Friday, August 21, 2015
Riding the Crazy Train
A coupe of years ago on the season finale of The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper had a breakdown. Life was changing far too fast for him. His best friend and roommate was engaged and preparing to move out. His university wanted him to change his field of research. His girlfriend suggested perhaps she could fill the void and be his new roommate. His favorite place of respite, the local comic book store, burned to the ground. And all of this took place over a few short days. Unable to deal with the madness, Sheldon decided to hop on a train and leave town. He didn't know where he was going, other than "away." And so he was going to ride the rails like a hobo, living off the land- or the local malls he encountered along the way.
Why the sitcom recap? Because I have to tell you that Dr. Cooper's feelings have been very much my own these past few days, and that his train trip is starting to sound like a plan. I generally embrace change, but right now there's just too much of it. One of my dearest friends has been sick and not at all herself, and I worry because there is nothing I can do about it. Other friends- people my age or younger- are struggling with diseases so heinous that they are life threatening. That is both scary and surreal for me. One of my most significant friends continues to be absent from my life. My dog died suddenly this past Sunday, altering my daily schedule in more ways that you can possibly imagine (although it's 4 AM, I'm wide awake and don't even have Conner to blame) and leaving me teary-eyed multiple times each day. My son leaves for a new apartment and a new college in Orlando tomorrow (happy for him, sad for me) which also means a return to spending the majority of my days with no car. There are people I want to see that cannot be seen and places I wish to go that are currently unavailable to me (I know those things are true for everyone- but let me whine! This one is all about me!). Marilyn has been dealing with a sinus infection and stress over many of these same things plus worrying about her family's issues from 800 miles away. All of these things are part of life, and can be dealt with one at a time. But all together? All Aboard!!! It might be time to run away.
This would normally be the paragraph where an inspirational blogger like myself would spout a few cliches to offer peace and comfort to my readers. I would remind you that God is in control, that God never gives us more than we can handle, and that this too shall pass. There would be platitudes reminding you that you are loved, and that friends and family are there to pull us through. But not today. You see, even though those are all things I KNOW to be true, today I am just not FEELING them. Life feels overwhelming. This guy - who normally tells you to enjoy every sandwich (treasure every moment, carpe every diem, etc.) and embrace the joy in the journey, who tells you that the glass is always half full and we should focus on the positive- is packing a bag and looking for a getaway ride on the Crazy Train, even though I'm not really crazy. Just like Sheldon, my mother had me tested.
So how do we power through times like these? For me, it's a process. First, it is important to realize that this is not the time to pretend to be strong and courageous for the benefit of those around me. It's time to be real and let things out, not suffer in silence. Then comes prayer- prayers for strength, wisdom, endurance and intercession. I pray that this is one of those Footprints in the Sand moments in life, when Jesus will carry me because the burden is too great for me to handle on my own. And finally, I turn to past experiences. There have been worse times in my life, and there will be others. There is hope that comes with faith and as I wrote earlier this week it is hope that must be leaned on in these crazy times. And I must persevere. This is not one of those "the sun will come out tomorrow" kind of things. Tomorrow will be another day I would really rather not face, but God willing, I will. Life does go on, and I will move forward- however slowly, however painfully- with the knowledge that Jesus will still be there, pulling me through to the other side of this funk.
I'm sorry if this depresses you. Well, actually no I'm not- misery loves company! I do covet your prayers for my family, my friends and myself as we battle through the end of a very difficult week. Knowing you care is indeed a great comfort. In the meantime, I will try my best not to do anything too crazy. But if you happen to see a train pass by on Monday, you might want to honk and wave. You know...just in case. Thanks for listening.
"Enjoy every sandwich."