The meaning of life

This has been a weird week for me. With the threat of a hurricane aimed for our state, my husband and I decided to send the kids back to Illinois with their grandparents, who had been here visiting for the weekend.

So, after we prepped the house for a hurricane the best we knew how, and now that we have no clean-up post-hurricane, I’ve found myself living in a world I haven’t known in years. Without my kids to take care of, I’m a bit … aimless. Which is not exactly the same as purposeless but it’s close.

Here’s how life is different:

  • I haven’t been out of bed before 8 a.m. (I keep comparing myself to a college student, but on the parenting to college conversion chart, sleeping in till 8 a.m. is like sleeping till noon.)
  • I’m eating massive amounts of junk food.
  • I’m playing video games in my free time.
  • I’ve eaten take-out once and I’ve considered it more than once.
  • I’m watching too much television.

In short, I’m like a teenage boy. (No offense to teenage boys. I’ve never been a teenage boy, so maybe the comparison falls short.)

Seriously, what am I supposed to do with myself??? Because I’m starting to worry that my life post-kids is going to be about achieving or maintaining a pro-level rating on Wii Sports golf and tennis.

I’m exaggerating. A little.

I’ve done some reading. I’m planning to write tonight and tomorrow. We’ve cleaned and straightened up the basement (finally after last year’s flood it’s in order) and the attic. We’re taking a date night to the movies tomorrow. We’ve run some errands.

It’s kind of like vacation, except we’re nowhere exotic. And part of me feels like I should be taking this time to do something Noble and Grand and Meaningful when the fact is, I’m worn out. Sleeping and resting and taking a break seem to be what my body, mind and spirit need.

And while I grumble and cry and complain and scream about how much my life hurts and how hard it is to raise kids, I *gasp* miss them and their life-sucking needs and wants.

And also their Halloween candy. (Just kidding. Maybe.)

I’ve been chewing on this tidbit from a sermon–that the more painful your life is the more meaningful it is because all good stories have conflict–and I’m finally (after almost five years) realizing that parenting is hard because it’s meaningful.

So is whatever it is about your life that makes life hard, whether it’s your vocation, your calling, your illness, your rough patch or whatever.

And maybe it’s okay to feel a little lost and aimless and without meaning for a time.

Sometimes I forget what’s important. What’s worth my time. And sometimes I forget what it’s like to take a breath, step back and appreciate where I’m at, even when I’m not sure it’s where I want to be.


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