Lord knows, I do. Not so much these days, but for a long stretch of seemingly endless time, I felt like Moses’ people lost in the desert.
You know what that’s like. You’re doing what you’re supposed to, handling your responsibilities, putting one foot in front of the other. But all things fertile and creative and luscious have dried up like so much sand blowing through the Sahara.
Makes life sloggingly tough. And I found that when I feel lost, a reason exists for it. Well, duh, you say! She is fairly thick J
But I’m not talking any old reason. In fact, an intense pattern has weaved its way through my adult life. And even though I know the cause, at times it seems that life just conspires to keep that thing you must do just out of your grasp.
Those dry sands of time fill my life, burying me up to my eyeballs in choking dust when that one thing is out of whack in my world. I bet you can point to that thing as well—that thing that brings joy along with all the hard work.
I went for a span of four years where real life was fairly awful. Where I had more on my personal plate than I can even count at this point. My elderly parents were in a wreck, which proved to be the catalyst for sending my dad on a long sliding descent as if pushed off the edge of a steep mountain down a black-diamond run. He suffered already with dementia, but was still himself most of the time. After that, not so much. And past a certain point, he no longer even knew who he was.
About Alzheimer’s and dementia, God just has some ‘splainin’ to do.
Then Mom went through a brutal bout with cancer, and for a while there, I didn’t know my name.
And then all the dealing with legal and etc., etc., and although I was no longer going through illness and dying, death itself lingers. And the thing that I must do to keep me sane just wasn’t in the cards.
I can only laugh when I remember as well that I got a divorce during that time. With all the other, I almost forget about that! When divorce, one of the top-ten life stressors, doesn’t even register on your radar screen, well, you’ve had a pretty bad go . . .
Man, did I ever go a bit bonkers!
And when things finally settled down, and that thing that I must do hadn’t happened in years and years, well . . .
I’m sure you have a similar story. We all go through those bumps in the path we never saw coming, in varying degrees. Those trip-ups that knock us for a loop, and get in the way of that thing we must do.
And if that parameter lasts long enough, you find yourself adrift.
Again, when I feel lost, I know the reason—even if I can’t do that thing I must do at the very time. And what helps the most is that I know how to find myself again. I know the remedy.
Because for me, that thing is writing. It’s the creative side of me begging for expression, then screaming to be let loose, and finally whacking me in the head like some scythe coming down on Marie Antoinette’s neck. I.e., it doesn’t much take no for an answer.
And as soon as humanly possible, I dove back into the wine novel that has been sitting not-so-patiently for years to be finished.
Ah! Water after such a long drought! I could almost feel my cells plumping back up with moisture as the days went by.
So next time you feel lost, adrift, arid as the Big Bend landscape, focus back on that thing you must do. It’s the very life force that sustains you.
What is that thing for you?