Sunday, September 21, 2014

On Fighting for Peace

Someone recently said to me in a whiny voice, "But, You and Billy have the perfect life."


Listen friends, I'm big on gratitude...gratitude for all things...and being responsible for your own happiness...and self care...and living the life you want to live...and not whining...and well...all that jazz.  But seriously, the "perfect life" we have is news to me.  And, my facial expression to my friend said just that.

This has been said to me before you know.

Said to me -- ALWAYS -- on the day my car just got flat tire #2 in the same week, and I'd run right down and buy a new set -- only -- I'm still rebuilding the emergency fund I emptied on car repairs LAST month. The same day my child calls from another state with kidney stones...right before the principal calls from school around the corner saying my other child received a referral for being disrespectful and sarcastic to the sub (sarcastic?  Huh?)...followed by Eli walking in the door with yet another set of broken glasses...and we're all hungry and outta groceries because it's right about NOW I realize I've put too much on my business plate to even think about house keeping duties. And, looking around, that's been the case for quite awhile now.  I mean really, is Eli the ONLY second grader up until 10 pm just because his parents forget to put him to bed?

I'm not even joking people.

According to my mother, it's like Home Alone around here all.  the.  time.

But, maybe, that's what "perfect life" means to some people?!?!?!?!?!

I asked Billy once how in GOD'S GREEN EARTH do we give people the "perfect life impression"? Seriously, we are both happy to sit and discuss the finer points of our ACTUAL life with just about anyone who seems interested.  B just shrugged and said, "We must have VERY good attitudes."


The last 2 weeks have been weird for me.

Our studio added a few new classes for littles, which require a lot of prep work on my part, and a couple of new teachers, and new private clients, and throw in a couple of very fun little birthday parties......all while B was out of town...and my oldest was very ill...and well, the day mentioned above was a REAL DAY in the life of the RamFam just about two weeks ago.

And, the excitement of it all was just enough to throw off my internal rhythm.  The past couple of weeks, I've forgotten things I NEVER forget -- like to actually GO TO WORK!  Yikes!  When your student calls and says, "Are you coming"?  And, ya well, that's a sign my brain is over full and important things are spilling out.

I've had a physical feeling of excitement?  Nervousness?  Anxiousness?  Fear?  What the what?  It's been hard to put my finger on.  Like I just couldn't get my adrenaline to shut off.

It's affected my ability to eat (which 17 months post wls still requires concentration on my part).  It's affected my ability to remember things OBVIOUSLY...and my sleep...thus making me feel MORE crazy.

I just haven't been able to shake the buzzy, zippy feeling associated with my perfect life.  So to speak.

I've talked to my family, asked and received help. I've required the RamFam teens to step up their contributions.  Including choosing to fly Hosanna to be with Liz during a minor surgery.

I've taken the time to MAKE sure I was eating well...taking my supplements...praying.

I've made sure I was not just on "Introvert Overload" and had some quite time.

I've prioritized things that bring me joy like being outside, reading.

I confessed to a friend, "Maybe it's just the pressure of owning my own business.  You know, like if I'm 'good' I make money.  And, if I suck, I don't. So...I ALWAYS have to be 'good'."

I went on a rampage to identify any and every stress inducing thought I might be having.  Frankly, there weren't many.  Yet, I spoke truth to myself.

My shaky feeling seems to be there whether or not I drink coffee, have long talks with college kid insuring she's o.k., or frankly when my emotional state is calm and holding all it's horses.

We googled, and self diagnosed and well, B is convinced it's just 'performance anxiety'.  I do music for a living, and  performance anxiety isn't foreign to me -- although unusual for me to experience the physical symptoms for so long.

So, we make some decisions.  Consolidate lesson plans for next week so there's more repetition and less to remember.  Ask another teacher to handle some of my private clients for awhile -- giving me a little more of a gap to catch my breath.  Commit to call my doctor early in the week...2 weeks in warrants a medical opinion.  Take a gap week before the official fall KM semester starts.  A gap week where I'm running at 50% (vs 300%).

And this morning, I spent quite time in prayer.  I reminded myself that I don't have to lead this shindig.  I just have to pray, try to hear the Holy Spirit and try to cooperate with what He says.  If He opens a door, and I walk through -- that's really all I have to do -- walk though it and do my thing. Do what I do.  He goes before me.  My powerful, good, brilliant, strong, capable God steps before me.

I trust.  I've done this before.  In fact, I've been brave and done things FAR MORE scary than growing my business...and leading large groups of parents in playing with their children.

I remind myself that my current decisions were made in peace.  And, if I made the decision to QUIT it would be out of fear.  And, I would REGRET that.  Maybe not right away, but I would regret it.

I write here.  Because it changes something in me.

I glance at the calendar.  I see a date, soon, where new teachers will take over my classes and I'll go back to "normal" duties.

The holidays will come -- and family will visit.  And Lizzie will come home. We'll cook healthy food AND unhealthy food.  There will be fudge.  My mama's fudge.  We'll wrap our modest gifts in amazing ways, go see lights and get on to the kids for fighting in the back seat.  And, we'll stand around the piano and sing carols -- because well -- everyone plays and everyone sings around here...and music is in this house when it's my job and when it's not my job.

We'll sled and ski -- and it'll be Spring before you know it and then Hosanna will graduate and kid #2 will move off to college....and well....even now this is me reminding myself to look up -- that my life is so much more than my job. And definitely more than just what I have to do THIS week.

Some things will go well.  Great even.  Some things will fail.  We'll keep some things and scratch some others.  And, that's the ebb and flow of it all.

And I look one more time at my busy schedule for the week and shrug and say, "It's JUST a lot of people to bless this week."

And, really, for a little business whose goal it is to simply make our city a more delightful place to live --

To make the burden of the single parent a little lighter
To make the day of the special needs child a little brighter
To take seriously the artisan soul
To raise up tomorrows worship leaders
To make learning the language of music the lovely thing it was always meant to be
To create
To help the young musician get from A to B
To nod yes to the prophetic parent who sees their child succeeding in their future
To create time and space for parents of littles to interact and love

To love.  To love.  To love

A goal to simply make our city a more delightful place to live -- a week to bless A LOT of people -- is really just that.  And, I am thankful.

And, I am momentarily relieved of my racing adrenaline -- and just feel peace.

And, well, peace is worth fighting for when it's necessary.  It's worth figuring out.  And asking for. And drawing near - because He is our Peace.  And then drawing near some more.  It's even worth a doctor's check up.

If you're there -- fighting for peace -- in the midst of your own "perfect life", you're not alone.  We are all pretty much a like.  In fact, you're in good company.  Great company really.  So, keep going.

Blessings and much peace to you friends,