I woke with the best of intentions. Got ready for my day and headed upstairs where my husband was already hard at work remodeling the livingroom.
He cheerfully gave me a good morning baby and a kiss, and asked what I was up to. I let him know I had to return some tea towels to work, then I wanted to go to Costco for some Epsom salt. Then, like Debbie Downer entered the room, “I hate that store on the weekend.” I’m not sure I’ll go.
Then I mentioned another destination I had in mind. And again, I said, outloud, “I can’t stand going there on a Saturday.”
“Maybe I’ll just drop the towels off and come back home.”
His back was to me, so he didn’t see my eyes lower to the ground, and the look of defeat on my face. He laughed at my indecisive planning.
“I guess I’m not living to well these days.” Not really expecting a response, he lovingly shared one anyhow.
“Well, we will just get through this together.”
I kissed him goodbye with a bit more pep in my step and confidence that I could face the crowds. I returned the towels, and headed straight for the store. I went shopping for myself for some clothes and boots, then headed to Costco. I didn’t make it through the entire store, the rush hour traffic in the meat department did me in. The point is, I went.
The past year was by far one of the more challenging ones in recent memory. I’m currently caring for two grandchildren. I have stepped back into a role I never thought I would have to play. I love these kids and what I know now is that it was all in the Lord’s plan. He gave me the reason to keep going strong. No I may not be living well, but I am living.
These kids give me the purpose. They kick start my day with sleepy eyes and tired voices. They give me hugs and kisses, and tell me they love me a hundred times. They bring smiles to my face when no one else can. I feared smiling, laughing, and enjoying were things of the past. Here I sit throughout my week living them all.
Today, after over 20 years of marriage, the man I call husband may have said the perfect thing.
“We will do this together.”
Nothing more, nothing less. There was no trying to make it better than it was, and he put no guilt on me for where things stood. We are simply here. In a confusing and quiet place. We both accept the reality, we both choose to get through it, together.
I know life could be worse. I know God gives me what I need to get through. I have no doubt in my faith, or in my God above. I may put on a brave face, force smiles and dialogue, battle fatigue and sadness, but who I am in forcing such things is the real me. I am not hiding. I am living.
Perhaps we don’t always do it ‘well’. Some years are better than others. Maybe I am living better than I give myself credit for. Maybe my expectations and reality are sightly misaligned, giving a false negative in the midst of so many positives.
God has blessed me with much. Every day I rise to love, a deeper and wider love than I could ever comprehend. Every day I rise with purpose. It is my goal to limit my daydreaming and to be comforted with the true gift of those in my life who guide me, listen to me, care for and love me.
They love the whole me-especially broken, especially the one who struggles to define living well. They stand by my side, and encourage me along the uneven journey. With them here, the concept of living well does not matter. It is the concept of loving well that paves the way forward. And that is living.