Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Handful of Marbles - or am I losing mine?

Apparently, no one wants to discuss the thought of having to deal with homosexuality close up.  :)  Oh well....  we can keep pretending it only exists "out there" with "those people" for a little longer. 

In the meantime, I am almost finished filling in for a coworker with a broken foot.  I'm exhausted.  Working two jobs is not good for me while trying to maintain ministry and family.  And I hurt my back, or my hip, I think.  Pulled a muscle in my hip, so lifting old people is a pain - literally.  So is walking.  And wearing heels.  Sadly, I have no cute, warm winter shoes that don't have heels, so I keep putting beauty before pain and deeply regretting it later.

Two girls at my work are pregnant.  It seems that husbands, or even steady boyfriends, before getting pregnant is a thing of the past.  What is saddest for me is that one is supposedly a solid Christian, going to church, professing belief and all, and yet sees no problem living with her boyfriend.  It saddens me.  Perhaps because I know about marriage - which is an incredibly tough venture, but one worth doing all the same.  There is something holy about marriage - and I am not just talking about the "save it until you are married" and "two virgins marrying" type of a thing.  There is something holy about a commitment, about being the two of you - that fact said out loud and honored.  A security - even though I am fully aware that marriages break.  Despite that sad fact, there is a solidness about marriage, and as I watch these two girls struggle through decisions about babies and all, I am sad for them.  Wishing they knew the delight of a husband rubbing a round tummy thrilled about his child growing.  Going it alone is not easy.

I am enjoying working alongside my husband in his office.  Funny thing is that I thought office work was never going to be for me.  I actually like it.  Well, most of it.  I was trying to be perfect.... no mistakes and all... I know - I am incurably, optimistically a perfectionist.  I just figured it was possibly to do things well, and that if I did things well, I would make no mistakes.  That worked for a few weeks only.  Anyway, now I have made mistakes.  Done the wrong thing.  Sent the wrong people the wrong things.  I'm learning that it is ok, and that I can not fix everything or do everything right away the right way.  Things happen, and I can refuse to feel the need to "fix" everything and take on everyone else's problems.  I try my best.  I learn.  I go on.  Sometimes there are glitches in systems.  Life happens.

This is a totally random post.  I'm tired, but awake enough to miss talking with people.  I feel as if that is the one thing I have really lost in the last year or so - relationships that I had built up, people I had counted on.  Why I have lost them is likely a variety of reasons... communication is a two way street that if only traveled one way tends to dry up.  Like this blog.... well, if I don't write, even if people try to read, there is no communication.  I am not sure what I will do with various relationships.  Some I will keep.  Some I will grow on from.  It is the way life is as much as I try to hang on.  Sometimes I think relationships are like trying to hang on to a handful of marbles.  You can only hold so many at one time before they start rolling out between the cracks.  So you either let that happen naturally or you spread them out in the dust and sort them into ones you keep and ones you risk.  Did you ever play marbles in the dust?  Shooting them into a ring, aware that you risk any you send in there, but knowing you could just win that other one, too?  I think I ended up trying to hold too many marbles, and I can't.  I've shot all mine into the ring now, and we will see which ones come back to me, and which ones I have lost.  I've never lost all my marbles, not yet, and you always win others.  Each one different, unique, with a design and beauty all their own.

But I am reasonably happy.  Very busy.  Sore.  Sad.  I think sadness would be an overwhelming emotion right now - not the sadness of the last year, that sort of fuzzy sadness of post-stress.  Just a quiet sadness, likely a result of tiredness and mild loneliness.  I lost a friend.  She moved.  Still close enough to visit, but not here daily.  With that, another friend is not around as much.  My core group of women I would have coffee and talk with is gone.  There are other women, and I am building relationships, but there is sadness in time passing and people moving on. 

Yet I am strangely ok in it all.  Happy, content despite it.  I think I learned early that people move on and that you can not count on people or relationships to stay static.  You mourn and you keep going.  And when you are sad, you tell yourself, "one day, heaven".  There we will all be together with all the time in the world.  No loss is ever permanent when we are believers.  One day, heaven.  Heaven is a place where there will be no more fractured relationships.

More random thoughts.  The person in our team who I struggle with the most is arriving soon for a visit.  I am strangely nonchalant about it this time, even thinking that if he needs to stay with us it would be ok.  I think I have grown taller.  Remember those big frightening things you saw when you were little?  But then they were small when you grew?  I've grown taller.  I've also lived a summer with a Asperger's kid, and as I look at this team leader now, after that experience of having this child, I see with different eyes.  I feel pity.  Pity for him and pity for those who have to live and work with him.  Pity because there is no fixing it.

I have learned ways of coping and thinking that I think are helping me.  Maybe part of that is realizing that I do not need to find value in his eyes.  I've always been good at whatever I've set my mind to do.  Pleased others and excelled at things.  People over me were always happy with me - except my parents when I was a child.  But teachers, bosses, leaders... I've always done well.  Even today, I enjoy doing well and being valued on a team.  But when you have a leader who has perhaps a different way of seeing the world... one skewed by his own oddities that perhaps he can not fix ever.... it may be impossible to be valued by him.  And you know what?  That is ok.  Like the mistakes I made in my new office job, it's ok.  I can't do everything right.  When he does not see the good I do, perhaps it is not because my good is not good enough, but because he has his own weaknesses.  Perhaps he is incapable of seeing as normal people do.  When he overlooks normal politeness and rudely ignores me or when he picks up absolutely no emotion or even worse, criticizes emotion that should be treated sensitively, perhaps it is not because he is rude and cruel.  Perhaps he just can not pick up on emotions nor figure out how to respond.  I am taller.  I do not need value from him.

I still need value from people.  Some people will say we need to grow to where we don't, but I think it is a good aim, but not a real possibility.  We need value from people.  Just that we need to learn to look for it in people that know how to give it.  I do better with some words of affirmation.  I also know about ten people who I can count on to give them to me.  So that is where I should go when I am empty.  Not to people who will not even see my need for it.  Those type will hurt - likely totally unwillingly and unaware.

My kids are growing.  That makes me alternatively extremely proud and deeply sad.  The babies are gone.  The sticky fingers are gone.  So are the toddler toys and cute outfits.  Here are overgrown teens with long legs with hair on them who stink non-stop despite frequent showers and liberal reminders to use deodorant.  Bundles of energy who at one minute are wise and mature and at another are exploding with emotions like a two year old.  You know what is funny?  I've got teens, but I've got  bad case of the "I wish I could have another" syndrome and miss being pregnant, newborns, and all that.  I loved being a young mom.  I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.  Being a mom of teens is good, too.  Different, but good.

Life changes.  Relationships change.  Sometimes things hurt.  Sometimes you get injured.  Sometimes you make mistakes.  The only thing impossible to stop is the incessant ticking of time... that relentless moving on.  So often I would have frozen time here or there when something is "perfect", but I can not.  Time goes on, and with it comes goodbyes, changes, and growth.

One day, heaven.  In the meantime, let's enjoy with grace what we have today.  It doesn't always last, but it is good.  Even stinky teen boys with hairy legs are good.  Even when they are fighting me for independence.  I smile later, glad that they are growing and wanting independence... hoping they let us guide them until they are ready for it. 

1 comment:

nora said...

Hi. This was beautiful. Yep. That's all I have to say.