You know how when you are in the hospital, they ask you to rank your pain? You have a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst pain you ever could feel in your life I suppose. I've been in those situations and never really ranked my pain higher than a 7 probably. Either the pain of the procedures I've had hasn't been bad (really, it has been though) or I have a pretty high thresh hold for pain. Either way, I've not been higher than a 7 and as soon as I'm home, I quit the hard stuff and recuperate on tylenol and advil.
The last 15 days or so of my life haven't gone so well. They've been around an 8 or 9 on the "pain" scale. Pretty much every single day, something in my world of #firstworldproblems has gone terribly wrong and if you would have talked to me at any given time in those last two weeks, I probably, if I wasn't wallowing in my own "pain" would have sat down and told you all the gory details. There has been a lot of arguing and raising of voices, dramatic expression of frustration at the actions of other people towards and around me and my family, sadness at the choices of others. Many things have broken, strange conversations have happened, and bad attitudes, at least on my part, abound. I've pretty much felt like giving up on just about everything because nothing has been happening as it should.
Yesterday, we skipped out on stake conference because we were going to attend a baby blessing instead and it was the first I've been to church in three weeks time. It was, honestly, a little strange to be in such a familiar setting, and really refreshing, too. It was a Fast Sunday and let's face it, Fast Sunday in a different ward has the potential to be full of surprises. But instead, for the most part, it was really good. I was happy to be in the meeting and feel the spirit that was there. I was happy to hear the messages that were shared. I was happy to be reminded that no one is forcing me to make the choices I make in this life - that they are mine, and I make them happily.
Today is Monday. Monday is preparation day in Lithuania, which means it is letter day from that big Iggy brother of mine. Words cannot begin to describe how I look forward to Monday mornings. Lately, I've taken to keeping my phone by my bedside on Sunday nights because 1) on the off chance that I wake up around the time he sends his e-mails, I think about trying to catch him and 2) the first thing I do when I get out of bed on Monday morning is read his letter. It lifts me up and inspires me and makes me smile.
This Monday, I got an e-mail from him. My brother likes to talk about our "chi" - our inner spirit that guides us and keeps us balanced. My letter to him for the week, basically, detailed how my chi was lost, and my struggle to try and find it. (Seriously Internet, you have no idea how rough these last two weeks have been. Going to lunch and me talking the WHOLE time couldn't even begin to cover it!) I told him of a couple experience though that were helping me feel like I was getting back on track. He told me that my e-mail was intense to read, but then he shared some things with me that were really important for me to hear from my wise missionary little brother, who, is way too skinny. It's funny how from so far away, in a different time zone, he knew the right things to say to me.
And then, in typical Willie fashion, he signed off like this:
Be calm. Be happy.
Express your thoughts. Let it all out.
May all of your wildest dreams come true :)
Thanks Napoleon. For your information, I drink almond milk and yes, it's because I think I'm fat!
Oh, get to the point, right?
What is the point?
I think that the point is - sometimes life really really sucks. It sucks so hard and so bad that you don't even want to get out of bed. It just sucks your will right out of you. But, no matter what, there are things that make it better. Like your goofball kids doing well in school, and making each other laugh, and having great soccer games. Or, your baby saying the word "cooties" all the time and calls his brothers, "the boys" and sings the chorus, "say Geronimo" from the song we heard on the radio all day long. And, a husband who is your opposite so when you are sitting inside the emotional toilet, he is at least on the seat, not all the way in. Or your mom and your aunts remind you that girl power rules and that learning how to work hard is pretty much the most important thing.
And all of that stuff, if only for the fact that it is barely keeping me sane, is the stuff I need to think about.