Saturday, January 21, 2017

To Be Alive

I wrote the following a year and a half ago.

"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." Articles of Faith #13

It's ironic almost to the point of laughter that this is the scripture we have have been focusing on this month in Primary, children's Sunday school. Almost.

"We have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things." It makes me want to laugh... if only to keep from crying.

It's no secret that life in the Marrott household is never dull. In our nearly fifteen years of marriage we've endured: twelve moves (to include those of the international variety), several separations (of the military variety), fifteen surgeries, sixteen hospitalizations, several family deaths, multiple job losses (though one is technically called a retirement), not to mention the rare medical anomalies, financial challenges, mental health crises, homeschooling, public schooling, military schooling, and the regular, run-of-the-mill, daily grind of family life. Yes, we have endured many things.

I have to admit though, I've been pretty sure lately that I'm not able to endure all things.

The thing is, we seem to go from one crisis to another, with little to no recovery time in between. And I am exhausted. Like, marathon runner exhausted. I've never run a marathon, but I've heard that it takes some time to recover. Your legs are all jello-y and things you take for granted, like walking, are suddenly incomprehensible. This I totally get.

This summer, things I took for granted, you know, like getting out of bed each day, were incomprehensible. Too hard. Too much. It was all so overwhelming and my jelly legs couldn't bare the weight of it. I laid in bed for days at a time, reading, escaping, trying to recuperate.

Something a marathon runner will tell you though, is that even though it can be painful to walk the next day after the race, walking is exactly what you need to be doing. Notice, I said walking, not running. You need to be up and moving, but you could very well seriously damage your body if you push it without allowing it to recover.

Since I wrote that I've started a new career (and was a finalist for First Year Teacher of the Year); I've written, not as much as I'd like, but I have written a few short stories (one of which won an honorable mention in the prestigious contest) and I'm in the beginnings of a new novel; I've made new relationship; I'm fostered and deepened existing relationship; I've read too many books, graded too many papers, cooked too many meals to count. I've kissed my loves a thousand times. All proof that I am indeed up and moving.

But there are times, despite how good life is, how much good I have accomplished, that it's still ridiculously hard to get out of bed. Times when the house is filthy, when the kids eat cereal for three meals a day. There are times when papers go ungraded and plans go unexecuted. Not long ago, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my neck and spine and arthritic joints in various other parts of my body, which has slowed me down. I continually struggle with PTSD triggers, though it is getting better. I am recognizing triggers and set backs sooner and processing and recovering faster. All things considered, time marches on. The world steady turns in its orbit. And, for better or worse, I am making my mark on the world everyday. For that I am grateful. 

Every moment I am given, I will keep moving on. To struggle is to progress. To struggle is to learn and to love. To struggle is to hone purpose. To struggle is to be alive. Keep calm and carry on, my loves. Every day is a godsend.

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