Ever have one of those days/weeks/years, where you were hoping for a sunny day, but instead were buried under a ton of freezing cold snow?
Why is it so hard, on those avalanche days, to remember the snow is only a temporary condition? That the financial/medical/emotional/housing crisis that consumes you today will eventually melt away, and you’ll be left in sunshine? At least, eventually.
This is one of those avalanche months for me: our employment isn’t where it needs to be to sustain us, we’ve had some flooding disasters in our basement requiring repairs and replacements (our deductible is so high we’ll have to cover it ourselves), and for the past week my very healthy and active adult son has been in and out of the ER battling a high fever and various infections, and no one can pinpoint the cause, despite the many expensive tests they’ve run. And, because he was just released from active duty in the army and doesn’t have a job yet, he doesn’t currently have health insurance. I was reminded of that fact when I went to pick up his prescription this morning. Bizarrely, a month ago, his younger brother, on an LDS mission in Oklahoma/Texas, came down with viral meningitis and was hospitalized for five days, with daily treatments for another week. (I need an extended warranty on my adult sons; theirs is expiring, I fear.) Pile on top of all that some personal epic failures where I handled some problems poorly this week, and I feel like I’m suffocating.
Sometimes I think part of the reason I’m encountering these avalanches is because I’m so close to finishing Book 5–Safety Assured Leaving East of Medicetti. There are principles and ideals in this book that have weighed heavily on my mind for literally decades, and I didn’t know how to share them until I began this series. Getting this book out feels very important. I’m still plugging along at it, when I find a few minutes here and there, getting all the thousands of remaining details fixed and nailed into place, but without the usual joy I experience when I’m close to releasing a book. I apologize to it each day when I sit down to my laptop that I’m editing with a dull heart.
Which, in a way, I know is stupid; downright stupid! We’ve faced greater challenges before! Years ago we lost a home, had to live with relatives, and were even homeless for a time! We spent four months living in a condemned house! (It was torn down after we moved out; rumor has it someone kicked the foundation and it fell on its own.)
We’ve weathered job losses, financial disasters, car accidents, and emotional distress, and lived to chuckle about it. Sunny days returned!
So why, oh why, is it so hard to remember those sunny days–sunny weeks and even months–on avalanche days? Why do we frequently sit down in despair certain that this time there’ll be no deliverance? That the months and even years it’ll take to come back from this latest disaster will be the ones that finish us off for good?
Why can’t I remember, for example, that less than a year after we lost our house, we were able to purchase a brand new one for an incredibly low price? And when we sold it five years later, the profits wiped out another debt we’d been carrying for years?
Today I’m trying to remember those sunny days, ones that were suddenly so hot and bright that the remaining snows vanished before the day was over, and I found myself breathing easier.
Today I’m trying to remember that while sometimes winter holds on, and on, and on, I can’t ever remember a year when spring and summer didn’t come. They do, eventually. Never as soon as we want them to, but the sunny days do return.
In the meantime, I need to quit my brooding and find a shovel . . .
(By the way– I still have some free magnets and book marks to give away! Just send me your mailing address, and I’ll send you my thanks for your support. If you want last year’s magnets too, let me know in the message below. I have a couple left.)