January always seems to strike hard and leave me somewhat bewildered and flustered. Not, certainly, by the weight of countless New Years resolutions; I gave up on those sometime in adolescence. I may not have had much self-awareness then but I knew this: I am fickle.
Somehow January gathers around it all of the Un-done, like a hangover from the previous year. E-mails, bills, tax returns, multiple car hassles, official letters that have lain for months in a threatening pile. At the very same time it conscientiously assumes responsibility for the burdens of the 11 months following it. And so I find myself drowning in To-do’s: thank you’s, phonecalls, dentist, tyres, cheques, fundraising and how the hell do you Air-Care your car? (bloody Canada). I can’t even find the eye of the storm – if I could do that I would at least know where I was. But instead here I am, dizzy from circling, exhausted from worry and terrified something might fall through the cracks.
I hate being a grown-up.Way back in the day, when I was that fickle teenager, being a grown-up seemed amazingly sophisticated and meant one thing: freedom. Having your own house, driving, a credit card (we’ll gloss over the job….and maybe the kids). But the small print of freedom and self-determination is burdens and responsibilities. I’m hardly wanting to return to those days of furious blushing, zits and teenage-girl-power-games but I’d still like to find somewhere to hide from the army of To-do lists that grow legs in my dreams and chase after me with drawing pins.
So I’ve upped my intake of herbal stress meds and increased my merlot dosage. I try and take on Jayber’s mantra: ‘Even the end of the world wouldn’t be the end of the world’, but it isn’t really cutting it. Probably because 1) I’m a perfectionist and a control freak, and 2) It’s easy for Jayber to hold forth when family ‘management’ gets delegated to me. Not that I’m bitter……
I wrestle with what my faith means in broad daylight. If I pray will God send me a personal assistant, a nanny? Will the piles of letters and sinister To-do lists disappear? Cheesy faith and one-line answers I no longer have any patience for. He says we are to have freedom, peace, joy. Not as some pie in the sky aspiration but knowing the world in which these things are to have their context. (I’d like to argue that 1st century Palestine didn’t have car insurance premiums and canadian bureaucracy, but I think that misses the point). Somehow I get to rant and rail and ask for help and help comes: perhaps not in the prescribed form, but it helps nonetheless. My job is to prise my sticky little fingers off my worries and stresses and admit that I can’t cope and that is probably the hardest part. Truth be told I still want to be in control, to be self-sufficient. As my son would say, “I want to do it MYSHELF’.
The thing is, self-sufficiency is a bit tiring and not much fun for those who have to live with me. I can’t make up my mind if it seems too easy or just too hard to ask my Father for help.Dying to my pride and handing myself over to the mystical or living with a head full of stress and a heart full of worry. I’m such a stubborn eejit.
Right, enough pontificating. I’m away off to ask for some help – freedom, joy and peace are looking good right now. Good enough to get off my high horse for.