I don’t know if it is just me, but the holiday can often be a time when I dwell on everything in my life that I would like to change. Ironically, I end up thinking about everything I am not thankful for. In an attempt to combat my ungrateful spirit, here is a list of what I am thankful for. In no particular order.
- My car. It is paid for and it is a tank. I ran over (yes, over) a deer a few days ago and my car was not damaged in the least.
- A job. Not only that, a job I enjoy most days. I am thankful for having some really great coworkers that make the job even better.
- A roof over our heads. Even better, some well insulated walls to boot. I am more thankful than ever to live in an apartment that is energy efficient.
- Family. I am blessed with some pretty good in-laws, and I know I came out ahead on that trade off.
- Last but certainly not least, Seth. He is the reason that I can continue to be thankful most days. Every year that I am with him, I love the holidays a little bit more. Which is no small thing, since it use to be the most dreaded time of year for me. He loves me in a way I cannot understand, I don’t know what I’d do without him.
“All changes are loss, and losses are to be mourned.”
I don’t know where that quote came from, I read it in a book once and the quote has stuck with me, but the source has not. I’ve been thinking about change lately. After we got married over two years ago, I had more change than I can handle, good change. I had just started grad school (a mere 20 credit hours per semester) and was newly married. Yet, I could barely get out of bed in the morning and had no idea why.
This was *supposed* to be the happiest time of one’s life. Why had I been left out?
For the same reason that mother have postpartum depression. Change. (That’s a very simplistic answer.) Just like a mother who has recently given birth, there was the expectation that I was *supposed* to be blissfully happy. When I wasn’t blissfully happy I thought for sure something was wrong with me and something was wrong with our marriage. For nearly six months I was in a fog, a haze. I could hardly get out of bed in the morning and was exhausted perpetually. I poured myself into grad school, which only left me more exhausted. Ironically, it was one of my classes that was like the sun burning away the fog. I began to understand why I was so unhappy. No one told me that marriage was hard work, and I had expected bliss. That coupled with the change of living with someone, a man, no less was just too much. No wonder I stayed in bed all day.
In a way I spent those first few months of marriage “mourning” the loss of change. It sounds very melodramatic to say “mourning the loss of my singleness,” but that is what is was. I’ve found very few people talk about it, that singleness is something you can actually miss. I know I certainly wasn’t thinking about missing my singleness in amidst all the wedding planning. I certainly wasn’t thinking about missing the wedding planning either :). A season on my life was distinctly over and yet all I had done was focus on the next one so radically I didn’t realize what I was leaving behind.
This is where I should tie this story up with a cute little bow, but I’m not sure how to do that. I literally just woke up one morning and the fog had lifted. I suddenly started to feel hopeful about the future and not as though I was in the bottom of a pit. Maybe I realized that expectation really is the root of all heartache and I came to terms with what I had expected the first six months of marriage to be.
The reminder I need for myself is that change, even good change, can still sting. With every change I am losing something, even if I think it is something I don’t want to lose.