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Tiaras and Trucks

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Constant in the Chaos

My fingers race over the keyboard, thoughts tumbling onto the screen.

Pausing, I read what I’ve written.

Sigh.  Select the text.  Delete.

More slowly, I begin again, attempting to form the sentences in my head before typing.

I read what I’ve written.

Sigh.  Select the text.  Delete.

Pushing back my laptop, I read the jotted prompt in my little notebook:

“The top area of your life where you would like to apply the Just.Be.Enough. mission of standing taller.

My cursor blinks at me, the screen blank, glimpses of ideas scurrying around my mind, ducking behind columns as I try to grab them, pile them together, decide which part of my life most needs this important mantra: Just.Be.Enough.

I idly flip the pages in my planner, take a drink of water, reach for the book on the corner of my desk, ready to distract myself with another one of the endless tasks on my to-do list.

My nails are unpainted.  I need to empty the dishwasher.  There are new songs I want to add to my running playlist.

Each thought is a bouncing ball, a tiny sphere of pink rubber ricocheting back and forth in my mind, bumping against other thoughts, rebounding off each other, crowding the space and making it impossible to follow any one thought to its final destination.

Again, my eyes go to the prompt:

“The top area of your life where you would like to apply the Just.Be.Enough. mission…”

I jot notes.  Running.  Writing.  Self-Image.  Parenting.

Running has been a struggle lately; after the half marathon I need to rediscover what it means to run without a clock, without mileage expectations, without a goal other than the joy I find in running.

I’m writing and editing and collaborating on amazing projects, but I am unsure what all of those things mean in relation to my own professional path, unsure if it can even be considered a professional path.

Preschool has reawakened my worries about moving, where I want the kids to go to school, when we’ll be able to consider a move at all.

Dylan resisted going to bed tonight, and as he buried himself into my chest, I breathed him in and vowed to spend more time enjoying each little phase of their development instead of worrying about timelines and schedules.

“The top area of your life…”

I study the words I’ve doodled.  Which area is top?  How do I determine where I need to most accept my limitations and embrace my strengths, when I’m so unsure about so many of my end goals?

Deliberately, I reach for the computer.

I have not had a moment of clarity.

I can’t declare that I am enough as a runner, a writer, a mother, a wife.

I am uncertain about where any of these paths will lead.

Without a goal, a destination, I cannot state with certainty that I am enough.

There is only one certainty.

Today, in a parking lot, I held Abbey’s hand, her other hand holding Dylan’s small fingers.  Ryan completed our small chain, holding Dylan’s other hand firmly in his.  Our eyes met briefly, over the heads of our children, a smile holding the four of us together.

I am unsure where my path will lead, but I know who is walking at my side.

And that is enough.




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48 Comments:

  • At September 26, 2011 at 7:06 AM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Lovely and a perfect ending. that eye meet and that focus? Yes, that.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 7:14 AM , Anonymous AwayWeGoNancy said...

    And it's those moments, more than anything, that define who we are. We are people who have impacted others. How we do it is less important....the simple fact that our very presence has changed other's lives is just enough.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 8:38 AM , Anonymous Mama Wants This said...

    You've got your priorities right, Angela!

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 10:07 AM , Anonymous Pam Province said...

    What a sweet and meaningful post. I'm stopping by from SITS. (P.S. I love the name of your blog!)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    that was a fanastic way to look at it, your life is takling you in so many amazing directions right now and I am so happy about that. I know that as long as we have those eyes to look into ours and know us, deep down, we'll be ok. No matter where we end up.
    You have a very bright future my friend. xo

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 11:13 AM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    Love the way you wrote this. You definitely captured the process of articulating one's thoughts as a writer. And then to end with a moment like that, gorgeous, simply gorgeous! 

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM , Anonymous Amanda Austin said...

    It's those little moments that make you realize what's important! I love this post...makes me realize that the most important thing right now is my child, not anything else.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous Robin said...

    Oh how funny. That's exactly the process I've been going through. I think I know what I need to write about. I just don't want to. 

    Loved the way you did this, and I find it so reassuring that you came up with a list of things you're not really ready to accept. That's exactly where I am too. 

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    You know what's most important. 

    I don't have a clue what I'm doing these days... but I know my family is coming first and going where I go. 

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:36 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes.  That exactly.  I hope they don't mind that I am all over the place, because what I want the most is to be there for them.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:37 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Well, when you are ready to write, I am ready to read.  You have a lot changing now.

    This prompt was awesome, because it made me realize that I can be ok with so much without being ready to accept where I am, if that makes sense :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:37 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes, they are amazing little things, aren't they? :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, thank you!  This was one of those times when not being able to write helped me figure out what to write :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh thanks Kir!  I am all over the place right now, and realizing that's ok is taking some time.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:39 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Well, thanks!  And thanks for stopping by :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:40 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you :)  Some days it feels like I'm treading water, and then other days everything seems perfect.  Hugging the babies helps :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:40 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh Nancy, thank you so much for this comment.  Some days it's tough to remember that.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 3:41 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    That instant?  That slid everything into place for me, if only for a moment :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 5:17 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    I love the title of this post...that is just perfect, just like this post. XO

    Did you already run the half-marathon? Did I miss it? How did it go if I did miss it?

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 6:01 PM , Anonymous Hopes@Staying Afloat said...

    Love this!  Most of the time I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  But there are some moments, like rays of sunshine through rain clouds that make everything clear to me!  Family first, everything else can wait!

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 7:53 PM , Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich said...

    There is so much comfort in knowing that even when things are so crazy, you have a firm foundation! :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 8:12 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    This is just...wow.
    You are right. The journey is so much better when we have the ones we love by our side...and that is enough

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:25 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Aw, thanks.  They make it easier to not know exactly where I'm going :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:26 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Absolutely!  That's a lovely way to put it.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:27 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Why are we all so crazy all the time?  We all need a vacation :)

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:27 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Jen! 

    No, not until October 16.  It's coming quickly, though.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous Elena Sonnino said...

    Oh how I adore this perspective.  And the image of  Abbey and Dylan's hands.... precious. 

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:46 PM , Anonymous Stephanie @ Just Be Enough said...

    Oh yeah. Yes, and yes. I'm trying to come up with a really good comment and I just can't because this was my day today and just....yes.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It was a moment where I wished I would have had a camera.  Though maybe it is better etched in my mind, as a memory and a feeling more than anything else.

     
  • At September 26, 2011 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    This comment?  Is perfect, because I love that you read it and had that reaction, that yes, it was your day.  I'm so glad you had that moment, too :)

     
  • At September 27, 2011 at 1:39 AM , Anonymous Jessica said...

    I know exactly how you feel about not feeling good enough in any one area. That is how I feel at times too. So many different paths in life, how do you know which one you should put all of your focus in? I think you have the greatest people by your side and your future will be bright. 

     
  • At September 27, 2011 at 2:06 AM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    That is exactly how I feel most days too. I have so many thoughts of needing to work on this area, lacking in that area, not feeling good enough in this area. It's exhausting. I like that you ended this realizing that who you have with you means everything. That is what pushes me through, too.

     
  • At September 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM , Anonymous Liz said...

    Limbo of any kind is hard. Moving limbo I've been in more times than I care to count. Same with potential career limbo, too (for Craig not me).

    And now with the Eli schtuff...I just don't know where this may lead.

    Great piece, Angela!

     
  • At September 27, 2011 at 9:17 PM , Anonymous frelle said...

    beautifully written.  and i love what you wrote too.  I dont usually do this, but the thought struck me that you might head over to @heatheroftheeo 's site to also link this post up with "just write" since you are actively describing a process you went through in detail as your post. I havent linked up (Its a Tuesday thing), but this is a great post for it.

     
  • At September 27, 2011 at 10:13 PM , Anonymous Kristin & Megan said...

    I'm struggling with movie worries right now too. Uncertainty drives me bonkers...but it can lead to such fun sometimes...Don't you think? : )

     
  • At September 28, 2011 at 8:11 AM , Anonymous dosweatthesmallstuff said...

    Thank you for writing with such honesty here, Angela.  I believe that part of being 'enough' means admitting that at times we just can't write good stuff about ourselves.  We're not as simple as a switch that can be turned on and off at will. 

    I find that I could relate with so much that's in this post...

     
  • At September 28, 2011 at 7:20 PM , Anonymous Missy | The Literal Mom said...

    I LOVE this.  And sometimes that's the only answer you have - who's walking by your side.  What a great way to capture the feeling.  Great job, mama!  

     
  • At October 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Sarah B said...

    I can relate so much to your thought process and emotion in this post and also the realization that wherever you end up you know who will be right there with you, what a blessing and an adventure.

    Thanks for sharing :)

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 2:06 AM , Anonymous Steph said...

    You so eloquently said exactly how I feel. Amid all the myriads of reasons I am not enough, yet it is enough simply because of those who walk beside me.

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:16 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't it tough?  There are so many directions to go.  I try to prioritize, but each day, I feel like something different deserves my attention!

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:17 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I always tell Ryan that he needs to choose a couple of areas on which to focus, but I have a hard time doing that myself.  I feel like every single thing needs to be done RIGHT NOW.

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:18 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I don't know where Eli Rose will go, but I have a feeling it's going somewhere great :)  You two had a fantastic idea, and everything you put out is helpful.

    You're right; limbo is tough, trying to figure out where you're going to land, either personally or as a family :/

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:19 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes, sometimes it IS fun to not know exactly what's on the path ahead of us.  Stressful, but fun, like a surprise birthday gift :)

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:19 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Sweaty!  I find it more tough to write about myself than anything else.  Well, except running.  I could write about that all the time, for some strange reason!

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:20 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you :)  It can be tough to just go with the flow and not know where all this work is taking me, in so many different parts of my life, really!

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:21 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You're welcome!  I'm glad you were able to relate and understand the process I went through with it :)

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:21 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, thank you, what a kind compliment!  They make it all a little easier to deal with, while I'm trying to figure out all sorts of things!

     
  • At October 2, 2011 at 10:22 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks for the suggestion, Jenna.  I never got around to it this week :(  Where in the world does the time go?

     

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