I’m old, Gandalf. I know I don’t look it, but I’m beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel…thin. Sort of stretched, like…butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday.
- Bilbo Baggins, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring
I’m feeling worn out lately. That may have something to do with having three kids under four years old. Or it may be that I erred in over-scheduling us last week. Or it may be that I still haven’t found my rhythm after our long trip.
Whatever the cause, I feel stretched, like there’s not enough of me to go around – like the butter on Bilbo’s bread.
I feel achy. I feel out-of-shape. And there’s a lot of crying some days. Like yesterday. And the day before that. And there’s always laundry to wash. And then to fold. And dinner to make. And “Stop yelling and eat your food” to say.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Even the good days are hard.
Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting for the grown-up to show up and sort things out for me. Someone to do the grocery shopping, to call the plumber, to figure out if Little Brother’s random summertime fever warrants a doctor’s visit. Someone else to do the worrying. Someone else to make the decisions.
And it’s disconcerting to feel like a kid when I’m the one in charge of the kids.
A wise and wonderful lady recently told me that things get easier; that, as my babies get older (stay small! don’t grow!), I might find myself sinking into my days, finding the joy more effortless than effort-full. And I hope that’s true.
In the meantime, I will do the laundry and make dinner and call the plumber. I will be the grown-up. I will wear my choices like badges of honor instead of albatrosses around my neck.
I will smile.
And I will wring as much joy out of these moments as I can, dammit. :)