Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When Life Takes Over

The last six months may well have been six years.  I try to sort through all that has happened and just feel bombarded by a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that render me a helpless ball of numbed anxiety.  When the real emotion breaks through, whether joy or sorrow, it can be overpowering.

The list is a bit ridiculous, really.  Lesion on my tonsil, mononucleosis, three sinus infections, bronchitis.  Having to choose between an expensive and risky surgery or putting our dear dog to sleep.  Truly there was no choice in the matter, but watching his slow and painful recovery and then cringing every time I think he may be exhibiting former symptoms has my jaw permanently clenched, waiting for the other shoe to drop and praying that it stays firmly on.  All the last minute plans that come with a wedding organized solely by yourself and with every detailed micromanaged by, who else, you!  An amazing wedding, proof that perfection can exist for a moment, that sometimes every piece truly falls into place.

Honeymoon in Ireland, the ideal spot for quiet reflection, soul stirring views, and harrowing drives that will either bring you closer as a couple or drive you right into steaming silence.  Then all the firsts---Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's---when newlyweds try to please everyone, allow time for everyone and everything, and wind up just plain old exhausted.

My husband gets hired for a new a job for which he has a longed, a great boon in the midst of confusion.  A much prayed for job opportunity appears for me, a trial period of proving oneself (nothing causes me to tense up and melt down more than constant scrutiny), and subsequently a hiring.  Now I have a job I love---but only until June.  Not permanent.  Like so much else in my life right now.  (That can be good or bad, right?)  So after having just walked through a thousand fiery hoops to achieve this job, I am immediately searching for another one.

And then, after packing up the bulk of our possessions and storing them at my parents' and tearing the house apart cleaning, we put the condo on the market.  It has been on the market since Valentine's Day.  Every day I wonder if it will sell.  Every day I wonder how many more days, weeks, months, we have of having to get out of our home at a moment's notice, having to arrive home to dresser drawers pulled open and private corners perused, having to clench our teeth in fear that something will break, having to ceaselessly scrub and polish.  There are much worse things than this, yet the permanent state of anxiety, of wondering, of the unknown has me on constant high alert.  What if it sells?  Then we have to act quickly, find a place to live, will the bank give us a loan, will we have enough cash for the closing, which house exactly should we pick, where exactly should we live, what is right for us?  What if it doesn't sell?  Will we exist in 650 square feet for the rest of our lives, our dog relegated to my parents' house with a yard and no stairs, no place for a baby, no family on the horizon?  We humans don't handle the unknown with much grace, yet it is the essence of life.

The unforeseen financial woes that gut punch you before you can even see the arm fly.  Oh, I won't go into those.  Suffice it to say they are present---omnipresent---every single day.

So much in six months.  I remind myself that this is in fact not uncommon and also that it was not without immense joy.  Perhaps that is the hardest thing.  The intense joy mixed with the worry and the stress, so many highs and lows that you feel like an elevator out of control.  I just wonder every day upon which floor I will make my arrival.  Such a strange amalgam of emotions.  Great joy and gratitude.  Foreboding fear and worry.

I try to convince myself that this is just a season in life.  But it isn't.  It is life.  There will never be a time in life when we aren't changing, transitioning, growing, learning, hurting.  Get used to it, kid, I tell myself.  And then I open my eyes to the way this exists in others' lives: the friends who are having triplets, the sister whose husband is leaving for Afghanistan, the other sister just trying to find herself in a new city all alone, the grandmother adjusting to life without her life partner.  None of us is alone in this.

My resistance to this change, my abhorrence of the unknown, would be akin to the caterpillar rejecting a chrysalis or refusing to emerge from it.  Transformation happens every day, minutely, profoundly.  It also occurs in giant waves that knock you down.  No matter the size or shape, I think we all know whose hand is behind it.

from Getty images

Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me

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