Some of life’s hardest and most important lessons come at the most inconvenient times. I think that’s because that’s the only time God can reach me…when I least expect it. Last week I had to run into the store to grab a few things for dinner. That seems to be the new normal for me. Dinnertime is approaching, so off “to market to market to buy a fat pig” I go. Or maybe just some salad fixings and chicken breasts. Something along those lines. 🙂 Either way, the point is that while I am there I usually grab enough food for the next two or three days of breakfasts and lunches. It is, after all, just a quick trip…thus perpetuating the cycle. But I digress. The point is what happened during this trip.
As soon as the girlies and I ran in, we decided to grab a loaf of bread. Why? Because I don’t have the energy lately to make any. And I don’t have the energy to guide my girlies in making it. So we hustled to the vast bread selection which is right next to all of the baked goods. We’re talking donuts, cakes, pies, danishes, cupcakes, and so on. No big deal. Sugar really isn’t my thing. Right after we grabbed a couple of loaves (and I am NOT going to comment on the exorbitant cost of bread!!!), we decided to take the shortcut through the baked goods to the produce area. This is also where I had my breakdown.
Yes. You read that properly. I had a breakdown. In the middle of my local grocer’s bakery.
You may be asking yourself what caused this meltdown. Scones. Blueberry scones, to be precise. (I’m actually crying again just typing those words! HA! Oh dear.)
Here’s the thing, people of the internet. I used to be a great mom. I used to be so wonderful and fun and charming and witty and loving. I used to do all sorts of wonderful things for my family, and I loved doing them! I cleaned my home every single day, and I loved to do it!! It didn’t wear me out. (Mr. Fantastic’s socks have always been a trial for me though. 😉 ) But one of the things I used to love doing the most was cooking for my family. Oh dear. I adored it.
I used to write down my menus. I collected cookbooks. I still have them. I would actually read them! I love the old ones so much. I would search and search for the perfect recipe. I loved finding new ones and trying them out. During the day I left the TV on to play cooking shows just to give me ideas. One of my favorite meals of the day was breakfast.
Making a beautiful breakfast for my family filled me with a sense of joy that I can’t describe. I was feeding them. I was putting smiles on their faces. The food was yummy. My favorite and theirs was the blueberry scones I started making. It took me several attempts to figure out. I didn’t know how to make them in the beginning. They turned out like rocks. But each time I made them, they were better. I finally perfected them. I could whip out a batch of blueberry scones in no time! We would wolf those things down, too! Warm scones are a delight unto me. 🙂
I don’t make them anymore. To be honest though, I have no clear memory of not making them. I don’t think I actually decided that I wouldn’t make them. I don’t know how it happened. But here I am today…never making them. In fact, none of my children can even remember eating them. Pretty awesome.
Cooking, cleaning, caring for my family…they all feel like a chore to me now. I want them to give me joy. I do. But they don’t. Calm down, now. I love my family dearly. I have no intention of jumping ship. I will stay the course! My family is a source of happiness for me. I’m just saying that all the stuff I do, my work…it isn’t filling me with joy anymore. And I can’t remember that either. It just slowly stopped happening…little by little…like the blueberry scones…until one day, I found myself here…nothing like the woman I used to be.
And that’s how I found myself in the middle of the baked goods with tears pouring embarrassingly down my face while I held a box of blueberry scones in my hand.
So I’m standing there like a crazy lady, crying over scones, while my girlies are wondering what in the hell has happened to their mother because they are unaccustomed to the weeping, and it hits me. What am I doing? I am standing in public crying! This is what just “holding on” gets you!
For so long, longer than it is decent to admit, I have been telling myself that if I just “hold on” I will emerge on the other side of this. I have no idea what “this” is, but I was sure I would somehow just walk out of it…without ever identifying it. Genius. And little by little, my energy and my vitality has left me. It is gone. My once sharp mind has become hazy and foggy. My dreams and ambitions are mere memories. I am a ghost of the old me. Every day I have to carefully mete out my energy. I have to choose who gets what from me. If I spend too much time on the house, my children will suffer. If I spend too much on the children, my husband will suffer. I spend too much on the children or husband or house, I suffer. If I spend too much time with people outside the home, I have nothing left for anyone or anything inside my home. I wake in the morning, and I nearly cry because I am so tired already. I’m not complaining! I’m telling you because this was foolish. It was just plain dumb. I cannot believe I let myself get here. I am actually a pretty intelligent person. Yet I still find myself doing incredibly unintelligent things…like letting myself and my health get into this position. (I don’t like going to the doctor for myself. I have a terrible mindset that I have to work on. 🙂 )
It took blueberry scones. I’m still embarrassed that I stood there crying over scones. My heart still hurts that I am not the good mother, wife, or woman that I once was. I wish I had that inside of me to give to the people that I love right now. But I am so thankful for the blueberry scones last week. I am thankful for the painful wake up call they gave me. I am thankful for the brutal reminder and contrast they gave me. It pushed me into making the appointment with the doctor I need to see instead of putting it off, holding on, and holding out for longer.
But mostly, more than anything, I am thankful that God was finally able to break through my stubborn head. I hope it doesn’t take public humiliation like a breakdown in the bakery for you. 🙂 But if there is anything you are struggling with, if there is anything in your life that you have decided to just “hold on” until you get through…take my advice. Ask for help. Please. Ask whomever you need to ask. Doctor, husband, wife, friend, mother, father, sister…just ask. Don’t wait until you have absolutely no other options. 🙂 People do love you and will help you.
Take It, and Be Thankful