Thanking the Gifts of Tiredness

I think I put too much pressure on coffee. And candles. And seasonal change. To heal all the wrongs of this mamma life. To season the injustice of short naps, bind up the brokenness of breakfast mess, and cover over a multitude of ‘tudes before lunch time.

Each dark morning, when my ears are assaulted by the “moooooomma” battle cry, my hope lies with the coffee pot! It can restore life to these dry bones! Hallelujah.

I prepare it like a holy ritual.

Before I drink it, there is only grace.

Aches? Coffee heals all ills.
Disorder? First the coffee, then the problems.
War zone? But I will soon be held in the warm embrace of a hand made mug of black liquid… and it loves me. It doesn’t shout. It is constant and predictable.

I am morning-sad by nature. Especially if it’s still dark outside when I open my eyes. Which it usually is in the winter. “But there is coffee to look forward to,” I tenderly tell myself to coax cozy feet toward cold floor.

And then after the first cup, I’m usually disappointed.
After the second, I’m impatient.
It’s less glamorous than I told myself it would be.

So I light the candles. They help. But they don’t do the dishes.

I open the windows to Fall. The crisp air-kisses sooth all my curmudgeon-y places. But it doesn’t fill the oatmeal bowls, mop up the spilled milk, or answer the 20 million questions about nothingness.

And I’m still tired. In a deeper-than-caffine kind of way.

And it occurs to me that maybe the big lesson here is that our tired places don’t really need healing? That they’re healing us, instead. That this dull imperfection, this mundane and mind-numbing place, is not to be remedied, but to provide some deep and profound remedy to my own soul.

Is it possible that our tired places are whispering, “Stop chasing paradise, precious dreamer.” Inviting us to lower our eyes from distant horizons where all is productive, peaceful, and perfect. To look at the horizons in our hands. To find beauty in raisins, instant oatmeal, and Almond milk.

I think I put too much pressure on each day. To yield not only safety and sustenance, but deep satisfaction, profound spirituality… not to mention serendipity, sex, and surprises.

I think I need to lower my standards.
I think I need to talk with Tired instead of always doing battle with it.

Maybe it’s not right to say we’re lowering our standards?
Maybe we’re raising our thankfulnessability?
Maybe it’s not right to say we’re settling for less? I like to think we’re settling in to more.
It’s definitely not right to think we’re letting ourselves down. Oh dear ones. Not at all. I really don’t think we are. Let’s let the mamma guilt go. We are leaning into loving the right now. And then we’re forgetting to lean in… and then we’re remembering and forgiving ourselves and leaning in all over again.

Thank you coffee… for being enough, but not magic. For walking with me through the valley of the shadow of Matchbox Cars and Potty Training… but for not being so awesome that I skip over the silly little engine noises they make with their mouths… and the funny little faces they make when they’re concentrating so hard on poop.

Candles… remind me with your bright little spots in the chaos, that there is Spirit Stuff everywhere and eleventy-zillion precious moments to notice.

Fall… Take my children’s crazy outside, for the love of all that is holy, because Hand To Heaven my sanity is thin today. Thanks. You’re a good friend.

Today, I surrender Paradise. Even Paradise in a mug. I surrender Perfection, with all it’s pressures. I take Tired. I accept it for what it is. Tired with more Thankfulnessability.

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