Tornado Alley

Life is like a constant tornado right now.  We have a two year old human tornado that does more damage than I ever remember his big brother doing, including:  “look at me!”  as he jumps from chair to couch to pile of folded towels that go flying.  Then there’s the demanding job that has involved a lot of travel lately, sometimes making me feel like I’m blowing through places.  Commitments at church keep me hopping and spinning, always a few days behind.  And then there’s baseball.  Travel baseball is not for the weak mom.  The time commitment alone makes my head spin, and when you combine that with the challenges of helping your kid deal with the pressure, you’re dealing with other parents that you’d like to forget, and still trying to balance the rest…. well, life feels like a tornado and I’m getting blown every which way. 

In trying to stay grounded and take a few deep breaths I had this vision of what Austin would be doing in response to my spinning.  It’s almost like I can see him there, sitting in a chair in my living room, with a sly smile on his face.  Sitting back and watching it all, and laughing.  Laughing at me, laughing at my boys, laughing at the tornado.  I’m trying to do that a bit more, just enjoy it.  Just laugh.

As I reflect and enjoy more and get carried away less, here are some thoughts to share, that Austin would probably approve of.

– It’s a season of life, this fast pace won’t last forever and I’ll miss knocked over piles of towels and clay from cleats on my floors.

– The job is a job.  It’s a good one, one I usually enjoy.  It pays the bills, it lets me see a few sights, and I work with a lot of people I care about.  At the end of the day, if I gave my best and know I acted in a way I wouldn’t want to hide, I can smile and leave.  And try again tomorrow.  If this job ends, there will be another.  But learn all I can now.

– Baby steps toward goals are okay, they’re steps.  This past month I took a few pretty big steps towards my goal of sharing the real message of Hope with people.  More about that to come, but I’m so excited.  And I’m not going to worry about how many steps I didn’t take. 

– The contentment of knowing real friends is a comfort like no other, even when the tornado is whirling and you’ve lost sight of them momentarily in the wind.  The rest of the people?  Love ’em, but don’t let them hurt you.  I do NOT have this one nailed!  But I’m working on it.  The people who repeatedly hurt you are those you need to forgive but let go.

At my wedding, 2001

Austin had these concepts down pretty well for most of his life.  It’s part of why I hate depression so much- it robbed him of the ability to be the real him, the one who could laugh through it all, and always know what really mattered.

Sometimes the advantage of the tornado is you don’t have time to stop and miss…. I miss him today.  Maybe the tornado isn’t all bad.