|"Snowstorm" in Charlotte|
I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. - Philippians 4:11-13
Ever been lost? My sister, Amy, gets lost everywhere she goes. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere. When we were younger, she never had to rely upon any sense of direction because I was older and where I led, she followed. Actually, she hopped incessantly...but that's a whole 'notha blog. When she started college, she was a mess. She'd get lost on the same subways we had rode since middle school. She couldn't understand how the whole uptown/downtown thing worked and assumed if a train said it was going to Queens, it must be the right one. One year, NYC experienced a citywide blackout. I instructed her she needed to walk home across the 59th Street bridge. Her response? "WHERE IS THAT?!" (And yes, it was on 59th Street.)
Luckily, I rarely get lost. I've also never really had a hard time feeling like I "fit in." I've had moments of awkwardness, sure. However, until all the infidelity was discovered, leading to the separation and divorce, I never felt "lost".
Let me rewind to a Saturday night a few months back. A friend had invited me over for a girls' night at her house, but I couldn't go because I had no one to watch my kids. I stopped by to drop off something I had bought for the party and as I left, I felt that familiar feeling wash over me again. It was the feeling of being lost in between two worlds, seemingly having no place to belong. Yes, I have a family. I'm incredibly lucky to have two children I'm raising, experiencing both the glamorous and the not-so-glamorous moments in parenting. We do the family things; food shopping, cartoons, baths, meals, tantrums, hugs, kisses etc. Although they drive me insane sometimes, I am unbelievably privileged to be their mom. However, I'm also a single woman. Here in suburgatory, single parents aren't found too often. It's sometimes awkward going to family and school functions, being the only single parent there. Almost every single mom (and maybe single dads too) I know identifies with this feeling of being caught in between two worlds. It's easy to feel forgotten. Life as you planned it is passing you by and there is nothing you can do about it.
On that Saturday night, I ended up taking the kids out and had a great time just being with them. A outdoor band was playing and my son shook his bony little butt like nobody's business. (I don't know where he gets it, I swear.) I laughed, but I had no one to share the moment with and once again, that feeling returned. I looked around at all the families walking around that night and couldn't help the "why me?". This is never the way I pictured my life looking and it sure isn't the way I wanted it.
As soon as that thought passed in my mind though, I immediately regretted it. I looked at my kids. They were happy, healthy and exhibiting pure tomfoolery in public. Parenting them is tough sometimes but they also bring me joy like I have never known. I am healthy. I have a great job. I have wonderful friends. I have a nice car. I have a nice house. I have a great family. And on this night, I really could not ask for more.
I'm not lost. I've just detoured off the planned route. However, I'm learning to enjoy the detour, because life is still happening here. I don't want to miss out on this part of my life, and especially of my kids' lives, because I am so worried about getting back on track. Even though there is sometimes rough terrain, I know that I am right where I'm supposed to be.
What have you learned on life's detours?