I’m tired of being scant.
If I’m strictly honest, my real thought before putting pen to paper just now was, “I’m fucking over it!”
I’m tired of being tugged in all directions by people I can’t be enough for. And all I’m doing are the basics of home, husband, and hauling my child to pre-K. To each person, I give the best I have to give. It’s all I have. I’m a considerate driver on the road. I’m a smiling face in the halls. I murmur a sincere thank you to the teacher for all she does. I connect with the downtrodden mama who’s daughter shares my son’s school day. To all appearances I am overflowing with life. But I feel parched. Ragged and impatient.
While I calmly say good night prayers and cheerfully pour breakfast cereals, I battle against feeling rung out and shaken until the teeth I keep gritted together in a smile inside my head will surely rattle and fall out. Everything I have left to give feels thin. Insufficient to the task. I’m tired of feeling panicked often, fragile always, and desperate at the end of the day because all the evidence suggests we are sure to start over again in just one sleep.
If I was ample, I could absorb the little devastations of life — the spilled pills and stubbed toes and screaming 3 year old — and recover without losing my footing in sanity. I could take the badgering babes and the hammering of invisibility like a gentle inhale… and then exhale it away and continue in the meaningful work of maintaining the walk onward. Instead I frequently take minor injustices with the grace of a small earthquake. And everything falls apart.
If I had margin inside… White space around the paragraphs for typos and mishaps… I would be different. But I don’t. So I feel my whole body constrict in barely withheld rage. And worst, grief. Time is a terrible kind of thing to be robbed of by pointless interruptions about chalk and bugs and booboos and “watch my moves.” Or so my selfish heart cries.
I could be flexible. I could be calm. But I’m not. I’m stiff and flinchy. I’m brittle and prone to shattering.
I am not magnanimous or rich or abundant. I am not full or gracious or overflowing with good. If I ever appeared so, for a moment, I will probably pay for it by huddling in a ball of despair alone later on.
My every nerve is pulled to the twanging tension point and so very often they snap. And today I am tired of being this way.
I’ll recover. I’ll carve a shell of absolute silence out of my own internal chaos after kissing smooth baby boy foreheads goodnight…. and then putting them back in bed five times each. I’ll play my soul restoring songs. I’ll scribble a prayer with a haggard pen. I’ll try not to harm myself in my senseless grief. I’ll believe that it will pass like the tides and the weather and the seasons and the shadows of the clouds above. And it will. It always does. Darkness passes into light. To live is to be a thing that changes; ebbs and flows. Come quickly. Renew dry bones.