My life is extremely peaceful. I live in the country. No kids in the house. We eat simply. Housecleaning and laundry are minor ordeals. In general, I'm pretty relaxed most of the time.
Life has taken on a different view from my window. Serene might be a good word for it. I'm a calmer me.
Not too many years ago, the clock dominated my life. Tick, tick, get breakfast ready. Tick, tick, make lunches and sign homework slips so the kids can race off to school. Have dinner ready by a certain time. Get that laundry done. A new basketball or volleyball season meant schedules revolved around the game list on the refrigerator. There were always things to do with four active young people in the house.
Now, the refrigerator's surface is pretty bare. The house is quiet. The stress level is low. Things that drove me to high energy and sometimes pull-your-hair-out emotions are gone. But it wasn't always like that.
Through most of my kids' growing up years, I worked—eighteen years in Christian education, several years in preschool and daycare, and a couple of years in retail. Working and keeping up with housework and cooking and, of course, the delightful hours with the family fueled my existence. At age forty, as if I wasn't busy enough, with my second son starting college, I joined him to finish up a degree. Now, that was a stressful time in my life! But I accomplished what I set out to do, despite the hectic lifestyle. Also, in between living and working, I directed full-stage theatrical productions with a bevy of period costumes, many that I sewed, and too many staging challenges to list.
Life was busy and full—and in some really weird way, extremely satisfying.
As much as I love being a writer and getting to savor country living, there's so many things I miss. Not all at once. But in the quiet, I miss the noise my kids used to make as they chattered non-stop with each other. I miss the tv running late at night and me slipping out of bed to watch an old West Wing episode with my son. I miss a sink-full of dirty dishes after a homemade pizza and movie night. In the mountainous beauty around me, I miss living in the city and taking a long drive in the country and oohing and aahing over the perfectness of the settings, wondering how people in the country live. Silly, huh?
Today, the house is quiet, except for when the phone rings with a telemarketer trying to sell me something or when the dogs bark excitedly at a passing delivery truck--the thrill of their day.
The quiet tempo of my silence makes me yearn for the sounds of yesterday, because it's absent of that which once defined me. But it's a changing time. Still. Just when I think I've adjusted, it's there again to remind me. In my peacefulness, something is missing.
It's time for me to find a new challenge. A new place of being needed or useful. Because we all need that. The peacefulness of my spirit is a blessing. But it's time to be revived and inspired again.
Did I change? Yes. Did life change around me? Oh, yes. And I must change with it. But sometimes my ability to change needs a little time to catch up.