Years ago I remember one typical Wednesday evening leaving my office in downtown Charlotte about thirty minutes late. My kids were little so I had to pick them up from afterschool care by six. Obviously I was going to be late, barring a miracle right up there with The Parting of the Red Sea. Unfortunately, there was some unfinished disaster at work that I had been unable to resolve before I left. And my husband was running late from class. And he and I were both supposed to be at church by 6:30 pm so that we could practice with the worship band before service. And we had to eat.
(There are just so many things wrong with those first few sentences! And it feels really strange that I’ve never written in this space about singing with church worship bands for 18 years of my life…material for more posts!)
On the ride down from my office in the elevator to the parking garage I closed my eyes, ignoring all of my co-workers and friends, and mentally prioritized the challenges I needed to take care of ON MY DRIVE HOME (the all caps are just to reinforce the insanity of the situation). So when the elevator doors opened I practically ran to my mini-man, jumped in and pulled off almost before I had time to close my door. I then proceeded to cut other drivers off –you can read “other drivers” as “people who were as worn out, spread thin, beaten down, exhausted and frantic as I was”–as I wound my way up and out of the bowels of the prison I worked in. (Just so you know, all those pretty, shiny, glass and metal buildings downtown wherever you live are an illusion. They are really prisons where the bars are invisible but daily people slave away without ever feeling like they accomplish anything, trying to keep their heads above water and not get fired…or maybe that was just me).
As soon as I shot up out of the parking garage like a cannon ball and had cell service I called the school and let them know I was going to be late. Then I dialed the local Italian restaurant near home and ordered a pizza for pick-up. When they asked for my name I just told them I would be the woman running in the door like her hair was on fire. As soon as I hung up from that call my phone was already ringing. My boss and I then spent the rest of my drive hashing through some “life and death” issue that had to be resolved before I went to bed that night. I think whoever invented the technology that allows us to be 100% available 100% of the time should be shot. And for goodness sake, what life and death issue can a bank really have? It’s just money people!
The rest of my trip was a total blur, but I remember standing on the stage at church at 6:30 pm, exactly on time, quite proud of myself. I had faced multiple challenges, but I had masterfully used my multi-tasking skills and conquered all obstacles. I am pretty sure my kids ate in the van and I seriously doubt my husband and I said anything to each other on the way to church, but we made it.
We made it, but I had to work until midnight when I got home to meet a deadline. And then I had the privilege of getting up at 6:00 am the next day to start the whole thing over again, after waking up all night every hour on the hour because of all the ANXIETY!!!
In case you are reading this and thinking, “Wow! That sounds like my life,” or “Wow! She’s insane,” please know three things: 1) that scenario happened multiple times a week in my life during that season; 2) it’s not a life; and 3) that specific incident happened only a few short weeks before I had what I like to call an “episode” when I cried uncontrollably for three days and I had to be on antidepressants for several months just to function.
It was terrible and it was torture. If I was with my family I was worried about all of my problems at work and how the world was going to fall apart if I didn’t solve them. If I was at work I felt terribly guilty about my failure at being a good wife and mother. And I constantly felt guilty that I wasn’t doing enough to serve God. Multi-tasking gave the illusion of life by keeping me so busy that I didn’t have time to stop and think about everything I was missing…like breathing and laughing.
All that to say, I used to hold a graduate degree in multi-tasking, but no more! The other day I was trying to turn left at a busy intersection at night and I had to turn down the music and cease all conversations in the car so I could concentrate and make the turn safely.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that lately it’s been difficult for me to pause and put my thoughts down in this space. I have TONS of them, my brain never stops and I feel like I am in constant conversation with the Lord, but my thoughts haven’t flowed out of my head and onto the blog as frequently as I would probably like.
My sweet Madelou pointed out that since the beginning of 2014 she and her sisters haven’t had a full week of school (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm) because of exams, holidays, and our CRAZY NC weather. Plus our dog died. Plus my husband’s work schedule has changed multiple times. Plus…a hundred other things. So I have just naturally been more engaged with my family.
What I really appreciate about this season is that as God has healed me with His Love I don’t feel the pressure to make things happen. I don’t feel like I have to write things down and publish them. I am free to be in the moment. When I am engaging, embracing and enjoying (most of the time) each moment I move through and the people I move through them with, there’s less room for multi-tasking. There’s nothing to prove, just plenty to be.
Someone asked me the other day about my slower posting frequency lately here on the blog. I love this space. I believe that one of the ways Christ uniquely expresses Himself through me is in writing. But recently He’s been expressing Himself in other ways through me and I am just going with the flow.
Discovering what it means to be Fully Alive (or Totally Crazy)!
Restfully abiding in Him, trusting Him for all the outcomes, or lack thereof.