This Too Shall Pass

me and my buddy-buds

Ever think Life is exhausting?

Just as we feel We are getting a handle on one thing, two more things that need doing roll onto our plate.

I get through mailing all my eBay packages, just as other items are ending (speaking of, here are my current listings).

I feel like I’m on top of my task set at work, only to realize two things were laid on my desk and buried under files earlier in the week.

I think that the small group I’m leading is vibrant and healthy, and guys leave for lack of connection.

And, of course, that’s just the “work”. I’ve also got the writing pursuits, the well I am trying to get funded, social events to attend, and a wife and son with whom I want to spend time. I hate to say it, but even as my relationships to my family and God are of greatest importance to me, they sometimes require the most effort to prioritize.

I’d love to say that I juggle all these things well, but I don’t. On my best day, everything is getting a “B+” to “A-” effort with “C” to “D-” results, but I don’t see that while I’m in the midst of it. The grades don’t matter as much as attendance does. Sometimes the best I’ve  got is being present and investing what little bit of myself I have at any given point in the day.

I flog myself over this stuff. I really do. I developed a streak of narcissism (officially undiagnosed) somewhere in high school, so I feel that my ideal self is a charming, efficient, and productive fella, and that this ideal self should be able to deliver in every facet of existence, from task management to social engagement. Oh, and since my ideal self is natural, I should be that ideal self every day. And of course, when I inevitably go day-in and day-out not being my ideal, I loathe myself for it. It’s a toxic cycle. Most of my prayer journals have a motif of unhealthy self-abasement until Scripture comes to mind and pulls me back to the truth of things.

But I’m also reminded, gently, either through prayer or interpersonal relationships, that I’m not in the easiest season of life: maintaining multiple income streams with a four-month old while keeping some semblance of a social life should be a challenge—-any one of those three things alone is a challenge.
And I have to remember, things won’t be this way forever—-maybe not even much longer. Landon will sleep through the night eventually. I’ll get into a gig that does not require the added hustle. My wife and I will find new rhythms of spending time, and the writing will get done, slowly but surely (if I haven’t quit by now, I’m not gonna).

So why am I writing all this. 

Well, for one, I need to put in my 20 minutes of writing, 6-days a week, because that’s how winning is done.

Second, it’s been a week on the blog since posting, and I am actually seeing traffic, so I gotta get something new on the front. 

Third, it’s a reminder to myself: it’s gonna be alright, and it may even be better now than I think it is.
But most importantly, I want to leave you with three things; if you’ve read this far, you’ve certainly earned them.

First, if you are in a season of difficulty, and you hanging by a thread on the regular just to get by, then stay strong. Chances are that people love you more than you know, your efforts are yielding a harvest you cannot yet see, and you are likely your own worst critic of everything you are doing.

Second, life is cyclical and seasonal. We had a hard summer in my house, and I was even home for six weeks of it, but we’re moving into fall—-the trees have made that clear. The new season will bring new challenges, sure, but it will also bring new joys and new rest.

Three, in whatever way you can, enjoy the life you’ve got. Don’t look at anyone else and think they have it all together. They don’t, and if they do, good for them. Celebrate them. There’s hope for all of us! But in earnest, be present. Set your phone on the nightstand when you arrive home and let it stay there til morning. Let yourself enjoy your food; listen to a favorite song while you sit calmly with your eyes closed. Stand in the shower an extra minute and a half. Whatever moments come that you can embrace, do it.

Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

Thanks for reading; I hope you are encouraged—-if not by the content itself, then at least by the fact that you probably have it more together than I do. =)

About C.J.:
Enjoy what you are reading??? Let’s connect. I'm currently on Instagram, LetterboxdFlickrTwitter, always as CJstunkard.