I had a freakishly unsettling situation occur yesterday: I had nothing to do. I mean, nothing on my SCHEDULE to do. As the day started, I had an event before school, followed by a volunteer opportunity at said school shortly after, but was told I wasn’t needed. So, by 8:15 in the morning, my schedule was clear.
ALL THE WAY clear.
My brain should have screamed: “Woohoo! I’ve got 6 hours to use! I can finally get those errands run! I can FINALLY mop the floor! I can write a new post for my blog!” So many opportunities! So much time!
But instead, I stopped dead in my tracks, like a deer in headlights. “Oh my gosh! I’ve got 6 hours! What should I do?! I don’t want to waste it! God gave me this day; I really can’t squander it. What is the best use of my time here? How can I feel useful? I have all this TIME! Shouldn’t I be working? Shouldn’t I be doing something to not use up the space and resources that abound on this planet? Who CARES if my floor is mopped?! I don’t have anything to say on my blog; I just can’t think.”
It. Was. Paralyzing.
What is wrong with me?! I should have been elated! But instead, I felt like a big-ole lump of lazy human, taking up the air that people were actually turning into energy used to earn the money they were working so hard to earn.
This same phenomenon has plagued me on and off since dear Hubby mentioned that he didn’t want his soon-to-be-wife to have to work.
“How about if your wife WANTS to work, honey?”
“Oh, no, no. That’s not necessary. I’ll take care of you.”
Bless the man.
So I stopped working…and instead began pacing the halls like a caged leopard. Every moment seemed like an eternity. Every breath felt wasted. I could physically hear the clock in my mind, taunting me with every tick and toc. Surely I was put on this earth for more than just pacing.
I needed to fill the time. My workouts increased to two hours each day (Ok, an hour of gabbing and an hour of exercise; lets be realistic here.). Then my penchant for volunteering sprung to life as if raised from the dead. Need help tutoring? Sure, I’ll do it. Habitat for Humanity? Sign me up! Too many papers to file? I got your back. Whatever it was, I just couldn’t bear the hollow echoes of my empty home. I kept feeling like I was wasting the time God gave me.
Until. The. Day.
The day I had kids. My beautiful, amazing, life-giving (and life-sucking) cherubs who turned out to be harder than any job I’d ever had in my life! Harder, more punishing, and far more rewarding. My babies filled my days with noise, life, activity, music, arguments, and an endless to-do list. I think they were an answer to prayer for me in more ways than one, taking away this aching, nagging feeling in my heart that I should be doing more with my life, more with the time God gave me.
This is where the “God-lesson” comes in; I can hear in my own words how “the hole in my heart needed to be filled by Jesus”, and “He loves you for YOU, not for what you do”. I know. I know.
I know this is true. Just as true as it is that when my body is idle, my mind is driving overtime. Spinning in terrible circles until I’m so dizzy I can’t think straight. I also know that anxiety is me trying to take control of what God has rightful control over. But that doesn’t stop this same mind from burying me in a worry hole so deep that hardly any light shines through. The truth of God’s love, provision, and grace are as real to me as the sun on my face; and still (not “yet”, and not “but”), STILL my mind cannot slow down.
Both of my boys have ADHD and some Sensory Processing issues (SPD), and, I am sadly learning, it appears as though maybe I am the culprit. In all of my research for the boys, I have learned that minds with makeups such as ours don’t always process and receive the information around them peacefully. There are sensory “seekers” and sensory “avoiders”; each of which seeks or avoids input in order to calm their minds down. Seekers need constant activity, noise, light, or stimulation in order to feel calm. In other words, when the world is crazy around them, they are as cool as a cucumber. (“I’m an island of calm in a turbulent sea.”) Avoiders need all stimuli to vanish in order to feel the same peace.
Noise aside, I think I may be a seeker: I need to be active, I always want background noise (QUIET background noise…like birds), I love light, I love colors and patterns, I love to be rushed, I love having too many things to do, and I am a whiz at multi-tasking.
So if you leave me with an open schedule, and my noise-makers in school, I’m a little lost puppy left with too much time to come up with stuff to worry about. And MAN, am I good at worrying! Like, PhD good!
Fear not. I know that having a PhD in worry is not something about which to boast, and I’m not proud of it. In fact, I’d give my right arm to get rid of it. However, after all this time, I’ve finally come to peace with the fact that God is good and loves me just as much as He would if I never worried again. God gave me the mind He gave me. Why? I’ll never know. But I have what I have and need to realize that I’m doing the best I can and letting God do the rest. Anxiety is the thorn in my side, I guess…
And to that end, I found myself, once again, at the helm of the worry-ship.
A whole day open? God, please don’t let me waste it. Please forgive me for not being useful. Help me to find the time in this open day to fill myself with life, peace, and health, that I may pass it on to others.
As I look over this post, I can’t even BELIEVE I would dare write about the trials of having an open day. Before I blink, I won’t have time to tie my shoes or go to the bathroom.
Well, I guess FULL days will be the subject of the next post.
I like to keep you hoppin’.