[The other day my sister told me, more or less, that my blog was just the same thing over and over again. This post is about entropy and the return to school and my long-standing insecurities, all of which I have written about "ad nauseum," apparently. So if you have something better to do than revisiting these themes yet again, go do them. Otherwise, don't say I didn't warn you.]
This morning we went for a swim. Trying to beat the sun to the pool.
On the way, the conversation turned to entropy. And then to the fall and the resurrection. And then, naturally, to the after-life, and the kids surmised about houses and babies in heaven. I had to steer us back.
"We're not talking about the next life. We're talking about this life. And in this life there is the law of entropy."
The kids all groaned.
Because they know what's coming next. A conversation that will turn into a day of fishing stuff out from under the beds. And that's just for starters.
But after the swim, I was in the shower asking David to admit that living with me is hard, and that in addition to my many character faults, entropy currently has the upper hand in our house.
He refused. (He's good like that.)
And then he said, "I don't care what you do. I just want you to be happy."
I started to get emotional, but stopped myself just in time. "But if I'm happy, what will that say about me?"
He looked at me. Clearly mystified.
But in my head it goes something like this: I live in a fallen world (remember all those briars and noxious weeds?), which requires toil and sweat and, yes, most of the time, tears. And if you're doing it right, it means you're right down in the weeds mucking out your salvation. And the harder you work and the more it hurts, the better the salvation. Or, something like that. Or maybe it's the harder you work and the more it hurts, the better the person you are. (It's twisted either way.)
And for me, all of that gets mixed in with the return to school, which for the first time, this year will include all of my children leaving for the entire school day. And not only do I feel that loss very keenly, I also feel like I will no longer be earning my keep. (To say nothing of my salvation.)
I tried again, "The summer is one thing. I can enjoy it because I'm with my children. And the enjoyment of it is part of my nurturing of them. Part of the job, see? But if I enjoy my regular life, it means I'm not working hard enough, I'm not giving enough back, just taking up space."
And then he just sighed. And kissed me. Because he was long overdue at work and my issues are too big to resolve during his shave. And like he said, he only wants me to be happy.
Why is that so hard? Because what will it say about me? That I'm more hedonist than pioneer? That I'm more selfish than sacrificing? That I'm more spoiled than deserving? That I am more prodigal than saint?
That is, in fact, the case.
And maybe that's it. That I'm bothered that this truth is finally about to be revealed to the world. That it was only a show after all, and now I am about to be exposed. I made it look hard in order to be worthy, carrying the burdens on my back as proof of my value. I made my life seem like a sacrifice so that I would be worth the sacrifice. Of feeding and clothing me.
And, especially, of saving me.
And there it was. The stumbling block to my happiness. It was me all along. My fight against entropy. My fight to build the facade. My fight to be enough.
I will never be worthy of the beauty and magic in my life. Of love, of salvation, of redemption. Of any of it.
But it is there anyway.
And I'm out of fight. I only want happy now.
And maybe if I'm not brave enough to choose happy, at least now maybe I am tired enough not to choose fight. And then maybe I will get happy by default.
And I'm not picky.
I'll take it any way I can get it.