Wrong Side of the Sidewalk

Do you ever feel like you are walking through life on the wrong side of the sidewalk?  Like everyone else is going one way, and you are going the other?  Do you ever feel like everyone else gets the joke but you?  Like they’ve all heard the beginning of the story, and understand the ending?  Like you’re at a dinner party where everyone keeps whispering?  I’m in a season like that right now…

The worst part of it all, is if you ask me to pinpoint exactly what is making me feel that way, I can’t tell you…because I’m not in on it.  That’s the problem!  I feel like so many things in my life are in transition, that I can’t possibly be moving in the right direction.  It feels like I’m almost moving backwards at times; or worse, I’m standing still like a deer in headlights, when I’m supposed to be doing a thousand things at once.  Sure, some will say this is a lack of faith.  I’m sure most of us control freaks will admit that we struggle in the area of really letting go of the things we pray about.  Trust me, I pray about that too.  I’m still a work in progress.  Any mom who says she hasn’t wrung her hands over where her child will go to college, or how they’ll do on their SAT/ACT, or Senior year in general, Christian or not, is just not being honest with herself or anyone else.  We are human, and we are moms; moms worry, by definition, moms worry… ALL moms.

So, I guess if you ask me what is going on with me, I’d honestly say –  life.  The fact that I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a neighbor, a caregiver, a tutor, a dog whisperer… each of these roles has so many unique challenges.  I am so blessed, and I love my life.  I wonder though if I am enough.  Do I make a good enough lunch?  Are the uniforms wrinkled?  Are the uniforms clean??  Did I sign up to volunteer?  Are my kids well-rounded?  Am I helping them enough, but not too much?  I struggle with the comparison game on social media.  Suddenly, if you don’t post pictures on certain days of certain pics, it directly correlates to how much you love your kids.  I’m not sure if you were aware of this fact.  But social media will sell you this lie.  I struggle with the comparison game at school events. Am I dressed to the 9’s, even though I didn’t leave my house all day?  Is my hair and make-up perfect?  Is my body perfectly toned in my 40’s, like I’m in my 20’s?  Did I “assist” with a school project that looks more like a craft project, bake something for the front desk that looks like a shower gift, and craft a goody basket for the teacher’s first day that would fetch $100 at a boutique?  Don’t even get me started on holidays, teacher appreciation, or last day of school.  I’m just as much to blame as the next mom, because I play into the madness thus perpetuating the game.  Who will stop the madness??  Who?

I find myself wondering if I am wearing so many hats, that the really special ones aren’t being showcased.  Am I being spread too thin?  Some call that mom guilt.  Well, I am drowning in it.

I love helping the people in my life.  I am certainly not complaining about that.  I hope that isn’t what this sounds like.  I just feel lost sometimes in finding my own purpose among those tasks.  Maybe that is my purpose though, and I’m just missing the point.    I look at my current life, and there isn’t one thing that I would omit or change.  Well, I might get my kids to listen to directions all the way through on the first time, so that I don’t have to repeat myself 3 times…that would add about 3 hours to each day.  Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I take that back, there is one more thing…I do think now that all the kids are up to speed on the “magic” department, I think they should do some payback and give me their remaining years at home with the Dish Fairy and the Laundry Fairy.  It only seems fair turn of play.  I’m not even asking for money.

I’m just overwhelmed by things I can’t control.  Somethings I can’t even influence.  I keep saying that it feels like I’m in that movie The Fugitive, where he couldn’t get anyone to believe anything he said.  The more he tried to prove his innocence, the more he looked guilty.  That is how I feel when I am trying to take control of things…like no, really listen, I should be in control.  Nope!  I’ve been here before, when the older one was graduating.  I know that I can survive this.  I know that I will grow from this time.

How can a child who literally has to always just go with the flow, and has everyone else take control of her body, telling her what is best for her 24/7 handle life with such grace?  How is she so trusting?  She truly does have the faith of a child.  She trusts that I will take care of her, and that I have her best interests at heart always.  That even when things hurt, they are for her own good.  She doesn’t get angry or bitter, she doesn’t hold a grudge, or grow distant.  She doesn’t run away, or try to take over.  She certainly has never tried to tell me or the medical team how things are going to be done.  Why can’t I learn to be more like her?  Why can’t I have more faith like her?  If anyone has a reason to act up, it would be her; but she doesn’t.

I guess sometimes I get in these funks… I look back and I just question things a little bit, more than I probably should.  Look at my life… what has it been for?  How is this being used?   All of this past pain and heartache.  All of these “lessons”.  Was it wasted?  I just don’t see where I am going.  It feels like I am living each day, with one foot in front of the other; making it to the next day.  Is that what I am meant to do?  Am I really moving in the right direction with my life?  I just want to go in the right direction.  I want all of the things I have been through to mean something.  I want to do something with my life.  How do I take where I have been, where I am now, and turn it into a direction?  How do I continue to wear my many hats, without letting them completely bury me as an individual?

Have you ever felt stuck?  Walking backwards?  Going down, on the up escalator?  How did you get going in the right direction?

For me, this blog was my first step in that direction.  Sometimes finding my way here is difficult.

What was your first step?  Have you taken it yet?

One thought on “Wrong Side of the Sidewalk

  1. Sarah, I think we have all been where you are now at some point in our lives. I can only suggest that you might want to look back at your life for some answers to today’s question. Did you know where you were going when you were 19, 21, 25, 30? Sure you had goals, but those goals changed often depending on the situations. You have progressed through life wonderfully considering the seemingly mountainous challenges you have faced. You succeeded in getting past those simply by feeling that you were doing the right thing and with a whole lot of prayer and faith Look back at your many, many successes and trust that God is leading you ,day by day, into even more success stories. Yes, you are probably in a funk today, but know that God will be as gracious to your tomorrow as he has been for the past 40 years. He knows you are doing right even though you might question it yourself. We love you for who you are.

    Liked by 1 person

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