11 August 2010

An Empress and Some New Clothes

Daily life is where there's real value. Normal days are beautiful and valid and to be cherished.

Yes and good and true, but it's all just words unless I live it every day, in MY daily life.

I say it. I even know it, on some level, but my bones don't know it. My bones and sinews still live to achieve, to experience, to make meaning instead of finding it. And they only follow my head when it's watching over them, making sure they follow instead of heading off in lockstep the other direction.

Goals are good, I told myself. They'll help you value daily life, help you focus and embrace each moment because you'll be using it to get to somewhere else.

I let myself have the excuse, and wrapped my grubby little fingers around yet another way to escape my own dailyness.

I started striving.

I made a schedule, filled it with all the good things I want to do. Simple things, the praying-eating- exercising-writing things of life. No wild trips to exotic locales for me. I value daily life now.

One day.

It lasted one day. Less than that, actually, before my body screamed and I saw that I was banging my head against the same wall. Different bricks, but the same wall.

Goals are good, but they say, inherently, that now isn't good enough as it is, that the present isn't something to be contented with.

So I slashed my list, leaving the barest skeleton where once it lay fat and growing fatter. I cut the good and the great, leaving only the things that my heart will scream if I erase. That's better . . . now . . . now there's room for the dailyness I'm looking for.


But nothing fit when I got dressed this morning. Nothing work-compatible, anyway.

And trust me, I tried. I tried everything that might work, everything I could possibly fathom spending 6 hours at a desk in. Nothing.

I could have cried. Exercise was on the list, but it had to go. Wife-mama-worker-writer stretches me too far some days. But the baby weight doesn't come off by itself and the clothes still don't fit.

I looked at my list again. Maybe I could fit it . . . no. But there's half an hour . . . no. I can take the baby with me . . . no.

So I wore something uncomfortable and went shopping after work. Because God is the only one who can do it all, and it's a lie that sucks joy out of days when I let myself believe otherwise. Later, maybe, when there's space to stretch and I've let go a little bit. But for now, bigger clothes and some space to grow a bigger heart.


Heather said...

I'm proud of you for letting something go. Especially in a society that puts so much value on exercise and staying the same size you were when you were 20 for the rest of your life.

kirsten michelle said...

Amen to that, sister!! I love that not only that you have these insights, but also how deeply you apply them in your daily life. You let us see and know and feel what it is -- this coming to terms with dailiness, with a bigger heart, and a body post-baby. The list makes me tired and yet, I am one also who wants to do all of that when the baby comes.

Blargh. I wonder how many women's lives have become stressed and harried and downright unlivable because of the erroneous notion that we can have/do it all.

Laura said...

Oh, so beautifully said! I am thinking that every season seems to have this same dilemma--how do we find balance? We are always looking for something new to fill those empty places. Well, at least I am (speak for yourself, you might say). Everyday I have to die to self, to my plans, to my desires. If only I lived in a vacuum I could do all the things on the list...

Lovely. Perfect. Glad I came over.

emily wierenga said...

making meaning instead of finding it... oh, i do this SO much. this challenges hard. i loved it. thank you so much for linking, sarah. you always bless me.

Anonymous said...

wow I love this. well said
stopped by from em's, so glad I did

Nancy said...

Amen to God is the only one who can do it all and recognizing the lies that suck joy out of life. So glad I stopped by from emily's today.

Sarah said...

Heather - Thanks. It lets go hard, but it also feels so nice to have clothes that fit again, and not be reminded all day that I'm not, in fact, the size I was when I was 20!

Kirsten - True that . . . I don't think I realized until recently just how few hours there are in a day.

Laura - Yes! It's a weird balance - have a life list is important to me, because it focuses me when I have free time, but also important is knowing I won't reach all those goals and that's ok.

Emily - You pour out encouragement in your words. Thank you!

artschooldrop0ut - I'm glad you did, too!

Nancy - You're welcome to come by anytime!

Sharon Wang said...

I can so relate to the clothes not fitting thing. It takes me 10 times longer to get ready to go anywhere that I need (or maybe just want?) to look halfway acceptable(church, funerals) since I never know what is going to fit me right.