I have way too much on my plate: teaching, grading, planning, meetings, grad school, homework, housework, cooking, shopping, commuting, and the list goes on and on. So very early on in this semester, my body decided that all of that was just way more than it could handle, and I got slammed with the worst illness I’ve had in the long time. It appears to be quite the package deal: nausea, stomach pain, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, runny nose, etc. It was like my body was saying, “Alright, listen up, princess. If you’re not going to slow down and get the rest you need, I’m going to hit you with everything I’ve got. Try to take a couple Tylenol and push your way through THIS! Ha!! I dare you!!!”
It’s an all-out war. Score so far? My body: 3. Me: 0.
It’s days like today that I really start to think about that other life. You know, the one I would have had if I’d gotten pregnant way back when we started trying. I’d have a couple, or maybe three kids by now, and my days would be full of mommy things–trips to the park, bath times, organic baby food. Yes, there would still be stress and pressure, but it would be different, and somehow, much simpler. I take a look at that other Me, and I can’t help envying her and wishing, even now, that there was a way we could trade places.
On the other hand—
If I were a mother, I wouldn’t be pursuing my Masters in English Literature and Rhetoric. I wouldn’t be presenting at the upcoming Southern Colorado Rhetoric Symposium. I wouldn’t have traveled to Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, and France. I wouldn’t be planning a tour to England, France, Switzerland, and Italy in 2012. I wouldn’t be taking a group of high schoolers to go see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Denver Performing Arts Center next week. I wouldn’t get long, romantic evenings with my husband without a babysitter. I wouldn’t have the privilege of talking about my favorite books every day with 98 incredibly smart, sweet, insightful, and talented teenagers. I wouldn’t be dreaming about getting my Ph.D., moving to Europe, and writing books.
It takes a long time to build a new dream for yourself when you realize the one you’ve been building since childhood isn’t the dream God has for you. It takes a lot of working through stuff, a lot of accepting, a lot of peace-making. But after a while, your perspective starts to change. You’re more acutely aware of the bajllion blessings that get showered down on you every day. You’re overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness to you, even when you were railing against Him for what He wasn’t giving you.
And you start to realize just how beautifully half full that glass really is.