This week found me lacking in inner-strength, confidence and air-conditioning. Luckily, there were a couple nice Autumnish moments and I have really, really good friends. I got this quote in an email from Amy who saw it on Stacy Julian's blog. I'm just sharing it in case any of you could use the reminder, too.
"Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness."
For those of you looking for a place to start your own journal project, this would be the kind of quote you might use as a springboard.
Matt and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last night with an amazing dinner out. There were no dishes to clean up, no "one more bites" to negotiate - just a lot of conversation interrupted only by offers to bring more wine, bread or the dessert menu. (Yes, yes, and of course!)
I found the well-wishing comments on our anniversary interesting. One person commented on the life we've created together and someone else mentioned "nice work." And you know what? It is exactly both of those things. We create our lives, together. It is work. It is harder to deal with things that are uncomfortable than it is to bury your head in the sand. It is uncomfortable to tell the truth when it'd be easier to lie - even to yourself. And when you live with someone else, anyone else, but particularly when it is a person who's opinion you hold in high regard, like say, your husband ... things can get a little uncomfortable what with all the needs to be met, expectations, disappointments in our trappings as mere mortals ... and that is not to say I don't love, love, love my husband but rather to admit that there has been a slow leak in the boat that carries me. For awhile, with the house buying nonsense and the moving and the new baby and the business of turning things right side up again, I was treading water to stay afloat. And then .... without being aware of it I started drowning.
"You need to get more self-confidence."
This is a directive I've heard many times throughout my life. Since confidence isn't something stocked at Target near the adorable office supplies, this is easier said than done. It's an issue I've always struggled with, I don't know if it's linked to my weight problems or not since I've never lost enough for long enough to know for sure, but I do know there've been times where I've felt stronger within myself than others. The key, of course, is in the words: stronger withing myself. Inside gig, people.
My friend Amy (how lucky am I to have two cool Amys in my life?) said yesterday that she believes self-confidence works a bit like muscle memory. "If you've had it before, you'll get it again." Not at Target, but from within. And not by ignoring what's not working.
Being a mom, and particularly a stay-at-home mom, it seems is a self-confidence sucker-outer. Frankly, the job involves being puked and crapped on, literally, throughout the day (and night). Also, most of the tasks in the job description are, um, revolving - laundry, cleaning up after meals, making meals, cleaning up after meals, cleaning prints off windows (I've heard at least that some people do that), dealing with bodily fluids, more laundry, negotiating with a toddler and his new imaginary second-self named Kendal ... it's fun, really, a lot of the time - but other times: gross and stressful to feel like every time you've cleaned off your desk, your boss walks in and piles a bunch of crap back on top of it. But you don't get to leave in a huff at 5:03 p.m.
So, wow. This is more than I intended to share, but there you have it. Again, I share in the spirit of reminding us all we're not alone in our darker days and that the darkest hour really is right before dawn.