Sometimes I wish I had it all figured out. That I'd learned all of life's lessons so that I didn't need to be taught anymore. I wish my well of patience was overflowing and that when faced with annoyances, stresses, messes, unwelcome news, I could handle it with more grace and calm.
Yesterday my car broke down.
My laptop keyboard broke, leaving me to type this post at an excruciatingly slow speed.
I missed an ultrasound appointment.
My vacuum cleaner broke.
I felt the heavy strain of the same thing that always wears on me lately.
My two year old is waking way too early, napping way too briefly, and taking way too long to fall asleep.
And my house feels dirty and disorganized.
I can hear my mother's voice in my head, "this too shall pass." And I've said to my husband many times that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, yet for some reason we're on a treadmill.
Yesterday afternoon when Elizabeth woke up from her nap, crying, I went in to hold her, hoping to lull her back to sleep. I wrapped her in quilts and we sat in the chair, in her dark quiet room. Within seconds I felt the heaviness of her little body against mine and I heard her breathing switch to the raspy rhythms of sleep.
As I sat there in the chair, I tried to talk myself out of my mood. I tried to regain perspective. I prayed. But man, I just couldn't. I so wish I could have gotten that fresh breath, that new perspective, but it just wasn't coming. And I knew that I was being faced with one of those days where every reserve of patience is required. But I was either finding my reserve empty, or I was just unwilling to dip into it.
I have to say, I'm learning as I type this post. That sometimes on the hard days it feels easier to just rage against all that's wrong in your life. It feels easier to be in a bad mood. To snap at your children. To curse the mess. To allow yourself to believe that everyone else has it all together, has everything in their house working, has every load of laundry folded and put away. But if that is the path you choose it leaves you feeling worn out, exhausted, disappointed and does absolutely nothing to change the situation.
I've been thinking lately how the view out my window has changed. In what feels like the blink of an eye, the trees have shed their leaves, the zinnias flower heads have turned brown and gone to seed. But now, with the landscape stripped bare, it is amazing what hidden beauty comes into view. The trees are littered with nests. Tiny works of woven art. If I stand in the girls bedroom and look out the window, I can see the shimmer of the sun hitting the stream that runs at the back of our property.
When stripped bare, the landscape is revealing its inner beauty. When taken back to bare bones and twigs there is still something to behold.
In a small sense, yesterday stripped me bare. Some of my leaves were blown from the tree. And unfortunately, afterward, there wasn't much beauty to behold.
But I'm still learning. I'm still a young tree. I'm growing. And maybe next time when things seem to be falling down around me, there will be a little more beauty to behold on the inside.