I can’t explain the feeling I had but it was overwhelming. Maybe relief? Maybe thankfulness? Maybe faith? Maybe just the endorphin release of the runner’s high? Either way, I wished I could have the feeling every day. In that moment I knew everything was going to be ok because for the last year I have not been “ok.” I have been chaotic, stressed, and exhausted but for some reason the idea of something being “under construction” was completely ok with me. Usually unfinished things give me a little lump in my throat and discontent in my heart. I like things to be perfectly neat and complete but this time was different. After a few minutes of reflection I turned around and made my way back to my old house.
Once I arrived my day hit me in the face like a ton of bricks and my peaceful feeling began to dissipate. It was time to start decorating for my baby’s first birthday party! (Yeah… it has been a whole year!) I packed up my baby and the party things in the car and headed to the venue of this joyous occasion. Once we arrived the chaos ensued but as I unpacked the decorations I couldn’t help but smile just a bit and shake my head. I laughed as I pulled out orange cones, caution tape, dump trucks, and black and yellow plates. His birthday theme is tonka trucks but without really noticing I was throwing a construction party.
I can’t believe those two words “under construction” came back to me again so quickly. The more I thought about it the more I began to relate our lives over the last year to a construction site. Like a wrecking ball this little man came into our lives and completely shattered all expectations of what we thought being a parent was going to be like. He demolished everything we thought we knew about ourselves and our marriage. He has completely renovated our lives in every way. We have begun to restructure, reprioritize, and rework our norm.
While I wouldn’t change one minute of it, I look back over this year and I can’t help but wonder how we made it. This year alone my extended family has significantly changed with the passing of my father, my husband and I had a baby, decided to build a house, my husband’s career has taken off and I changed my career path as well. As you can imagine each of these changes is huge all on its own but everything all at once was just craziness. While I cannot complain one second about any of these new adventures I can be honest and tell you it isn’t easy to cope with everything all at once. It was such an uncomfortable year! I floundered as a new parent trying to figure out how to not only keep this child alive and healthy but to make sure I was raising him “right.” I felt incapable in my new role as a nurse on a very hectic, busy unit with very sick people requiring my constant attention. I was nearly going under as a wife who was trying to figure out how to continue being present and loving toward my husband. I struggled to support my husband’s very demanding work life. All the while, I did most of this with no sleep because my little man was either teething or waking up every few hours for months.
Being under construction isn’t a great place to be for anyone but as I look toward the end product I have hope. I can see the small progress I have made so far and I am beaming with pride. I have a wonderful, happy one year old boy who loves life. I am more confident of my nursing skills than ever before. Not to mention, my husband and I are still married and going strong. While I don’t think that I’ll ever be “finished” until the day I meet Jesus, the other side of this uncomfortable time in my life is thrilling. I can’t wait to see the growth and change that will continue to happen. Already, I have had to learn to let go of perfection, just do my best every day in whatever role I am in, and learn to relax.
So, I’m learning to live more comfortably in the grey, starting to going with the flow, to trust the process, and to embrace the chaos. I have begun to love the little moments, and stop feeling guilty. I am hoping this process gets easier and I hope one day I will see the beautiful completion of this “under construction” kind of life. In fact, I am banking on it!