Monday, February 20, 2017

Up the down weekend

The devil bastard.

It was an up and down weekend. I was planning to visit my parents in Illinois but I developed a cold towards the end of the week and decided to cancel. So it started off pretty down. I did a lot of staring.

I only had to work three hours on Friday because I'd worked the previous Saturday. So instead of driving to Illinois, and since I was not feeling good, I went home and plopped in the recliner. It was almost 70 degrees outside but I was a zombie. I never did actually sleep, but just sat there and stared at the TV (or the wall, I dunno) all afternoon in the dark. My mind started to darken.

See, they delivered 'the kiosk' at work Friday morning. I haven't been given many details at all about it, but two construction guys were there to unload it off the truck. They planned to put it in Friday afternoon, but apparently didn't get around to it. Anyway, they were kidding me about it being my replacement and they put my business card on the front of it and were calling it Dan the whole time they were there. I know they were just joking, but given all the secrecy and confusion surrounding it, it's not very funny to me.

So I sat at home and sulked and stewed and the later it got the more worthless I felt. Pretty soon I'd convinced myself I would never be able to hold a job again. I ended up staying awake in the recliner until around 5:30 the next morning - I just could not shut my brain down and fall asleep.

Saturday morning Jane went somewhere so I was alone again, and the descent continued. It wasn't like I was suicidal, but I just honestly felt like I didn't know if I could function anymore. I finally made myself put some clothes on and get out of the chair. It was another unusually warm day - the whole weekend was in the mid to upper 60's - so I gradually started cleaning the house and picking up sticks in the yard and eventually realized I was still alive. It was a long day and a half though. I do not like those dark days.

I've probably stated this before but I have always had a love for Sundays. It has been especially good lately. I like being able to sleep in and get to the church gathering at an agreeable hour for me. We start at 10:30 and it only takes us 10 minutes to get there. I feel so good during the service. Lately I've even been able to envision myself starting to get involved in things again - at least while we're at church. I feel hopeful and positive and it's just a good feeling during the service. At least at the church we are presently attending.

On this particular Sunday we also hosted a party in the evening. We invited some of the young families from the church I used to pastor. They are all around the age of Drew Carrie (and they were there too). Including us there were 24 altogether. 9 were adults and 15 were kids ranging in age from 2-15. Jane made bbq and everyone brought a dish to share, and we had a great time. The kids were able to play outside until it got dark, and then they all played in the basement. The adults squeezed around the kitchen table for the most part. Jane and I didn't do a lot of talking, but we enjoyed the heck out of just listening and seeing everyone. A couple times I found myself just staring, and smiling. I was partly remembering how fun it used to be to have all these kids running around the church, but I was also marveling at the people they were turning into. Some of them I hadn't seen for four years I suppose, and they were all soooooo good. This was a good feeling for me. It did my heart good. Sure, there were things I wanted to say or ask, but they were things that didn't have all that much to do with life anymore, so it was nice just to hang. Really nice.

And then when I tried to go to bed last night... I couldn't fall asleep again. My mind was stuck on work again. Part of the problem is that I know the ridiculousness of the situation. I do not have a bad job, but I just feel such angst and uncertainty.

Ultimately, I know in my head the crux of the problem comes down to me and my expectations. I remember from the last time I was in counseling being told the way to contentment was dependent on reality/expectations. We either need to change our reality (which we can't really do, contrary to what you hear today), or we need to change our expectations. That is by and large my biggest issue right now. I am placing expectations on others that are not being met. And it's not THEIR fault they're not meeting MY expectations. So, while it's nice to know, it doesn't necessarily make it any easier to live with.

Well, that's about all there is to say about that. I was pretty low at the end of the week, then very high, and then back to low again at the start of this week. I've been trying to do the Brother Lawrence thing of 'practicing the presence' of God lately. It helps sometimes, but I always end up forgetting at some point. So, try, try again.