Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Little of This, A Little of That...

We're sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected...

I feel somewhat disconnected lately. Not from my family or my walk with the Lord, but just in a general, can't-really-put-my-finger-on-it sort of way. It's not a pleasant feeling and I suspect it has a lot to do with the illnesses around here that seem to never end, and the exhaustion I feel by the end of the day.

Today, I declared war on clutter, and after our Bible lesson we all had assigned chores to do. It took all day for them to get done, but they all did get done, and that made a big difference in my general mood. The kids also felt a sense of accomplishment to get so much done as well, so that was a good thing.

The unsettling disconnect started several months ago actually, when my friend Michael died. There was a time (before he got sick and weak) that we'd talk almost every day via MSN messenger. A typical conversation might have looked like this:

Michael: hey
Carla: hey yourself
Michael: you comin' into chat tonight?
Carla: probably, will your room be open?
Michael: Lord willing
Carla: k, see you all later on then
Michael:

Not very earthshattering, is it? That's the whole point though. While I knew Michael for many years, and we often had some pretty deep theological conversations online, it was the kind of friendship where we could also just pm one another and say "hey" and hey was enough to just sort of touch base. His mom loved pics of baby Ruth, so I'd often send an updated shot with a comment such as "this is for your mom, you can look at it IF she says it's okay". Or he'd pm me with a message from his cat Kitty, for my retarded and demonic cat Otis (who is no longer with us, thankfully). If more than a few days at a time passed by without hearing from one another, it didn't feel right.

Then he got sick, and with his illness & treatments the conversations were less and less. The last time we "talked" was right before Christmas time when he pm'd me with a "hey" and asked me to take a look at a website he was building for a local dog breeder. It was a cool site and the German Shepherd graphics he made were superb. We only chatted for a few minutes before we both had to go and do other things. He was gone less than a month later.

Michael was a dear friend and a part of my day, nearly every day, for many years. Adjusting to him being gone hasn't be easy or enjoyable, and that's part of what makes up this disconnected feeling.

I guess we all have times like this, don't we? A new job, a move, someone dies, or something else changes drastically and you try to figure out how to adapt & adjust. Maybe a teenager in your house turns into an alien and your sanctification is tested & tried as you spend what feels like every waking moment attempting to talk some sense into them. I've been there - in fact I spent 3 years there once. Or maybe you get sick and the entire house falls apart along with everyone's schedules, bills being paid on time, and all sorts of chores being backed up. I've been there too (and am there now, actually). I suppose it could be any number of things that might come along and make you feel out of step with where you long to be, or as I used to say when I was little and felt this way, walking along side everyone else, but in a bubble, where you can't quite blend in. As you may have guessed, I have a good number of years experience of not blending in. As a child most of friends were boys with cool bikes, and when puberty hit that messed me up pretty good. Learning how to fit in being a girl, and all that comes along with that, wasn't so easy to manuever for me. Truth be told, it's still not easy sometimes, especially when I want to fire off a scathing rebuke of a societal ill, or theological heresy - and I'm gently reminded by the Holy Spirit that my intended tone is better left for a male to address. That's a hard one of for me. I'm still learning how I fit in, in that capacity.

All that to simply say that lately I feel a lot like a helium balloon with a severed string. I need to get over my miserable virus and the sun needs to shine brightly, so I can get outside and work in the garden. I need to open doors and windows and let a warm breeze drift through the house to clear out the musty winter air. I need to go to the dollar store and buy a pair of flip flops & put all my thick winter socks away. I need to get my bike out of the garage, clean it and oil it and start riding again.

mmm... ice cream & stuffOkay, maybe I don't actually need all those things, but I sure want them. Being sick and having cabin fever and being disconnected really stinks.

I probably need one of these to really cure me once and for all. Better yet, I probably just need to go to the store and buy what I need to make homemade blizzards.

hmmm... now there's a great idea for this Sunday's dessert.