I didn't know I was going to be in survival mode this year, but the way the year started out may have been a good indication. Not to say that there haven't been tons of wonderful times this year; so many ways we were blessed; so many wonderful new friends who have been made and old friends we've grown closer with. But this year freaking kicked my ass.
In every single aspect of my life, I can hardly imagine more trials being thrown at me and us. Disappointments and VERY difficult clients at work. The hardest Junior League Placement you could possibly imagine (though the VERY best friends were made through this VERY stressful time). Every imaginable issue you can think of trying to sell our house and move. And on top of all that, no baby. The thing we desire most; that we've spent so much time and money on still eludes us. It exhausts us and tries us and takes all my tears.
In a marathon of a weekend a few weeks ago, I read Magnolia Story on the plane rides from Cincinnati to Albuquerque and felt like God was speaking to me through the words of Joanna Gaines. I cannot tell you how many times and how many people this year, when asked 'how are you', I've answered "I'm surviving." What a way to live. And then I read this that Saturday:
"Shortly after I sat on the couch at the Castle Heights house and really noticed for the first time that I wasn't happy, even though I'd worked so hard to make everything look perfect, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. I was exhausted all the time, and I said to this friend: 'I feel like I'm just surviving at this point. I'm not thriving.... Then I got to thinking about the bigger picture: if I'm going to sit around all day and say I am 'just surviving' every day, well guess what? When a big wave comes along someday, I won't be surviving - I'll be drowning!...
...I have to choose to thrive, even in the pain. Even when it's tough."
I'd love to say I read that and then changed the way I thought about life right then. That I started spending more time in the Word. That I restructured my priorities. That I started saying NO to things. Quite the opposite actually. And today. Today, I feel as though I'm drowning. Today, I cried so hard in my husband's arms I literally could not breathe.
And I'm sure you would never guess this. I'm sure from the outside, our life looks pretty perfect. But it's HARD maintaining perfection; HARD to constantly perform at that level - and that's what it is, performing.
I'm not exactly sure what 2017 has in store for me and us. I hope and pray that it's a baby. But I also know, that 2017 will NOT look like 2016 one way or another. Life is too short to be drowning in a job that pays well but I hate. To let volunteering suck the life out of me. To do anything because I SHOULD be doing it and not because I throughly enjoy doing it.
I choose to thrive in the pain. And I don't know what that looks like, but I promise to share. To not be Instagram perfect.