Thursday, May 13, 2010

Teeter-tottering through life

I used to look forward to the time "when life would settle down."

Do you ever do that? You find yourself anticipating the day when every little thing will fall into place. Days will be smooth and predictable. Problems will ebb, happiness will flow.

It's going to come when you: 

...move into a new house
...start school
...finish school
...start homeschooling
...quit homeschooling
...change jobs
...have children
...have kids who are no longer toddlers
...have kids who are no longer teens
...get the kitchen renovated
...finish that "to be read" stack by the bed
...get a dog
...get rid of the dog
...are not so tired all the time
...are less moody
...are better able to share your feelings
...lose weight
...gain weight closer to family
...don't live as close to family
...are healthier
...don't have as many distractions

There's always the next thing coming that will make life easier. Calmer. More routine and "normal."

What I've found is that there's very little in life that is normal. The common cold, maybe. That's normal. But other than that, there's always something around the corner that will upset our balance and leave us longing for things to "get back to normal." It can be something as simple as a new stage in life, or as serious as an illness. A new friend; the reappearance of an old one. Crises large, small and existential.

But, the older I get the more I see that "normal" and "routine" are relative terms. Abnormal stuff is the stuff of normalcy as far as I can determine. I don't know anyone who thinks they're normal. And the best routine I've come up with is to just let God help me through whatever comes next. There will always be those times when  my end of the seesaw smacks me down to the ground. But it's okay.

I'm settled down enough to know there's really no such thing as settling down.

(Photo courtesy of stock.xchng.)


Anonymous said...

I think I need to learn this lesson too, Karen, so thanks for sharing.

The Bookworm said...

How very right you are!

Kimberlee said...

Oh, Karen, you've articulated so well what I've been trying to convince myself of for years. I do think I'm old enough to know there is no such thing as settling down, but still it's a tempting longing. An awful lot of life goes by during the 'anticipating the day when every little thing falls into place', does it not. On the other hand, perhaps in a way it is really a longing for heaven, when we will always feel at peace and quite settled down.

sarah said...

great post. one of my favourite quotes is, serenity is not to be found in freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm.

Kate Wicker @ Momopoly said...

I'm definitely working on learning this simple but difficult lesson. Thanks for the tutorial. :-)


tanita davis said...


I see I will be waiting forever for a great many things. The trick is understanding that perhaps my time is ... now.

That's actually scary. No more excuses.

KC said...

Yes! I realized this a few years ago, but trying to get my mind to understand and just go with the flow is harder. Especially when the flow is at 100mph.