There is Peace in the Stillness… or so they say…

Posted on | November 22, 2011 | 12 Comments

I don’t want to complain.  There are people who have it way worse than I do as the holidays creep steadily closer.  There are people who do not know how they will feed their children or clothe themselves as the winter months are upon us.  There are people facing the loss of a child or a parent as Christmas looms on the horizon.  There are people facing a first Christmas without a child or a parent; a first Christmas without a tree, a first Christmas without.  There are people who have it way worse than I do.

And since I don’t want to complain, I probably should just take a step back from this space for the rest of the week.  Maybe I should erect a tiny prison around my thoughts and words and hold them in until they come out sweeter and more refined.  Because as much as I don’t want to complain, it seems the only thoughts I have are complaints.  I am struggling.  The holidays are hard, so much harder than I thought they’d be.  There were four nail holes to hang four stockings where there are now only three; there were “Our First Christmas” ornaments and “Just Married” ornaments to discard of.  There are place settings that don’t need to be set.

Things are harder at this time of year than I ever imagined they’d be.

But I still have it so good that I have no right to complain.  I have a roof over my head.  I have clothes on my back and shoes on my feet.  I have a bright, happy, and healthy little boy grabbing my hand and swinging it back and forth, back and forth.  I have a sweet, well-adjusted child who, though he sometimes asks if we can set a place at the table for Daddy, knows that Daddy is at “his house” and will not be there for dinner.  I have a wonderful child who gets just as excited about going to see Daddy as he does about coming home to see Mommy.  I have a wonderful child.

I shouldn’t have any right to complain.  I shouldn’t even allow myself to think about the negatives; the negative space in the bed or the negative balance in the accounts.  I should just allow myself to breathe in the sweet scent of my sweet boy and sit quietly until this, too, shall pass.

But it is so hard to sit quietly as the bills pile up and the balance winds down.  It is hard to remember there is peace in the quiet, still moments, when what I feel like doing is spinning and spinning and spinning my wheels.  It is hard to remember that there are people who have it worse.  Because honestly? This feels pretty bad.  As much as I’d like to white wash it and have it emerge sparkly and clean, this feels a lot more like drowning than I ever thought it would.

But there are people who have it worse.  And so I will focus my eyes on something distant, something brighter, something promising… even when I can not quite make out what it is.  Because there will be something brighter… someday.


12 Responses to “There is Peace in the Stillness… or so they say…”

  1. Taming Insanity
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    This is all perfectionism talking. Even the not wanting to complain. Give yourself a break. At this time of year, if no time else, you deserve it (but really, you deserve it every time else too)

  2. Roxanne Piskel
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

    I agree!

  3. R's Mom
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    It’s okay to complain, and to verbalize what is hard for you right now. You’re right…lots of other people have stuff going on that is terrible. But that does not in any way minimize or trivialize or invalidate what you are feeling about your situation. You feel what you feel, and it’s okay to own it.

    Hugs to you during the holiday season.

  4. Jennifer Williams
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 10:14 am

    You totally have a right to complain. Acknowledge your emotions. Let them be what they are and stop trying to be the way you think you are supposed to be. You are supposed to be how you are.

  5. E Hanning Smith
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    It is hard. You do have the right to complain. We are all human. I find myself in the same trap sometimes….I know I should be grateful for my blessings – and I am – but I find myself wallowing. For me, often what helps is volunteering with those in more dire situations in my community. It always has a way of reminding me in a firm way of my blessings and I find myself wallowing less. Helping others, helps me.

    But don’t pull back in your writing. You are entitled to these feelings and I imagine sharing helps.

    I will be thinking of you this Holiday LawMomma.

  6. MaconMom
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Everybody’s reality is different. Sure people have it worse; however, this is worse for you and your reality.

    People who make way more than I do are drowning as much as I am, and they think I have it far worse.

    Please don’t discount your feelings and thoughts. You do have an awesomely incredible child who keeps you going, and for that, you are truly and deeply thankful.

    You have so much going on right now and the holidays just add more. While it adds the fun happy stuff, it also adds the emotional crap. 🙂

    Tie and knot and hang on!

  7. Elizabeth
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 11:49 am

    Totally with you on this one. A friend of mine uses the term “first world problems” – and I love it. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, shoes on my feet… I’m sure the starving children in Africa would gladly trade places.

    But this will be my first holiday season “without” as well. And I know what you mean about wanting to hold your head up – to keep moving forward – to be grateful for the blessings we do have.

    But then I remember the last 5 years… and the hole that’s left.

    My facebook newsfeed blinded me yesterday with a picture of him and his new girlfriend. He was smiling that smile I loved so much, and she was gazing at him in the same adoring way I used to. I ran outside and puked in my yard. Awesome. I knew I’d be replaced at some point, but not this soon…

    First world problems, right?

  8. Anonymous
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    I know just how you feel. You see that picture every time your eyes are closed. I’m sorry for your loss. Wish we could break bread together this season

  9. Chunky Mama
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    The fact that there are other people suffering in the world does not make your own pain any less important or valid. No one can know what you are going through right now, and you cannot compare your own sorrow or worry to anyone else’s. It is real, and it is yours, and it is absolutely okay to feel every bit of it. But as you work through all of that, please always keep in mind that you are loved. Not just by your little boy, but by all the readers whose lives you’ve touched.

  10. Dawn Pigg
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

    A couple of months ago we got good news regarding our son. He had been undergoing genetic testing for several months. We had prayed hard and been completely worried. When we got the news we were over the moon excited. I had this whole big blog post planned where I would shout from the rooftops that our prayers were answered. But then I just felt guilty doing that. I had met friends in the blog world who had kids with life threatening illnesses and it just didn’t feel right to celebrate when I knew they were hurting. In my blog I said I had planned to do that post but didn’t think it was right. The mother whose child is the most ill told me to celebrate and to shout from the rooftops because I was allowed to celebrate and be happy and that it didn’t take anything away from them. I needed that permission to feel okay about it. So, in my long winded way, I’m telling you it’s okay to be upset and complaining. It’s your feelings and your feelings are just as valid as others who may be worse off. Just my two cents!

  11. StartinOverWonderful
    November 22nd, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    Tears filled my eyes when I got to the part about the ornaments. I decorated my tree all by my self after putting my son to bed one night and every ornament that I unwrapped that was “ours” (first home, first Christmas together etc.) made me cry so hard!! And then I packed them back up. I don’t even know what to do with them … I can’t bring myself to throw them away.

  12. Caffeinated Me
    November 23rd, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

    I found your blog by chance when I was going through the most difficult time of my life. When I read what you wrote about your heartbreaks and starting over, it felt as if I was living it with you. Yet you had the strength to move on and share your thoughts, and it gave me some courage to face my pain. And I thank you for that. I believe that you are a strong woman with a good heart, and whatever other people’s problems may be does not diminish what and how you feel – just as others have said.

    Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

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