I kept thinking about what I’d written, after I got in bed last night. Re-reading it this evening, it’s still a pretty good summary of where I am right now. What I’m wrestling with is, “Why?” (I think I’ve spent most of my life asking, “Why?” in one form or another.)
One of the many drawbacks of aging is that I’ve seen my share of failure, and it inevitably leads to a bit of cynicism. I have seen lives transformed by faith in Christ, but I’ve seen far too many fall back into sin and stay there. (This often makes me ponder: If I feel deeply disappointed in people who fall, how must the Lord feel? So glad I’m not Him.) So there is world-weariness. I can no longer feel any hope that this world is going to turn around again. I suspect that others have felt the same, at various seemingly apocalyptic times in history.
But there is also just plain weariness. I have aches and pains I never expected to have…certainly not this young. My knees aren’t working very well these days, sending sharp pains of disapproval whenever I insist on descending stairs…or rising from a chair. My hands have suddenly this fall become arthritic, which is inconvenient to say the least for a writer, pianist, piano teacher and full-time grandmother of an active almost-two-year-old.
I have so many practical duties to attend to during the rare times when Lucy is asleep and I’m not. Early in the morning I often pay bills, answer business emails, read yesterday’s newspaper. During naptime two days a week, I teach piano. The other days I may be cleaning or cooking or running an errand. At night, after she’s in bed? I’m bushed. For much of the year I’m in rehearsal three nights a week. I come home at 10:15 and read for a few minutes before I collapse. Otherwise, I may be doing research, working on my own script, or spending some rare quality time with my husband. There never were enough hours in the day, and lately I feel as if mine have secretly been shortened even more.
So–there I go, whining. Could I go to bed a bit earlier (maybe not read a chapter of a book at all) and get up in time to read my Bible and pray? Yes, probably. And some mornings I do. I’m typically reading several books at once, at least one or two of which are some variety of Christian nonfiction. Right now it’s Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution and the Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography by Eric Metaxas. But I’m not spending any time in Bible study or meditating on the Word. I don’t journal–it’s one more thing to do with my hands, and I’m avoiding putting extra strain on them at a time of year when I’m required to play the piano more often.
I think, actually, that this is my journal, or would be if I used it as such. That’s what I did years ago when I first started blogging. The difference then was that I was blogging about what I felt the Lord was teaching me…now it seems I’d be blogging about what He’s NOT saying. Is this a “dark night of the soul” experience? I really don’t feel bereft. I really do think this is my fault, not God’s. But it seems as if I should be alarmed, and I don’t have enough energy to be so. That in itself is troublesome. If I feel this way at 50, what kind of old person am I going to be? I should be someone that others are turning to for mentoring, guidance, an example. I don’t think I’m any kind of example. The only thing I think is an improvement is that I feel I’m more patient with Lucy than I was with my sons. But maybe “mellow” is just another name for too old to care?