I have been in a killer slump the past several weeks. I haven't written about it here, as I can't quite put it into words. I know that part of it is feeling as if I am sort of drifting from day to day with no real goals. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have lots of goals for the kids or our family as a whole, but not really anything before me that is calling out to me. See? I can't even express it well at all. Basically though, my days are spent in the pursuit of keeping up with laundry, dishes and shopping, intermixed with teaching the kids. While that is certainly rewarding, I need that little something extra on the side to make me feel like Cindy...not just mom/wife/teacher. I am not sure what that is at the moment, but it is clear I need to find something new to learn that is just for me while I am busy helping others learn.
And it ain't gonna be cake decorating :-)
Today I realized something else that had been contributing more to my malaise than I had understood. I have been back in glasses for the past 6 weeks or so, as I started having problems with my contacts and was unable to wear them. My glasses prescription was at least 4 Rx's ago, and far out of line with where my vision is today. Trying to save money and knowing I wear them very little, I never got them updated. Hence, stupidly, now that I was in need of glasses, I was using a pair that was 6 years old. At $350 just for the lenses, I saved money all right, but have suffered terribly the past 6 weeks...way more than I let on to anyone.
You see, I am in the category of "severe myopic" and am at -10 diopters. Someone explained a long time ago to me that it means I can see clearly only when things are 10 centimeters away from my eyes. Yup, that's about right. Throw in that I am not a candidate for surgery and am 45 years old meaning I am also in the reading glasses stage now, and you have a recipe for one stupid cookie for not keeping my glasses prescription up to date. I don't know exactly how far off it was, but it had to be considerable.
Walking out of the MD's office this morning was a complete and utter joy!! Oh my goodness, everything was so crisp, I could read signs from afar, I could see the outlines of the leaves on the trees...it was almost like being reborn. Seriously. I am not being overly dramatic in saying that. I had no idea how bad it had been, but I knew I couldn't see the expressions on people's faces if I were more than 15 feet away, and I was unable to watch the TV from across the room or read much without large print. Thank goodness for Google Chrome, where I can easily enlarge web pages for reading.
How much did this contribute to me being down in the dumps? A lot. Tons. I felt disconnected from the real world, half part of it, one foot in and one foot out, squinting...or giving up even trying to squint to read things. Our sight is a precious gift, it provides us with a kaleidoscope of input every moment we are awake. We take in so much visually, and without clear vision we really are a bit cut off from the world around us, much as those who wear hearing aids are. I felt dulled, like a Ginsu knife whose warranty had run out after cutting through a few too many aluminum cans. Even as I glance up from my computer now, looking at the flowered pattern of my couch, or the waving grasses in the pasture behind our house, I am saying a prayer of thanks for the two little pieces of plastic that rest on my eyes, seemingly so simple a device that changes the world for me.
The power of sight extends to the internal as well, and so often we don't have the privilege of seeing inside someone's heart. As this mom who is feeling dulled in many ways at the moment due to the dreariness of day to day life, I had the power of sight knock me off my feet just a couple hours ago in a completely different way. Seeing inside the heart of Kenny left me in tears, and is truly what reminds me that being here to do that laundry, and serve my family in a less than glamorous way allows me to help guide my children towards insights and the ability to express themselves in ways they might otherwise never find the courage to do.
Grabbing up Kenny's iPad, I was going to add in addresses for him in his contact list. The other day he was busy working on it, trying to personalize it and typing in addresses from kids at camp. He told me I needed to read it when I added in the addresses. I clicked on his contact list and laughed as I found every one of his family members listed there, as if we all have a different address or phone number! I clicked on Angela's name, as hers was first in the alphabet and there was our home number, my cell number and Dominick's cell number. It was under "notes" that I was surprised to find "Angela is my older sitter. I love her smile. She rocks my world." Laughing out loud and grinning from ear to ear I went on to Cindy LaJoy and this is what I found, which he obviously wanted me to read, exactly as he typed it:
"I can't evan think of what you have not done for me. You have always bin there for me. I love you so much and I don't know how to repay you. You are a big rock in my life. I love that you are always happpy it is what I say the happy ones are the blessed ones. You have made me in to a happer person. I know I can always turn to you when I am in trouble. The love I have for you is magnificent. I know even on the hardets days that you still love me and I love you too."
I sit here with tears in my eyes even as I am writing this. It seems I have been blinded in more ways than one, and God needed to remind me of where my true worth is. Even when intellectually we know these things, sometimes we walk around in a myopic haze, blinded to the deeper meanings. It isn't about the laundry, it isn't about the groceries. It is about being a rock for someone, about being someone they can count on...and sometimes, I think, that may mean providing the stability that comes from having parents with a less than desirable job they go to every day, be it washing cars, selling toilets, making a sandwich, or sitting at a desk all day. It comes from doing the same thing day in and day out, to create a sense of security for children who, for years, had none.
I needed not just glasses for my weary eyes, but glasses for my weary soul.