The reason why it works so well, for Jason and I and his mom living together is, we are pretty much all alike. We all three need our alone time, yet we also all three need a little people time, too. Of course Jason doesn’t like to admit that he is somewhat of a people-person, because he feels it’s work to be ‘on’ all the time or to come up with things to say or to be readily available. Sometimes that causes anxiety, and nobody likes anxiety. But I also know being around others brings him joy – he just has a limit. We all do.
It’s not that we are ever fake when I talk about being ‘on’… but that when we are home, we are in our lounging attire, and we are comfortable, and we don’t have to come up with conversations or be available. We can ‘just be’. So when Jason goes to work each day, he gets people-interaction and then he is ready to just be. He is even blessed to work with our son and gets to see him every day – oh how I envy that.
And Peggy is a ‘little miss social butterfly’ herself. She plays bridge about four times a week, meeting with her friends. When she is home, she likes to be in her bedroom (a large bedroom with a recliner, dining table and television). When Jason comes home, he likes to go in his office and he studies or does homework. He can also ‘be alone’ when he watches television and gets lost in a guy-movie or a mindless sitcom.
In this season of our lives, I am not working outside of the home, so my people interaction has been just Peggy and Jason when they come home from their day. Before the pandemic, I did meet people for lunch, and I spent time with my kids and grandkids more often, but pretty much I have relied on my family for me to have any people-interaction at all. Especially since I don’t hang out on Facebook all day. My online time consist of posting something – a sunrise or pictures of animals, that takes all of 2 minutes and then I may check periodically to read comments or look through my feed to see what’s up with my friends. Since the pandemic began, I have spent more of my time in God’s word, in praying and just taking care of my family.
That is fulfilling. I am in a season that I know that God wants me in. But…
After a year of social distancing, and now our icy, snowy winter promoting cabin fever, it finally got to me today. On the verge of tears, I expressed my feelings in an impromptu conversation with Jason and Peggy. Thanks, menopause. I am not a passive/aggressive person, so it didn’t come out in an explosive way, but we did all three have a conversation that was needed. If anything, just for me to vent and let them know that they are my only people-interaction right now and I need a little more of their time.
On Valentine’s Day, Jason was in his office all day and Peg was back in her room. We have been iced in, so I didn’t expect a date or even a card – that was fine because Jason and I already gave an early gift to each other, but I also didn’t want to feel abandoned on Valentine’s Day either. Yes, I like being around people – call me a people person if you want, but honestly, Jason and Peggy – who claim to be loners, are around people more than I am. And I love my alone time just as much as they do.
But right now… in this season of our lives, I needed to let them know I am not just here to do dishes and cook meals. I also wasn’t complaining – I think we all talked openly, honestly, and had a respectful conversation. I simply needed to tell them, “I’m not okay, today.”
Now, I haven’t experienced someone close to me dying from Covid this year. I haven’t had the stress of homeschooling any kids. I didn’t lose my job. So, no, my life is not horrible right now and I am grateful for each and every day. But, I am real. I am not going to pretend that I am not human and never cry. Or than I never get lonely and feel invisible. I am real enough to admit that ‘my hard’ might be different than ‘your hard’ right now. But it’s not that I have never dealt with hardships – believe me, God has strengthened me through many trials – some very hard trials.
And I feel very blessed right now that the main thing upsetting me is that I miss people. Yes, I will survive these temporary feelings. And yes, I spend time on my knees for those that are having to run pretty tough gauntlets right now. At this time, I may not be running a tough gauntlet, but I have run them and I have compassion when others are in that season. I guess my point for writing this little blurb about my having tears well up today, is just that, nobody has to feel guilty for feeling down, even though someone might have it worse than you right now.
It’s okay to be true to yourself and others telling them when you are not okay – even if it is just for a day.
What is not okay, is to stay there. Internalizing. The enemy wants you bound by those human feelings and he wants to use them to stir up unrest in others.
The good thing about Jason, Peg and me, is that we truly are for each other. I don’t resent either of them, I love caring for both of them. All of us can get in a rut or run on the proverbial hamster wheel and have to have that wheel squeak before we notice it needs oil.
I needed oil today.
Thank You God, that we can be real. Thank You that You care even about the little things. Thank You that Your grace helps us to know how to respond and it gives us that calming, assured peace that only a believer in Your Son is privileged to know. Help us reach out to others who don’t know Your peace and Your salvation. Help us to live out a testimony of Your Love. Amen