So what’s that phrase? March in like a lion, out like a lamb? I vote there should be one for February. In like a funk, out like ___. “a fun time?” “a frenzy?”
This month has been bitterly cold. January is always bitterly cold in Minnesota, but this Feb has taken the cake. When I was little, it was cold like this, but now as an adult, it’s been relatively mild for a while. Yes, Minnesotans talk about the weather, a lot. There’s a debate (light hearted? cold hearted?) going on both on my instagram and Facebook about how many layers we bundle our kids up to go out in the morning. Watch me zoom around getting everyone into their duds and you tell me! (I let them play in the snowbanks on the way back in so that’s part of the snow pants part!) (I also was always cold as a kid so . . . projecting?)
The funk has been more pervasive for me than the cold weather.
Maybe it’s because I saw a single mom friend’s support system crumble. Maybe it’s because a friend’s baby is home on hospice. Maybe it’s because we attend kinder-12th grade Mass at our parochial school and I want to earnestly remind all the high schoolers that this is the best way to spend your morning (like a crazy middle aged mom) as some of them giggle in the pew and crack their knuckles.
When my kids are all in school and I’m facing hours of my own time to myself, I’ll find another excuse why the bathrooms aren’t clean and I’m not exercising. I’ll have reasons why I can’t call that older old friend and say hello even if I might not speak to them again. And it won’t be because I’m nursing down for naps.
Hold on, Nell! So profound!
But it hit me deeper, in a raw place, of excusing myself from completely entering into my own life because I’m either annoyed I can’t do what I want, or held back from diving in with the kids for fear of losing what little is left of me.
That which is left of me from pre-kids is pretty slender, given I’ve either been nursing or pregnant for 8 years. I’m still pre-baby me. I’m selfish and I’m small, I’m gluttonous and I’m lazy. Having kids has made me less filled with all these vices because I must tend to them and their needs, even if I’m doing it without a charitable heart. Let’s hope I lose all of that!
I’m using the fact I have littles in my life as the ultimate excuse for not being fully preset to my life.
What’s holding you back from being fully present to your own life? Lent is the perfect time for me to examine these ugly truths, these things I’d rather paper over with chocolate late at night (because no sweets is our thing!). If you’re doing the Lent journal along with thousands of other Blessed is She sisters, I’m praying alongside you. I hope you’re brave enough to face your ugliness too and come out from the 40 days a little more honest, a little more real. I hope to be!