Anxiety/Worry, awareness, Faith/Spirituality, Trust

I’ve hit the wall! (…or is it hitting me?)

I am writing today because I need it. Badly. In Runner’s Speak, I have “hit the wall”. For a runner, that means they have been running for a lengthy period of time and have depleted their glycogen levels and feel like they are potentially going to keel over or “bonk out” (I learned that phrase just this morning while googling “hitting the wall”). In Heather terms, the phrases still apply. Don’t get excited, I haven’t been running again or anything (been there done that). But I feel like I started a few life “races” and was plugging away nicely until the past couple of weeks. I have lost my breath, my energy, and my sight for why I started the races in the first place.

In the beginning, I was excited and hopeful and experiencing just enough success to continue with a smile and a skip in my step, but this past week I started to feel a heaviness coming over me as a result of doing a lot of “footwork” with no results in sight. I am struggling to continue picking up my feet and continuing to do the “footwork” necessary to finish the marathon.

Do you ever feel that way? Please tell me you do, and I’ll just go ahead and apologize now for wishing that on you. It’s just that I have also been convincing myself that no one else has this problem and that makes the discouragement feel that much deeper.

I was reminded the other day of a blog I wrote on “waiting” (https://heathercarterwrites.com/2015/05/07/waiting/ ). I used to wait on blood work and test results and the green light to go back in the hospital for Chemo. One would think that I would be a little more grateful and patient with anything else I have to wait for ever again. But alas, I have to operate in the “today”, and today I am waiting for other things. Luckily they are much less daunting than life or literal death, but I guess my mind has moved on from that possibility.

I am writing today to remind myself of what I already know. That’s usually how it works for me. What I already know, is that life is not about the end results, it’s what happens in that space between that equal “living”. The end result may or may not manifest itself, at least in the ways we predict or hope for. I may work like a boss at my job and never sell another house. I may meet with dozens of people to promote my book or secure a speaking engagement or draw people to my site with results I may never see or know about. I may pray numerous prayers for people I love and yet continue to live in that mysterious unknown about the answers one way or another. If I forget this and start living as if God or people owe me recompense for all my efforts, I end up where I am today; frustrated, tired, and frankly, mad. Mad that my equation isn’t working.

While I am in the space between, while I am doing the “footwork”, I have to ruthlessly remind myself to ask, “What am I learning? Who am I helping? How am I growing? Where can I be of service?”. The “footwork”, as I define it, is every activity and thought that contributes to reaching that goal. And here’s the good and bad news: the most important component is not the goal, it’s the footwork. Whether I like that news or not, it’s still true. I have no control over the outcome or the length of time it takes to get there. I can either complain and wait impatiently in anxious and frustrated expectation, or can accept life on life’s terms and as it comes; one moment at a time. The moments, as we know, are all we have to work with. Where I am is all I have to work with just now.

Dear God-I need your help to live in the moments. Help me get my “second wind” that comes after I have endured the daily, monotonous, seemingly unfruitful present, and pushed myself beyond what I feel is possible, wise or worthwhile. Help me to remember that you alone-and your purposes in the space between-are my continuous and consistent reward.

Anxiety/Worry, Control, Patience/waiting, Uncategorized

Waiting

I am a terrible Waiter. In college I attempted to wait tables as a job. Disasterous. I would either bug my table to death or forget about them entirely. By the end of the night I always seemed to owe money rather than make money. It was really not a good fit for my “giftedness.”

I am still a terrible “Waiter.” I hate waiting. It feels so unproductive and, well, lazy. The old adage, “don’t just sit there. Do something!”  has been wisely challenged in my recovery brain: “Don’t just DO something. Sit there!.. “. Sometimes activity makes me feel like I have some say. Some control. We wait for many things: we wait for test results, for healing, for recovery, for a family, for the right person to come along, for the wrong person to leave, for people to change, for us to change, for someone to get sober, for the time we will see our loved ones who died and left us here. I wait for my next hospital stay, for my hair to grow back,  to start selling houses again, to exercise like a normal person, for the news about whether I need more chemo or a transplant. I wait to get sick, I wait to recover, to see if I can go in public or have to stay home or need to get a blood transfusion. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Eddie Lowen, tha pastor at Westside talked about this Sunday. I like his honest re-interpretation of Psalm 40:1…”I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. ” He said that for him it would say something more like, “I waited IMPATIENTLY for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my WHINING.” That sounds about right for me too. I often plead, “How long, oh Lord? How long must I wait for….?”

As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I had this thought regarding waiting: There’s a big difference between waiting FOR and waiting ON. It occurred to me that waiting ON is what you do while you are waiting FOR. Waiting ON is about serving others. Waiting FOR is about ME getting what I want when I want it. Waiting ON is a wonderful way to get outside our own plans, desires and wishes and focus on GOD’s plans, desires and wishes. Waiting ON means that even though I have Leukemia, I can still send a note to a friend who is struggling, visit someone in the hospital, or set up coffee with someone who I know is hurting. This makes the waiting FOR time a sweet time. A “get to” rather than a “have to”. I think I might have more to say on waiting but for now, I need to get dressed to head to my bone marrow biopsy. I only GET TO wait 45 more minutes. 🙂