Thursday, December 5, 2013

Being still


As the end of the year approaches, I'm feeling quiet. I haven't much to say and I haven't much motivation to say whatever little I have to say. I just want to be still. I want to stop thinking, stop planning, stop feeling stressed about what may or may not be. I just want ... stillness.

I typically feel this way at the end of each year. Things have come to an end and I withdraw into myself for a little bit. The year is done. As for the new year, nobody can really tell what it will bring, so there's little point in planning for it. There's nothing that has to be done. I don't have to show up, I don't have to represent. Right now feels like a moment suspended in time, when nothing happens. And I am grateful for it. Especially this year.

Parenting-wise, 2013 was the true beginning of the reality of having two children. Babydoll sat up, crawled and walked, and that was the start of parenting two. One more child means one more hand to hold as we cross the road, one more person to dress in the morning, one more person to put to bed at night, one more person offering fingers and toes for kissing, one more person asking for hugs. That's the good stuff. One more child also means one more tantrum to resolve, sibling fights, one more person making demands.

I'm not complaining at all. The good stuff always outweighed the bad and the bad stuff was never that bad. Having said that, it's not been an easy year. I don't have any specific memories of the bad stuff (forgetfulness is a blessing) but 2013 leaves me with the impression that it was a stressful year.

Many times, I felt as if I was the glue that held everything together, that I was the engine that kept things going. Most days I would just go through the motions without stopping to think. Just do whatever needs to be done. Then there would be that odd day when I would be feeling quite pissed off, tired and fed up, and wishing that, instead of me being the caretaker and the decision-maker, someone would take care of me for a change.

My favourite Christian hymn is "Be still and know that I am God". It really is my favourite - when I sing it in church, it brings tears to my eyes. I sing it to myself often, softly. It gives me momentary reprieve, a brief lifting and lightening of burdens, reassurance and a deep sense of calm.

To just be still and know that everything is ok. To stop rushing about from work to preschool to nanny to classes and just be still. To not have to plan ahead all the time - and we are not talking about college here, just the simple day-to-day things like making sure the water bottles are filled up or deciding when to put up the Christmas tree. To stop feeling like my house needs to be tidied up otherwise it will turn into a slum (it already has). To stop feeling the constant urge to check my social media feeds. To be able to have the luxury of a nap, or to oversleep in the morning, without the fear that something will go wrong because I'm not there to make sure it goes right. To have someone else notice that the leak in my roof is seeping into my wall and get it fixed. To be reassured that there's someone who is sharing the responsibilities and the burdens of life with me, so that things will be all right if I need a time out. To stop hearing the noise.

Being still. That's what I want right now.

[Photo above was taken by me at Pura Luhur, Uluwatu, Bali]

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