It's been an interesting few months. Not long ago, I had this sinking, constant feeling that I was in control of nothing. My temper surprised me, my irritation was an addiction, little things exhausted me. Something had to give. I suppose I should elaborate on the feeling of lack of control: I couldn't control the timing of the adoption or make myself feel all the things I thought I should or make our daughter progress any faster in her journey, I couldn't make Silas any easier in the throes of toddler behavior, I couldn't seem to make myself any more patient with very long question and answer sessions with Nicky, it felt like I was going nowhere at work, and I continued to feel the loss of some things that are better not described here.
I was feeding the wrong wolf; I can see that so clearly now. The answer was not to keep shoving my feet into the shoes that just don't fit, or to force anything else, really. It was to find something I could be proactive about and get to work on it.
Turns out I'm a pretty controlling person. (It's been disappointing to realize this.) I honestly think it was God's hand, directing me to simply let go. Stop forcing. Fill my mind with other things. So I did: I took a leap and started a new job that was demanding of my time and energy, and my wonderful partner in life took up a lot of slack in the process. He wants me well too, and I love him for it.
I think one kind of tiredness is a cure for another kind of tiredness. It's the difference between your hands aching because you've been clenching your fists all day and your feet aching because you've been running with a purpose. That good tired when you fall into bed, when you've earned your sleep. I've found a lot of rest in getting good and tired, and I feel better. My mind feels like it's waking up, more than before.
As for those lack of control things: I've seen our daughter blossom under Ricky's calm and relaxed care, I've learned to enjoy my Silas again, and I now look forward to that moment when Nicky runs in the front door with his million questions and observations. Of course I still get frustrated from time to time, but I don't wear it like a heavy overcoat these days. Thanks be to God; I can say it with my whole heart.
I don't think the issue was ever actually about my children. Sure, parenting is such hard, self-exposing work, but there are other things in my life that felt wrong for such a long time that I was trying to keep plugging away at, and that created a toxicity that had to come out somewhere.
There are still things I don't know what to do with, but not everything is fixed right away (or at all, perhaps.) I can carry on. I've come to believe that it's okay to put things on a shelf and distract myself with the good. When the right time comes, I'll feel compelled to take them down, examine and work through them. In the meantime, I'm not forcing anything. I'm not enslaved to anyone's formula. I'll try to be better at listening, knowing we're all carrying quite a load around.
It comes back to this, over and over: walk gently through the world. Look for the goodness of God. Rejoice when you find it; rejoice with the people around you who see it too. Whoever they are, wherever you find them.
So I'm trying to look around, all the while feeling quite vulnerable and oh-so-tired. We're all in some stage of healing I suppose.