A few months ago I noticed my restlessness. I have a hard time describing the emotion exactly, but it felt like a mixture of boredom, annoyance, fear and exhaustion. I am a positive person. I am truly grateful for a circumstantially terrific life. I have strong feelings of purpose and hope for my eternal future. And yet, my skin just felt like it wasn't fitting just right.
Ahh, the beginnings of the proverbial mid-life crisis, I thought. But there was no crisis. The more I examined my feelings, the more frustrated I became. On paper, it did not make any sense.
I don't want to run away from my life, but in some ways, I felt like it was running away from me. Our little one, who was here via foster care, went home to her biological family. My teenage children are moving rapidly toward independence--which is the goal, my husband reminds me. My husband has taken a passionate interest in his new hobby of flying...and I am just here holding down the fort--which I am truly so grateful to be able to do.
I have important and fulfilling roles and relationships outside of my family. My to-do list is never complete. And, yet, I could not find my mojo.
One afternoon, exhausted by wrestling with my thoughts on the matter, I called a friend of mine (who is also a counselor) and described my feelings. I explained that as I tried to pin down what I was lacking and express it to my family, I would be inexplicably annoyed by their attempts to meet the need. I imagined myself as a person trying to identify their craving--only to find they still felt empty after eating.
When I finished, my counselor friend said, "what you are describing sounds like grief. It doesn't always feel like you would expect and it operates on its own timeline."
As she spoke the words, I wept. She touched my soul with revelation and permission to stop trying to solve and instead just feel for a bit.
I am being forced into retirement from my favorite job I have ever had. Being a hands-on Mama to birdies in my nest has been incredibly stretching, humbling and satisfying. I don't want it to change! And while I know motherhood continues for decades, it shifts in ways that feel unfamiliar and uncertain to me.
In four short months, they will be driving themselves to and from school. Car conversations are my favorite and I am NOT ready to give those up. And yet, spreading their wings and learning to fly has always been my hope.
So forgive my silence in writing (and maybe my grumpiness in person), I am going through a thing over here.
Trusting the Lord. Asking Him to nip and tuck this old skin to fit the way my role is changing--and trying to savor all the car rides in between.