling accomplished – saved gas, checked off list, made it home to just circle again. And then, I get to rattle off my list to whoever will listen. All the circles -no wonder my head is spinning!
This morning, I prayed for quiet in my head. If you don’t sit in quiet, I INSIST you try. And, don’t even start with “I don’t have time.” SIT. Ten minutes. And then what? Well, I’m a big fan of “thank you’s,” so I like to start with: “Thank you for this moment. Thank you for another day. Thank you for deep breaths. Thank you for those I love. Thank you for this peace. Thank you for stillness.” Just try.
Oddly enough, it was during my thank you’s that I panicked. Because, it was in the quiet I realized I was back to feeling normal! So, why am I running in circles again?! I realized I was playing with the same, old moves. Boo Andrea. Then, I got all annoyed because I was throwing away a year worth of “training.” What an intense 10 minutes, huh? Stick with me…
Pain took me out of my game last year. So many times, I wanted to get up and GO. But moving hurt too much.
Pain isolated me. Friends would come to chat and keep me in the loop. But, the hurt would cut our visit short.
Pain made me bitter. My kids were making memories without me, friends were playing tennis without me, life was moving around me and I… was on the couch.
But, Pain gifted me the chance to be an observer. I got to witness my husband, my kids, my friends, my faith. The time I spent sitting was a chance to see how fast I was moving before pain. I could see that yes, I was getting a lot of stuff done but ugh.
The time I spent on the couch became opportunities for short but sweet, eye to eye conversations. My pain really sifted the heck out of our schedules until our family calendar had “empty” days. Pain cancelled my business of busy-ness.
Yes, Pain twisted me into the fetal position too many times but man, it has also slowed me to an intentional pace. And I am grateful for it. Have you read “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist? In addition to sitting for ten minutes, reading the book is another MUST! Shauna writes “I can’t hear the voice of love when I’m hustling. All I can hear are my own feet pounding the pavement, and the sound of other runners about to overtake me, beat me. But competition has no place in my life anymore.”
It took 5 surgeries and 13 scars to get me to a place where I get that. I’m over having my house be perfect for you to come over. Come over. But call first. I’m not into pushing my kids to be on travel and club teams. I just want them happy and working on figuring out how to do that together! I’m not into verbalizing my schedule to watch your eyes grow bigger in awe anymore. I used to do that to make myself feel better. (Insert, face palm here) “See how busy I am? I am so busy!” I am done competing for busiest. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -Romans 12:2 This world is running on Dunkin, in circles, for “Longest Checked List” award. I’m done.
I’m breaking the pattern and digging the transformation. I’m leaving days on the calendar “empty.” I’m inhaling and feeling the breath fill my body. I’m saying lots of Thank You’s.
And watching for how the light gets in.