Saturday, February 26, 2011


It's been a long time since I've done of these. My journals are all the same way. Spurts of activity followed by unexplicable spans of silence. I've always wondered at my inability to commit to journaling, and now evidently, to blogging. Perhaps it's due to overall busyness, perhaps to lack of material, perhaps to feeling frivolous for writing about every day things.

One of my very first posts talked about how the repetitive aspects of life are sometimes the most assuring, the most solidifying, and most central aspects of our life. I still agree with that. But the past four months have reminded me, yet again, that the repetitive can stifle, even silence, our soul's screams for something greater than the repetitive.

Over the pat four months, my most common everyday has resulted in the following: dozens of dinners eaten in installments between managing crisis at work or giving the baby a bath at home, dozens of nights going to bed alone while my husband works til the wee hours of the morning on some grad school assignment or research, dozens of nights sleeping no more than 3 hours at a time before being woken by a baby's cries, dozens of hours watching useless television shows because I lack energy to do anything else, multiple opportunities to meet with other encouraging people stopped because I was sick or the baby was sick or we were just too tired. And the list goes on.

I woke up to my life in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon and realized it is careening towards a precipice I didn't even see. And as one does when careening towards a precipice, I abruptly sat down to take stock. If any of you have abruptly sat down in the middle of careening, you know it's a terribly painful thing. One minute you think you're holding all the pieces of your life together like a champion, and the next, they are scattered so far you can't even imagine what they looked like together. It is at this point a person has a choice, to either draw further into the self, gather the pieces of your life you can pick up and put it together as best as you can, or to recruit others to gather all your pieces for you and wait patiently while you gather enough courage to begin the rebuilding process.

I chose the latter. Through many tears and many moments of feeling suffocated by the very life I have allowed to build up around me, I have begun the process of recruiting others. Here's the thing though, helping one another is quickly becoming a lost art. Despite multiple people knowing I was going through a very difficult time, not just internally but externally as well, very few actually pursued me to find out how I was doing. Most people were responsive when I pursued them but very few pursued me, and most only after I asked them to. A few people came to my aid time and time again, or offered help in ways I couldn't have even imagined asking for...and those people were my recruits.

I recognize I run the risk of harping an old theme, but it seems to me the art of asking for help, offering help, and receiving help are very lost. I wonder what the consequences will be...what extra burden will fall to my family as we grow older if I don't ask for help, am not offered help, or can't receive the help others are giving? And how do I teach my children what it means to help others, to ask for help, and to be helped? Because it is a lost art, to the point people offer help but when you accept it, they withdraw their option; as if the act of offering was help enough in and of itself.

There are keys to giving and receiving help of course, but the biggest one is the most difficult, time. Giving and receiving help means being available, and losing any senses of entitlement to our own time. That the day isn't about what I want to accomplish, or not accomplish. But time is not something we have in abundance any longer, so any act of helping another directly means we have to re arrange, and too many things in our lives can't be schedules, deadlines, bills to be met. What have we created? A life style that is so rigorous we all struggle along needing help, but because it's so rigorous, we have no opportunity to give or receive help, much less realize we need it.

I don't really have answers to all of these things; I've just realized over the past week I have a terribly hard time asking for help, and when I did, I realized why...because the majority of requests will fall on busy ears, and pieces of my life will remain scattered a little while longer.

1 comment:

  1. I love your thoughts... I love knowing your mind... and I want to be with you every moment of every process of every day...


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