For me, writing feels like giving birth.  I usually feel the labor pains coming on and then something comes forth from whatever is brewing within.

For days now, I’ve felt the brewing.  But, I have not been able to put a finger on the one idea that is coming out of this.  There are so many things going on in my head and my heart, it’s not always easy to organize it into a post that actually makes sense.  In fact, when I write, I’m always hoping and praying that when I go back to read it, it will have some kind of natural flow and whatever is going on in me, well, it comes across to you in a somewhat decent form.

I have gone into my bedroom and locked the door.  The kids yell for me.  They ask for food.  They have questions.  They need “Mooooooooooom!”  And I just tell them to go away.  “Please go watch another episode of whatever it is you are watching, please!”

Whatever.  It’s summer.   It works for me.  And for the record, they are watching tv right now.

All this to say, I’m wrestling with something and I just can’t make it out.  So often, the only way to find it is to just start writing.  So here goes nothing.

I had a really hard time getting out of bed this morning.  Mentally, emotionally, physically- just feeling drained.  And if my kids would have let me, I would have just stayed there.  And my biggest battle of the day is keeping it all in perspective, because if I let it be, it all just seems hard.  So, I’ve been thinking about gratitude and choosing life.  Because if I’m honest with who I am, I tend to see the negative side of just about everything.  Can you hear Drew shouting, “Amen, isn’t that the truth!”   He would be right.  He knows me.  So in order to choose that life, even in the hard stuff, I thought a list would help.  So today I choose to write it.  I choose to see the light.  I choose to let a little life in.

* With all the health issues my kids have had, this summer just really stunk.*

But we have health care, good health care.  And check it, I’m married to an RN!  I can just pick up a phone and talk to a doctor or nurse and they can tell me how to proceed.  Whether it’s making an appointment, giving my child their Epi Pen so they can breathe, driving them to the hospital to be admitted once again, getting lots of advice from my community, giving my child the antibiotic they need to bring them back to health.  I can take care of my child.  I have an abundance of resources that many do not.

*My family is all over the country and things would just be so much better if we all lived in the same state.*

True, I’d love to be there for the birth of my nephew or niece.  But, I can get in the car in September and go visit them.  I have a car and it works.  Oh and we finally get to be an Aunt and Uncle!  We were not always sure that would happen.  We can text, skype, facetime, email, talk on the phone (nah..), drive, fly….  We can be a part of each other’s life.  My in laws have been here several times in the last few months and they even had Will out to Seattle.  We are far apart, but we are in each other’s lives.  And, technology is on our side.

*The grief, though different now, is still like a cloud over my head.  Missing Dalina and her friendship.*

Even though I would choose to have her back, I can’t.  So out of this I have learned so many things about life.  And, out of this I have gained friendships I may not have had.  They have brought us closer and to a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other.  I have had people step in and lift the burden.  Out of that my children have gained relationships that they may not have, had they not spent so much time in their friend’s homes.

Yes, I’ve often been lonely.  But I also have felt loved.  And, I have not stayed lonely.

*My kids are going to be in school all day this year.  And me, no career, no real job or ability to offer.*

But this is an opportunity to experience new things.  To write.  To run. To do Year Two at Kairos.    To go back to school?  To volunteer?  This is NOT the end.  There is a beginning here.  And though it is overwhelming at the thought, I have choices.  Choices!   Choices are a luxury.

*Depression will never fully leave me.  It’s a part of who I am.  *

And here is where I often cannot see a gift.  I may never see it fully.  But for some reason, I struggle.  Out of this struggle I have found a voice.  A voice in writing.  A freedom in being who I am, without staying in this pit alone.  I have people.  They love me.  Like, as in, people who will get down in that pit with me.  That is what gets me through.

So there it is.  It’s out.  Does it make sense?  Who knows.  But it made it to the print form.  And all this is part of the process.

Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” 

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

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