This is who I am (today)

I’m struggling right now.

Overwhelmed.

Discontent.

Stuck.

Too many changes, too fast, and I haven’t caught up. I may never catch up.

I crave order and simplicity, yet my life feels messy and complicated.

There are things I want to do–feel like I need to do–but I can’t figure out how to make room for them in my life.

Physically, spiritually, emotionally, I am spent.

That’s okay, right?  So, why am I not okay with it?

—-

Last week I was experiencing some social media envy as writers I know and whose books I have read converged on Indianapolis for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. There was no way for me to make it this year, no reason really for me to go. I don’t have anything close to a finished manuscript. I’m not even sure where I am in the writing journey right now. (Stuck. I feel stuck.)

While I was trying to convince myself my jeans had gotten smaller over the summer months (and that it was not my body that had gotten bigger) I was obsessing over pictures of writing friends dressed up for dinners and an awards gala.

As I mopped up yet another bathtub overflow and cleaned up messes around the house, I let myself believe that I wasn’t living the life I want to be living.

The truth is: I want to be writing. A lot. Way more than I am now. And I’m torn between the camps who say “if you really want to, you’ll find a way” and the ones who say “don’t rush it; your time will come.”

Because I see people just.like.me living their writing dreams. They have kids and families and some of them even homeschool. They’re my age or younger and somehow, they’ve made it work.

So, I wonder: what’s wrong with me?

The weather took a turn toward fall, finally, and I was so excited to get my jeans and sweatshirts and long-sleeved shirts out of hiding.

But months of inactivity (mine) have led to several wardrobe disappointments. I totally wanted to make this shirt look cool.

me casual.jpg

I certainly felt cool in it. But let’s just say it’s more flattering for a different body type.

Here’s another place where desire and reality can’t seem to meet.

I want to work out, or at least do something more active than laundry and dishes, but I can’t figure out how to find time in the schedule.

I’m just a mess of excuses right now.

We probably spent 10 minutes trying to take a picture of me in this shirt so I could send it to the author whose writing it represents, and I walked away from that “photo shoot” with the conclusion that I am just not photogenic.

This, to me, was the best picture we took.

me crazy face

Izzy was in charge of the poses at this point. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to look scary or silly.

Sigh.

“Mom, you really aren’t that good at parking. Dad is better.”

The 3-year-old in the backseat made his position clear after I pulled into a tight spot at Costco. My husband was in the car, too, and on that particular day, the statement didn’t cause a war.

Because, let’s face it, I’m pretty horrible at parking. I think I was better when I drove a sedan. The van, however, is like a boat to me, and I’m convinced I’m going to ding someone in the parking lot if I don’t leave a ton of space.

I laughed and told him he was right.

This is progress.

Part of my One Word journey this year has been accepting what I’m not good at. Parking, driving. Those are a few of my weaknesses.

I’m okay now with telling you what I’m not good at because I can’t be good at (or pretend to be good at) everything.

(I used to think I was good at remembering birthdays and sending cards. Here’s a confession: I’ve had the same card sitting on my desk for my father-in-law’s birthday two years in a row. Also, I’m pretty sure I still have a birthday card for our daughter that is unsigned. Her birthday’s in March.)

I’m not good at everything. Nor do I have to be.

Some days, I can say that with confidence.

So, where’s the hope in all this?

Because if you’ve read this far, I’ve got to give you credit. I feel like what I’ve written is kind of depressing.

The truth is I’m not on my A-game every day. Some days, I’m not even sure I’m in the game, whatever the game may be. And that’s okay. I read this post by a classmate from my hometown and breathed a sigh of relief. Permission to be uninspired, granted.

Are there things that need to change in my life? Yep. Do they have to change today? Nope. Does feeling this way today mean I’ll feel this way forever? Absolutely not.

Some days I just need to give myself permission to be human. And weak. And needy. To not have it all together. To not be where I want to be.

There’s a part of me that wants to fix whatever is broken in my life today. Immediately. And all at once.

That, in itself, is overwhelming.

So, today, I say: this is who I am. These are my struggles.

Tomorrow, who knows? I might be different. I might not. Or maybe I’ll be different in subtle ways I can’t see until further down the road.

All I know is that today, I need the grace to not have to be anything more than I am right now.

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9 thoughts on “This is who I am (today)

  1. Awesome Lisa. And no, it wasn’t depressing – it was real. and refreshing. Because guess what? I often count the constant “up and down” of my staircase as equal to the stair master. And if you need a pick-me-up, come over tomorrow to see my sink and laundry room floor — they’ll prove to you that you ARE accomplishing something! (because God knows I’m not this week – okay, who am I kidding, any week!) 🙂 I also feel the tug between “TODAY!” and “Some Day” with writing. We should get together! haha. Seriously though, thanks for the post — I can totally relate!

  2. Lisa, I hope you found the grace today. I understand what you mean about wanting to be in a different place. We need dreams like that. Yet someone once said to me, “I’ve never met anyone who reached their dream by beating themselves up for not being there yet.” Hope you were able to settle in to today. Thanks for your honesty, Lisa. Reading your blog is always one of the highlights of my day.

  3. Lisa, this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. Thank you for your authenticity. I can so well to the writing frustrations as well as the fitness issue. There just isn’t time to do and be everything we want to be, but that is a fact, not a fault. We put way too much pressure on ourselves to “make things happen” when making them happen just isn’t feasible or would be unwise to do so. I hope we can encourage each other to not only press forward toward our dreams but also to seek patience, contentment, and joy in the present.

  4. It seems like you have moved to a good place…. even the school seems good, you have opportunities to help out there, and make friends, it should be a less lonely life for you because of this.. and you are right, there is never enough time in a day to do “everything”. so don’t sweat it, but the days that you DO get a lot accomplished will seem like a fine masterpiece to you… Its hard to do a lot of things when the kids are little, and when they are growing up… Your main job is growing good children.. that’s your main focus, and making sure that you are happy in the process… you aren’t always going to be happy day to day .. when things go wrong, but you are accomplishing a very important work, and that is to be a good mother and give these kids a role model, and not only be a role model, but a friend who is someone special in their lives.. they have a history with you , you have known them since before Birth…you will always be their important person in their lives… just go thru all the phases with them…you won’t always get rewards and thank-you’s from them, but sometimes you will, and you will find time to do your writing when you can…. but remember, you chose to have children, and that is the most important thing when you are raising them… because you brought them into this world, and you are a family… Families are important… and just as they have needs, so do you, so you can be sure that you will be able to write, just do it when you can….and remember a lot of people are in the same boat you are.. but we do enjoy reading your blogs…. you have a lot to look forward to in the lives of the kids, and many rewards coming along the way.. a lot of it relates to school and activities, and family outings.. take care.. Mary

  5. Lisa – I love that you can put into words what I feel and have felt for decades!! (my youngest is now 25). You have a wonderful way. thanks for sharing!

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