Photo by Max

I am at a place in my journey that requires a tremendous amount a patience.

For two years I have been dealing with a an absurd and scary financial problem. This was not a problem that I created (I have plenty of those too) but one which arose from my ex-husband and his inability to deal with things that were his responsibility when he left. One which arose from his deciding he didn’t need me. One that arose when he stopped doing what I had faithfully done for him, year after year. Its a problem that would push my buttons in the best of circumstances. But that fact that it has become mine costs me. It costs me dearly.

Most days it just floats about, an annoying ghost that hangs over my left shoulder, but on some days it knocks me to the floor and leaves me feeling powerless. This is not an insurmountable problem but solving it has not been simple. In fact, solving it myself requires energy (and resources) I simply don’t have and every baby step I have had to take has left me drained and completely laid out flat. I have been at his mercy and each time he doesn’t do what he needs to do, I find myself abandoned yet again, reliving the sorrow and the loss that happened when we split. It has required me to dig deep on the side of faith. It has required me to threaten things I never imagined having the threaten. It has left me shaken in the part of my heart that is about being held, nurtured and care for–about my personal sense of safety. It has left me wrung out.

The specifics are not important. The problem will resolve itself one way or another I am sure. The fact though is that at the end of the day, when its all taken care of, I will have paid dearly, at the very least with a piece of my soul. The waiting for the someday when it will no longer be a problem is killing me.

Some days I feel like a total whiner. On the scale of all the problems faced by mothers in the world, this problem seems small. I can afford to feed my child and keep him warm. I am able to keep him safe from war and criminal elements. We have our health, our intelligence and each other.

Other days though I feel so completely alone and overwhelmed. On the scale of all the problems faced by mothers in my community, a mecca of mini-vans and juice boxes and college savings plans, this one seems unbelievably huge. And so out of my control. It can leave me feeling like I don’t belong. And stuck. And left behind.

Sometimes I feel as though for the last 2 years I have been parked at a crossroads on my path, waiting for a parade of milling sheep to go by. They just keep coming, those sheep, with my ex-husband’s financial issues tied onto them like saddle bags. And I am waiting.

I ask myself what is there to be learned from this situation. It can’t be that I need to learn to work harder. I have worked myself practically to death. It can’t be that I need to learn to be smarter. I have stretched my brain as far as it will go. And the only thing I can possibly belive is this: patience.

Patience is a hard one for me. Not the kind of patience that requires loving attention, like the patience we have for our children.

I am talking about the kind that simply is willing to wait, to take baby steps, to do things in such tiny doses that they feel like they carry you nowhere. I am a big change kind of girl–I like to see results. When I make a decision I move, boldly, no waiting around. I measure the actions I take against what I have earned and make corrections along the way. To be so way-laid and trapped by the actions of another is excrutiating. And really, more than anything, that is what brings me grief in all this. That while this problem remains unsolved, my life seems stuck and despite my best efforts I can’t unstick it.

If I am honest, I will admit that my inability to be patient is sucking the happiness out of me. There I said it. I don’t know what realization is scarier: that it is my own inability to be patient that is causing me despair, or that it really is sucking the joy out of my life. Either way its a no-win situation.

And so I think it is time for me to learn to just sit. If you asked me even one day ago what I was hoping for my birthday I would tell you that what I most wanted was movement. But the truth is, movement will only get me a little farther up the road. What I really need is to learn to be happy in stillness, no matter what life brings. I do a lot of talk about meditation and pull it out when crises hit but as a daily practice it is nowhere to be seen. Thats why for my birthday I will be going here, to sit for the day, to take a plunge into patience, to learn again (and again) how to just sit.

6 Responses to “Patience”

  1. michelle Says:

    what a perfect birthday gift for yourself.
    enjoy your day of refuge and rest.

  2. Christa Says:

    I think you will find this sitting thing very rewarding. In the long run.

    Don’t forget to breathe.

    Happy Birthday. What a gift to give yourself…

  3. Karen Maezen Miller Says:

    Do you need to talk?

  4. pixiemama Says:

    Patience is elusive, fleeting, a rare treat.

    Take good care.


  5. Trish Says:

    So HAPPY to have spent time with you and Max on Saturday. Three Cheers that I will get to celebrate your birthday with you.

    You are being cradled in my thoughts and wrapped warmly in my affection.


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