Reflecting on the wild 2022 ride

I’m slowing down slowly. Regaining my balance is tedious work. Right now the more I rest the more I need rest. I anxiously put out of my mind the thought of returning to life as it was before the holidays.

In retrospect we lived 2022 with a baggage of fear. Last year before Christmas Conrad was going in for cancer surgery during the pandemic and another wave of covid deaths, and I was taking Jackie to audition to enter the music school. On one hand I was trying to maintain a sense of normality for the kids. But at what cost. I realize I started to dissociate and put out of my mind the very heavy stuff. Much of the fear I didn’t even discuss with Conrad.

Today, after coffee, we talked about how I see the year that passed. I finally see it more clearly. I dived into all the activities and met all the people taking only minimal time and space for myself. After a cancer diagnostic we tend to grip life tighter, and do, and be.

Yesterday Conrad’s grandmother died. In her sleep. She was ready. Tired of life though she lived well. At 95 the body aches more than gives you any pleasure. She lived well. She is home with Jesus. But I can’t help but marvel at the shortness of life, even after 95 years. Life is but a breeze.

I worry about disappointing people when I’ll have to say no to a lot of things this year. I’m anxious and overwhelmed at the thought of saying yes to most things.
I’ve already committed to the ROM conference in Croatia in June, and hiking hut to hut in Austria in July with my psalm class. Then dad wants us to go to Vermont for Grammies memorial in early June. And there is still work to do and school to attend and kids to raise and relationships to tend to. Church to build community with, and adoptive moms to hang out with and encourage. There is also Polylogos with its slew of programs we believe in, and neighbors to befriend. See? It’s madness.

So I sit here in silence with my tea, the dog always snuggled against my side sleeping deeply. Hopefully the girls fell asleep upstairs after a swim and a drive into town.

This life of ours, hacked as Conrad says, comfortable to a fault. Yet challenging in the most mundane details. Kids needing our steady comfort and abundant love, clarity, boundaries and guidance. We need to find and hold on to the moments of togetherness without kids so we can come back to them joyous and refocused.

2023 is a mystery. For the first time I know I don’t know how it will actually turn out. The kids will be a bit older. And so will we. I hope we won’t get sick. I hope we’ll fight the good fight. I hope we’ll finish the year encouraged and not as spiritually and emotionally spent as we feel at the end of this marathon year. May we be wise.