Sometimes I wish I could just stop.
I wish I could suspend myself in some space where the world continues spinning... but I don't.
A space where I can just simply... be.
I think the hiding away.. the isolation ... the wishing for quiet... happens to those of us who chase pavement.
Chasing Pavement means constantly running to the next thing... the next stage... the next title... the next promotion.. the next award.. or accolade.. chasing the next paycheck... the next relationship...the next career.. the next dream... the next stepping stone.
It's all EXHAUSTING.
If you are someone who hates settling.. or has trouble accepting where you currently sit in life... you know EXACTLY what I mean. People will ask you how you do it... and you honestly can't answer that question because you yourself - can't figure out what keeps you in a constant state of motion... running... chasing... not accepting where you are... focused only on the "what comes next" part.
I don't think this is a healthy place by any means... but it's an honest place. I feel like for the last few years I tend to find myself chasing pavement in an effort to run from the quiet inside my head... because there... in the quiet.... is where I am forced to face hard things... the past... the present... the broken roads... the worn out shoes... the mistakes... the grief... the fear... the failures... the pain... the hard stuff.
So instead of facing down all the things that contribute to my constant need to "chase"... I just chase harder.. I work harder, I dream harder, I move with fierce intensity... and then eventually I crash. I find myself face first on the pavement and I wonder what on earth went wrong. Thing is, I still don't know. I still don't know why I do this and I sure don't know how to stop. Maybe it means I need to slowly face down all the pieces of my life sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Maybe if I carefully unwrap each one... I can settle in... and I can finally stop running. The problem is.. right now... I'm not sure I want to.
In some ways... slowing down is harder than keeping the pace...
So.... I keep on keeping on....
This chasing pavement nonsense hit me pretty hard a few weeks ago. Jason and I took our two oldest to Boston to celebrate their graduation from high school... the graduation that happened AN ENTIRE YEAR AGO. Yep... parent fail. Talk about better late than never....
Anyway, while on the trip I had a bit of a meltdown when I realized that it would likely be our last trip together... just the 4 of us... It was the first getaway we had with these two since all of their siblings came home 5 years ago...and knowing they will soon be out in the world on their own I came to grips with the fact that THIS trip... it had to count.
It did count. It was incredible. THEY were incredible... I realized as we sat over dinner they had grown up before my eyes... while I was chasing pavement, building a non profit across the world, advocating for children that were not my own...
The children who were my own... GREW UP.
It was hard. Recognizing that I sacrificed time with them for other parts of my life that honestly have been VERY HARD on all of us. I secretly wonder if they understand or if they feel like they were always second. I wish I could have the last 10 years back. I wish I could rewind time and spend more time at home and less time under mosquito nets... more time tucking my kids in and less time studying adoption laws and worrying about bills. I wish I had spent more lazy days in bed watching cartoons and less days focused on the church and making sure I was everything I needed to be to everyone else... I feel like I gave my best to the world and my leftovers... to my family.
Thankfully I made a decision almost 5 years ago that has made parenting 6 children easier... It's retired my husband and given us our 24 hours a day to spend the way we want to... trouble is... as they always say -
BAD HABITS ARE HARD TO BREAK.
I still chase pavement. I still have trouble settling in. As I think about this I also start to wonder... is chasing pavement really all that wrong? Am I being too hard on myself?
This may never change. I only hope I can accept this... this part of who I am... and focus on what I have done as a parent that counted... the moments I did get right. Hopefully I am teaching my children the world is bigger than they are... and they need to find their place within it...hopefully I've taught them ambition and purpose... hopefully through my efforts and mistakes... I am showing them what counts is that we never stop trying... hopefully they see that their mom is not only "mom"... but "advocate"... not only "mom"... but "writer".... not only "mom".... but "CEO".... hopefully they see we are meant to be multi dimensional... colorful... and hopefully at the end of the day.... my chasing pavement isn't that at all... instead... it's a life lived well spent... used up... a bit bruised... the survivor of mountains and valleys that I'd climb all over again if given the chance.
Yeah. Maybe all this chasing pavement is quite so bad after all.