Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Luxury of Living Somewhere "Hard"

I keep referring to these last few months as the "winter that crushed my soul".  (How dramatic, right?) A number of factors have contributed to that statement, of course, not the least of which would include the brutal temperatures we've had combined with the "dark days" (as I call them) of a first trimester carrying twins.  But this isn't a post about why this winter has been hard, nor do I feel like bogging down my blog with a barrage of #firstworldproblems and negativity.  Still, I maintain that for a number of reasons, this winter has been downright hard.

As I was reflecting on this with Josh yesterday, he asked if I felt like this winter has been worse for me than last winter... you know, the winter when we had a newborn baby and flew her 9000 miles around the planet to a foreign country at the start of 2013.  After considering for a moment, I maintained my statement: this winter has been harder.  

I suppose that brings me to the title of this post.  Because it seems silly that this year has been harder than last.  I think this is because there is almost a luxury of living somewhere that others have deemed "hard".  Living in a post-soviet country where the primary religion, skin color, and culture are significantly different than my own "norm" means that challenges are bountiful.  Every day your inner and outer self are focused on surviving and thriving and making the best of a situation and a life that presents constant challenges to your worldview, beliefs  and self.  Even on the most normal of normal days while we lived overseas, if I wanted to, I could find something to complain about; something that was missing or lacking from my life.  Reasons to be down, sad, and discouraged were often no further than my front door and often times even closer.  Admittedly this is an unhealthy thing to say, but in some ways, it was a luxury to always have an unending well of reasons for bad moods or bad days.  Our living arrangements became a scapegoat for my own lack of control over my attitude and my heart.  

But now we're back.  We're in the land of Starbucks and Target; the land of canned soup, pre-made pie crusts, and packaged shredded cheese.  More importantly, we're in the same city as my family and the same time zone, a mere 8 hour drive away from Josh's family.  I don't have a "reason" to be sad anymore.  I don't have a ready-made excuse for bad days.  Now, when I have a day that is hard or challenging or when I just feel discouraged I have to take ownership of it.  

Maybe - just maybe - the problem is within me. Maybe it has been all along.

So I've been diving into that the last week.  What controls my moods?  What determines my attitude?  What am I allowing to affect me on a deep, heart level?  Why is my soul feeling so crushed, so downtrodden? Is it the weather?  and if it is, why am I letting the weather affect me so deeply??  Why don't I laugh as much as I used to?  Where did my joy go, and why did I let it leave?  

I suppose I don't have any answers to these questions, yet.  I'm just glad that I'm at a place to even ask them.  For now, I'm going to continue focusing on all of the good in my life.  Primarily my beautiful daughter, my loving, hard-working husband, and the twins within me whose little nudges I'm beginning to feel daily.  (Also, is there anything more addicting  than feeling those infrequent but amazing first kicks from a baby inside of you?! No, I declare there is not.)

Spring is coming and with it I sense a newness within me as well, and I am so ready for new.

1 comment:

  1. This is so good to read. I feel like I am in a similar place right now and I've been asking myself similar questions this week. I am thankful for more spring-like weather, but I know I need to get a handle on what within me is causing me to feel so burdened and falling apart. It's nice to know I'm not the only person in this limbo. So excited to be in the same time zone as you soon!!