I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately. It’s dawned on me that since my kids were born almost ten years ago (Stink will be 10 in January and Pip will be 8 in two weeks) I have done nothing but run. I run to ballet practice. I run to the market. I run to Ebay ten dollars worth of used ballet shoes. I run to cook up that $4.00 batch of chicken I just got at the market.
There’s nothing wrong with running – it’s part of the mothering experience. And truthfully, I just love the energy of it. (It’s this joy that has me running here to blog!)
But in running, I also am hiding. In particular, I have tried hiding from Tourettes.
Maybe you have done this also?
Maybe you have told yourself, “If I just find the solution to these damn tics all will be okay.”
For me, the miracle finally came.
Stink got some medication. And his tics are at an all time low. (Though they are up 30% the past few days due to computers, yukky food, excitement, etc.) And now, with things okay in Stink’s world – with that magic pill and the answers to all I wanted to make everything okay – I’m starting to unravel.
Why is that?
Am I someone who is wired toward anxiety or fear? Do I need chaos to feel okay?
The truth is, it’s neither of the above.
It’s starting to dawn on me that life itself is nuts. This isn’t good or bad. It just is. People are weird. We’re weird. Nothing goes as we want it to. There is no fix. There might be a magic pill to calm down tics, but there isn’t a magic pill for life. All the booze, pills, exercise, money and running isn’t going to save us from things we can’t control.
And this is why I’m a bit unnerved. Now that I know Stink is going to be okay (he always was) it’s ME who needs to grow up and take life on life’s terms.
* My mom is getting older
* Some day my childhood home will be sold
* Family dynamics aren’t as Little House on the Prairie close as I’d like them to be
* My career isn’t what I had hoped it would be
* My husband is only able to relate to me in the way he can relate to me – he isn’t Prince Charming who can magically read my mind
* My kids won’t be babies forever
Instead of hiding behind the tics, or running, or blaming others or blaming myself, or holding on to my own childhood that is no longer there to comfort me and keep me safe, it’s time to let go. It’s time to just feel whatever I feel. Happiness at the dog across the street who rushes over to my doorstep every day for a treat.
Joy at watching my children sell beads in the kitchen for magical money and a kiss.
Gratitude that my husband makes a good enough living that I can sit at home on a Tuesday and type this post.
And absolute abject fear and terror of how much things are going to change in the next ten years.
Perhaps, like me, you don’t like fear. It’s, um, scary! You consider Zoloft. You drink too much wine at night. You work yourself to death to, there’s that word again, runnnnnnn from it.
But guess what? At some point, you’re going to come to the same realization I have that you can run but you can’t hide. And that
horrifically tragic moment wonderfully life altering experience when you slam right into that wall and slide down and you’re exhausted and tired and hurt and angry you have the chance to do something wonderful, you can either:
1. Grab onto your ego and put on your make-up and fake it that all is okay and buy that fancy home in the hills and live a fake life with dotted “i’s” and crossed “t’s” where nothing is unorderly and all is accounted for in your bank account and living room or…
2. You can just go out into the world and show it your scars. You could be shocked at the response you get. Sure, there might be a few, “Oh, God, you really look like crap. Just get it together and grow up and buy retail and suck it up like the rest of us… with good hair please…” But more than likely, your battle wounds will be a beacon to others fighting the same battle. “Hey! I have been there also! Check out my knee scrapes! Got them from too much praying and digging in the garden with my kids and this one? Dropping to the ground at Good Will to score that train table before that other bitch grabbed it.”
I’m tired of “shoulds.” (I’m shoulding all over myself.) In allowing myself just to accept the ever-changing tides of life, I can float on the waves rather than drown in the longing that it were something else. It’s the wanting – this unrealistic wishing of what can’t be – that’s been the key to my discontent. Life won’t be better when my husband changes or my childhood home isn’t sold or I get an amazing job or this book is done. Life is okay now – just as it is.
I’m ready now to face this. It’s a scary journey, but one that is going to open up a whole new life of peace and joy. But for a while, there just might be some tears. And really, I’m okay with that. Discomfort sucks, but I’m brave enough to try if you are. Pema Chodron is someone I have recently discovered. My Christian friends might tell me to pick up a Bible for comfort – and I do. But I’m also picking up her book. It’ll arrive in the mail soon and I’m excited to read it.
You can check a bit of her out here if you’d like!
Until then, I’m off to be at peace with life on life’s terms. Wish me luck!