At Year End

If I had to pretend 2019 was a piece of writing and give it a title, I would call it “The Battle with Selfishness” or “The Struggle to Sacrifice.” The prevailing event that occurred was the birth of my son in early January, so naturally, my life turned upside down.

All the poets and writers and anyone who has ever had a child were not kidding when they said that upon becoming a parent, one’s entire perspective on life changes. For me, the key word was perspective. My actions did not change much, but I got the overwhelming sense that I needed to be changing my actions in accord with this new perspective of parenthood.

So much of what I do on a daily basis is selfish. So much of it is useless and destructive, not in an overt way like alcoholism or drug use, but in a softer way. I was playing on the floor with my son one night, and my phone vibrated from inside my purse where I promptly forgot about it upon walking in the door and seeing my son’s drooly grin.

I ignored the phone, but in the back of my mind was a nagging feeling that I ought to check it, even though it was likely only a text from a family member and not urgent. This nagging feeling occurs all the time when I’m doing something worthwhile or unselfish. The nagging feeling says that I need to surf the Internet on my phone, sit down and read a book, go on the computer and write something, or just be alone and away from people.

Sometimes the nagging feeling becomes a roar, and it is extremely hard to ignore it. I don’t know if that is the sound of my old pre-married life coming back to haunt me because there are certain parts of it I find hard to let go of, like unfettered alone time. When I try to make myself remember that I was not as happy in those days, the roaring quiets and the nagging goes away for a time. But it inevitably returns, mostly when the phone vibrates or when I start to get tired (damn that noonday demon!).

Honestly, I’m happiest when I’m with others, although it does not appear that way. Being around others is hard because I have to control my selfish impulses, but it is infinitely better than doing things alone. It is better to serve others than to serve oneself, as painful as it is to be around others at times.

So my resolutions for 2020 are related to being more “other centered.” I will die one day, and I doubt I will be remembered for how many blog posts, journal entries, and fiction pieces I wrote, how many books I read, or how many government documents I edited. I don’t think God is going to judge me on the basis of those things either. My vocation is to be a mother and a wife. That is the way I am supposed to bring light into the world and lead others to God. Everything else in my life should be in service to that vocation, which was chosen by God to bring glory to him, so my resolutions have also been chosen for my vocation.

All this is to say that I didn’t set a writing goal. I’m going to keep posting THE ARCHIVES until all 365 chapters are up. I’m sure the constant urge to write will spur me to post the occasional blog entry here and there, but it’s not going to be a priority. The world is a strange place and becoming stranger by the day. The best way to prevent it from having too much of a hold on me is to renounce it, little by little, and do what I can for God.

Thursday Three #58

  1. I heard a good quote that also happens to be the title of a book (haven’t read it): Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them. How true is that? Makes me feel better about my own weirdness and that of those I know.
  2. Almost all my favorite music from the 90s has now been relegated to the classic rock station. I wonder what the criteria is for something to be considered a “classic.” For cars, I thought it was 30 years old. A one-year-old cell phone is probably a classic, too. So it stands to reason that 20-something-year-old music would also be classic. Still… it is weird to think of Green Day as “classic rock.” 🙂
  3. The “noonday demon” (also the title of a book I have not read) is a real thing. He is the reason why we get tired at 1 or 2 in the afternoon and find it hard to take off on that second wind. He is the reason we’re tempted to slack off and the reason we fall into temptation more easily when we are tired. Caffeine alone cannot defeat the noonday demon. Instead, it takes prayer and discipline.

Giving Up

My son got the flu, then a couple days later, I got a virus that was somehow not the flu, so it was not a happy few days in the apartment. Because I was dealing with the sickness, I got behind with NaNoWriMo, then figured that the stress of trying to get caught back up would not be worth it, so I decided not to try.

Maybe at some point, I will revisit the story again, but for now, I think it is best to let it be forgotten. My subconscious will work on it in my sleep, I know that much. I still like my “existing” stories a lot more, even though it has been so long since I’ve worked on them.

I keep telling myself that I’m going to get back to it, perhaps write 200 or 500 words a day, just as long as I write something. But by the end of the day, when the baby is finally in bed, I am ready to go to bed myself (even though it’s only like 7:30). So I end up sitting on the couch with my husband and reading a book until my eyes can’t stay open anymore.

I wish I could write until my eyes can’t stay open anymore, but reading is less effort. Then I tell myself that I will write about the books I read on this blog, so I technically will be writing at some point! Any writing is better than nothing, I suppose. Plus, the new year is coming, so that means… resolution time!