Ever since this summer, I keep finding myself back at this place. I wake up in the morning and realize “I just can’t do this anymore.” It feels horrible in the moment. But I think there is something bigger here. Something that is, in fact, quite GOOD. And when I say I can’t do “this” I usually mean some daily activity. Or some yearly tradition. Or some “to-do list” item.
In September it was making oatmeal. Literally the idea of getting up and making a batch of oatmeal, as I have done hundreds of times, made me want to. . .
cry, vomit, sleep, find a cave and crawl in it, give up.
You get the idea.
At one point, I sat up in bed around 5:30 am and just sobbed. And sobbed. The people sleeping around me woke up one at a time to gather around me. And I sobbed some more.
And that day, I did not make oatmeal. I took my girls out for breakfast at a place that had an outdoor patio and a sandbox for kids. They played. I knit. We ate delicious food that someone else cooked. And for the next few weeks, I did this kind of thing often. And eventually, I cooked some oatmeal again. And it didn’t make me feel like dying. I came back. But I was different.
This summer changed me. At my core. And it wasn’t just recovering in the fall. I’m still bumping into this change. Often. I wake up and think “I. just. can’t. do. this.” Right now, it’s the Christmas season. I’m not holly and jolly this year. I am thoughtful, torn, caught between “what I’ve always done” and something new that I’m not even sure how to identify. So, now that I’ve hit this wall again, I think I’m seeing a bigger picture here. When your core is changed, you simply cannot go back to doing what you did before. And as I walk down the road of life, after the Hellatious Summer, I will continue to bump into this wall. I just might find myself unable to do lots of things in the same ol’ way.
Perhaps this is my year of drifting on the sea of change. No shore in sight yet, but there is bound to be one. Maybe next year. Or the year after. And this is where the GOOD comes in. When I do land, it will be more real, authentic to me, and meaningful. So in the meantime, I’ve got to just hang on to the rails, ride the waves, maybe barf a few times over the side and keep my eyes on the horizon.