Monday, December 19, 2016

Braiding Life

As a writer, I live in the perpetual limbo between having just written something I'm proud of, worrying I haven't written something to be proud of, and wondering if I have it in me to write something whether I can be proud of it or not, ever again.  Neurotic and stupid, I know.

As a mother, I spend half my time waiting, counting the minutes until they are all home, and the other half wondering how in the world can I help manage all these people, I never have enough time.  It is every mom's lament, never quite getting to everything, never quite feeling like we're as present as we're called to be. I know, I am anxious about many things.

As a teacher (teaching assistant), I get to be the cheerleader and the gentle reminder, without having to craft the lesson. I can be a tough grader. I don't make the phone calls.  It is like being a teenager in the adult world, half the responsibilities.   Here, I admit, I am not anxious in the least except I have a stack of children in my head, teens who I wish somehow, I could reach, but who keep drifting further into lives of their own shaping, lives which may have more peaks and valleys, more pains and sharp joys than I know.

In each of these worlds, the other two don't seem to interact, and I wonder how to braid all three into a breathable life, where I can be published, be a mom, and be a teacher.  How do I give all that need be given to teaching, parenting and writing?  When I'm not writing and haven't had success in a while, I have to wonder, am I still a writer> (The answer is yes, just not a paid one).  It's rather like the joke I used to make when people would ask me, "Do I work?" With ten kids, the answer is yes.  The benefits are great, the pay, not so much.   I am all these things and more than I planned, even when I'm not living up to it wherever it is.  I've never been good at braids.

Yet, this is the goal of life, to be like the Trinity, a mystery of three fully distincct beings of personhood in one God. I have three fully rendered roles God asks of me, and the goal is to weave them into a seamless thread of one.

How do I make sure I do not simply wring myself out in the process of doing all that a day requires?  I do not know, I only know it is a growing pain which will require the role of Mom, of writer, and of teacher all be stretched outside of their comfort zones, if all three are to thrive.

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