Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bird-days and Content-ness

This morning I was riding with my family of four to church. We don't play the radio during these thirty minute trips to "the Preferred City" (a nearby town, not the name of our Church, for all of you non Montgomerians.) We don't play the music stations or talk radio so that our family can talk. Having 2.5 year old twins means that Nick and I are doing most of the listening but you get what I am saying. Between the car ride and Sunday school there were some pretty good conversations. I'll fill you in on a couple.

Lily is obsessed right now with "birthdays." Anything birthday. Pointing out that candles have fire and cakes have candles and candles go on cakes and cakes are for birthdays. Singing the months of the year song at night and hearing me tell which family members' (immediate and extended family and friends) birthdays are in what months. The Birthday Song. We sing the Birthday Song to Campbell, to Rosemary, to Haddie, to Nini, to Mommy, to Daddy & sometimes... "to fill in the blank with a non-living object" such as, "happy birthday to time-out." If the thought has crossed Lil's mind during the day, then it deserves to be wished a "happy birthday" at night time before bed, after we read the Sharing Book.

Well, this morning, on the way to church, Lily started asking "Mama sing happ-ee bird-day?" I said, "Lily it is not anyone's birthday today, let's sing something else. We will sing "happy birthday" to Daddy on Wednesday because Wednesday is Daddy's birthday." Oops. Since I told that little true fact, and it is now 12:50p.m. Lily has stated that "Daddy will have a bird-day" in some form or fashion at least every half hour - assuring herself and me that we will sing the birthday song very soon, to Daddy.
As we made the exit off of the interstate, we had to wait a minute or two at a red light. You know how sometimes, when you are the passenger, your mind starts to drift as you stare past a nearby gas station or bait and tackle shop? Well my thoughts wondered back about a year and two months ago when Montgomery was getting Fallish and the sky was so blue and Thanksgiving and Christmas were just around the corner and I was un-diagnosed but positively depressed. The saddest I have ever been. I was painfully depressed about where I worked and more specifically for whom I worked (not to be mentioned or ellaborated on but trust me, I could write a book over the span of my life about what I learned and the tears I cried and couldn't fit it all in). When my mind came back, about the time we accelerated, leaving the red light, I looked at my Love, and said, "I am so happy. Remember this time last year when Sundays were the worst because it meant that Monday I was going back to "name of place I am not mentioning?"
"Yep" is all Nick said but I knew he knew exactly what I was saying.

"I am so happy right now in this season we are in" I said back.

and i mean it.

This is the best season of my entire life. I can't list out every thing that I am thankful for at home or in my relationships with my friends but as my list relates to my thought at the red light I will say that for the first time in my life I am so incredibly blessed by my full time job.

I look forward to Monday mornings when the coffee starts brewing at 6:05 and I hop in the shower, put on fresh ironed clothes, make the 4 minute commute, walk through the halls and am greeted by hundreds of smiling children's faces and other coworkers. My classroom is clean, organized, lit by two lamps and floor to ceiling windows that let in real sunlight. My room smells like apple cinnamon Glade plug-ins, paperback books, and pencils shavings.

During my day I write with inky felt tip pens, create with construction paper and glue sticks, play Go-Fish, diagram details of a story on a marker board, help memorize "sight words," laminate picture schedules, and re-inforce good citizenship by giving out stickers when I catch a student being helpful, kind, or patient.

My co-workers are really really nice and are also good at what they do and love doing it. I love my job. But for a long long time, this just wasn't so. At first I was just the odd one out - the new kid. Over the years it began to feel like not only was left out but I was sought out - to be punished, manipulated, and mistreated. Feeling like that made it really hard to find any joy from 8-4 Monday through Friday and not only then but on the weeknights and weekends because Monday was coming too soon to do it all over again. So many times I wondered, "why God? is it too much to ask for to be happy during the hours I am away from the ones I love the most?" Now, I have to cut myself off from my work knowing that it will still be there the next day and there are my personal duties and relationships waiting for me, often eating Nilla Wafers, sipping milk,wagging tail, and playing "scary cat" with my hero on the floor in the den when I walk in the door.

I am happy also because for the first time ever... I am just living- taking pleasure in the simplicity and comfort in routine. There isn't anything to wait on or figure out or hang on until. I am taking care of my body and have all that I need. In the past 8 weeks, Nick and I have had two very expensive emergencies occur and it hasn't once phased me to stress over it. We paid it and moved on. Spending time with friends and family isn't such a chore as it was when I was depressed because "time off" isn't "time away" or "time to turn off." Now it is blissful "time to be shared." Do you know what I am saying? When I was depressed, any time I had to myself I wasn't willing to share because there was nothing of myself I could give that wasn't required. It isn't like that now. I am not tired or irritable or unhealthy. I am awake, recharged, and seeing for the first time what it means to be completely content...

Thanks be to God.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this post. There is such hope!

The Bean said...

And a light bulb just went on in my head. I love you Laura and can't wait til we get to play together again!

Mama P said...

Laura, it is GREAT to hear about you and your wonderful family!! Thanks again for naming your precious child after me !!!
Fondly, Mama P

Laura Mielke said...

forgive me Mama P for not knowing, my child's namesake? who is this!!? stumped...

Shea said...

Love the post! It's so nice to be content - something I strive for but doesn't always happen. ;) And, great picture of y'all!