Monday, October 1, 2012

it's all rather inglorious

Seriously.  I want to finish this book.  I do.  Maybe, probably, most definitely more than anything else I want to do.  Actually, there are quite a few things I would like to do: finish painting the second coat on my fabulous red wall; reorganize my closet; write the ten blog posts I have compiled notes and outlines for; take my kids to the park; watch a movie; finish a baby blanket I started in May, so that I can finally send it to my newest nephew who is now 3 months old and it may be too small for; fold the four loads of laundry eyeing me from the couch; go grocery shopping; finalize my homeschool schedule; be on time (for anything); get a hair cut; purge my house of all junk; tidy up my garden (aka finish the clean up after harvest everything died).  You know, stuff.  The problem is I am tired.  Not sleepy.  Not fatigued.  I am bone weary, wake-me-next-March, my-soul-is-collapsing, are-you-talking-to-me, brain-fogged, bleary-eyed, numb.

I know.  That last sentence doesn't even make sense.  Sigh.

Here's the only way I know how to explain it, and I can't even take credit for this analogy, my dear sister and my dear, dear husband both brought this running parable into the mix.  Surely, I can't be responsible for a running metaphor.  I despise running.  Nevertheless, this is the best way to explain it:

The Marathon.

The long haul.

That ancient race of champions that, quite honestly, baffles me.  That is what this last year has been like.  I started off confident.  Going along at a smooth pace, sure I could finish the race, even not knowing where the finish line was.  I have had moments when I have had to change my pace, slow down and walk.  Moments when I graciously...  er, not so graciously, took a pause to purge the poison working its way out of my system, my vomit of biting tears and angry, bitter words projecting onto the pavement, splashing up and staining my shoes.  I've had moments of second winds and straight ways that provided slight reprieve and boosts to my energy and little more life to my stamina.  And I've had countless supporters cheering me on, standing on the sidelines, offering sustenance and aide, handing me life-giving water, energy-boosting gel, the occasional towel to mop my brow with and thousands of words of encouragement.  Willing me to finish, and to finish well.

I wish this was me.  I wish I was this energetically, enthusiastically exuberatant about my race coming to an end.

Physists are geniuses.
I wish that now with the finish line in sight, I could burst forth with a glorious surge of speed and sprint to the end.  It took me a few days to figure out why this isn't the case.  Why when my husband asked me a few days ago, "Aren't you so excited?  Just think, in a few weeks I'll be there to take so much work off your plate.  You're life is about to get infinitely easier", my response was a non-commital, flat, "Ehh."  Why, when I now know my husband is so soon to return, do I feel like I'm falling apart and can't keep anything together?  Why, when I should be exuberant and joyful at the thought of this nightmare finally being over, can I barely function?  Why are my legs collapsing beneath me when the finish line is so close--the distance so insignificant that on any other given day I could practically leap that far blindfolded with my shoelaces tied together?  Simple: this isn't any given day, this isn't any old run through the neighborhood.  This isn't just any three week period of time.  This is three weeks at the end of a very long, very taxing year.  This is that hateful last six miles of the marathon.  And my legs are giving out because they are feeling the burn and ache and muscle disintegration that was the first 20 miles of the race.

This is a startlingly accurate depiction of me.  On the very verge of collapse.
But alas, I will make it to the end.  I will endure.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
And when my husband steps off that plane-at some relatively soon future time still to be determined-I will release my last store of energy in a final burst of speed, racing straight into his arms.  Then, I will promptly collapse.

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