Friday, March 21, 2014

Five-Minute Friday: Joy

Five Minute Friday

It's Five-Minute Friday again...a chance to set the timer for five minutes and write in response to a one-word prompt, just to see what comes, just to let the words run out without over-editing or backtracking. Sometimes it feels like chiseling away rock to see what's underneath. Sometimes, it feels like splattering paint on the wall. Today, it feels kind of like throwing up. This is one of those days when I wish there was a different prompt, but I don't choose them. Here goes:

When I woke up this morning, I could feel the whole week- the frustrations, the miles traveled, the effort, the two feast days and a pediatric neurologist appointment and an ultrasound and all the accumulated tensions of "we-can't-be-late-for-this" knotted up at the base of my spine, throbbing there. My head throbbed, too, as I sat up and saw the prompt for today.


When the prompt is Joy, I'm supposed to be able to look past the difficulties and smile. When the prompt is Joy, I should count it all so. When the prompt is Joy, I should sift through the enormous amount of sheer effort it has taken just to arrive at the end of this week in one piece and find the kernel of truth, the peace that passes understanding, the deep, eternal happiness that comes from knowing this isn't all there is.

Sometimes, though, I don't. I can't. Sometimes, the work of doing it all is too much. When I've said "yes" to too many things and taken us all to too many places and forced myself to hold it together just one more time when I wanted to fall apart, sometimes, I'm overloaded, and I just can't.

Sometimes, it's just hard.

However less-than-joy-filled I'm feeling today, what I've done this week and how I've felt about it has to be enough. It's sufficient. There's grace to cover the places I failed.

Whether I feel joy or not, I take some comfort in knowing it is out there, somewhere. Tomorrow might feel joyful. Maybe Sunday. Or one day next week, when the sun is out and we're playing in the driveway and things are just not as hard as they were this week.

And even though this week has chewed me up, spit me out, and left me with a headache the size of my backyard, I'm not giving up.

For more Five-Minute Friday, visit Lisa-Jo Baker (and hey, if you're a writer, why not try it out this week?).