Friday, December 17, 2010

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men

I don't cry much.  I whine a lot, but I don't cry too often. It's not because I'm too tough or too hardened; sometimes I feel like crying, but the tears don't fall.  I'm not sure why? Craig says I'm a robot; I disagree. I'm too hot headed to be a robot. Honestly, I don't know what my deal is, but I think I'd almost enjoy it if I could cry.

I do cry when I'm mad, like  really, REALLY mad and I may get teary eyed while watching a movie or TV show, but that's about it.   However, there are times when I've reached the point where I feel like I've lost.  Lost the ability to control things.  Lost the ability to clear the fuzziness and  uneasiness in my brain.  There comes a point where I feel so out of control, so defeated and so frustrated that I lose it.  It happened yesterday. 

When I do  finally lose it, I don't just randomly start to cry; something has to provoke it.  

Yesterday it was a song. 

A lovely, innocuous Christmas song.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I pulled up this song on You Tube, simply because I think it's a beautiful song.  I had no intention of bawling my eyes out; I just wanted to listen to the song.  But as the song went on, with the beautiful melody and the children's choir in the background, I cried.  I couldn't have stopped it, not even if I tried. The song is based on a poem by Longfellow.  I'll be the first to admit that  poetry isn't really my thing, but, for curiosity's sake, I took the time to read "Christmas Bells."  It's kind of sad; Longfellow was certainly tormented by the loss of his wife and his son's war injury, but thankfully, the poem is hopeful at the end. 

We could all use a little hope in the end.

So, here I sat, chair pulled up to the kitchen island with my laptop open and the song playing, and I cried.  I cried real tears and it felt good. Why I feel the need to share this with you, I have no idea?  I think I could have cried for ages, but eventually my tears were interrupted by a phone call from the Ford dealer informing me that I need to have my yearly Virginia car inspection; it was nice of them to call me 20 minutes after they emailed me the very same information.  Anyway, thanks to Sheehy Ford and their robo-call, the tears were short lived.  Short lived, but cathartic all the same.

For a myriad of reasons, the last month or so has been kind of stressful for me.  Between growing older, sickness, broken down bodies, hard miles pounded out in cold weather, flaring tempers, the stress of next month's marathon that I want to conquer so very badly and a major upcoming change in Craig's job, my stress level has been high.  It's like a boulder on my chest sometimes. I try so hard to maintain control yet I know it's futile because clearly I don't have and never will have control.  I want so very badly to have command of everything, to dictate the outcome of my life.  Wouldn't that be sweet?

The idea of the unknown fills me with so much anxiety. Every so often, when aliens have overtaken my body for a brief moment, I kind of relish the thrill of the unknown, but then I come back down to earth and remember how much I actually hate the unknown.  A thrill seeker, I am not.

The problem is:  despite my vehement objections, life is jam packed with the unknowns.  It's filled with what ifs and maybes.  With sorrow and struggle.  But it's also brimming with peace, joy and happiness.  In this season, a season supposedly focused on peace and joy, that just got to me.

I'm not sure anything was resolved by sobbing over my laptop.  Our bodies won't be miraculously healed of all our aches, Craig's knees will never be pain free and his job is going to change regardless.  I still don't know how I'll handle the marathon next month and the snow will come whether I want it to or not.  Listening to songs about peace on earth and goodwill to men while crying doesn't fix things.  Giving myself raccoon eyes won't ease my anxiety or make my legs stronger.  It won't halt the snow or predict the future.  Crying won't sharpen my brain so I stop misplacing things (like a bunch of bananas!), nor will it stop me from making mountains out of molehills.

I haven't anything wise to say to sum this up.  In fact, I'm probably just as clueless as ever. I sat, I You-Tubed, I listened and I cried.  What more could I say?  However, despite the fact that I feel it necessary to reveal to you every facet of my life (dull or shiny), I do know without a doubt that even on the most anxiety filled days,  when I feel the most frustrated and defeated, the bells, just like in the poem, will keep ringing.

"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men!"


Gospel Gurl said...

I love you and God thinks you're swell, too.
I used that very carol in my Christmas column, which is all about the unpeace and unrest in the world and the peace that only God gives.
Control stems from fear and fear stems from not fully believing that you're loved. When you know you're loved, you're not afraid and you can rest.
Another carol:
"God REST ye merry gentlemen, let NOTHING you dismay. Remember: Christ, our Savior, was born on Christmas Day--to save us all from Satan's power when we had gone astray (and misplaced our bananas). O, tidings of comfort and joy!"
And that, Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is all about.

Alison said...

"Do you have pantaphobia, Charlie Brown?"

"What's pantaphobia?"

"The fear of everything."


I love that show.

But more appropriately, to quote Sally from "I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown,"

'I wasn't made for winter!'

Anyway, why has it taken me so long to hear that song? I must have been doing a lot of day dreaming in church all those years. ;)

That poem is just so sad, but, then again, aren't most poets tortured? Maybe I should start writing poetry so I can write about the torture of all the laundry I have to do and how I lose bananas or how I have to watch 'Storm Stories' and 'Weatherproof' and 'Local on the 8s' on a continuous loop with Caroline.

And, in other news, I still hate snow.


Oh, and in even more other news (?), did you know that kids these days don't put two spaces after a period when typing? Evidently, two spaces is passe. Who knew?

Pantaphobic's Mom said...

I'm 56 and I never knew about the two spaces thing!
Do you want to be on my weekly column e-mail? Dad is and a bunch of other peeps, plus all the newspapers that carry it. I've been writing about you girls lately.
I bet Caroline is insane with snowmania! As Jen and Peggy would say, Fun game.

Alison said...

Sure sign me up. I like to read about me. :)

In typing, way back in the old days when we learned on a typewriter, you were taught to put two spaces after a sentence.

Word on the street (or on Twitter) is that you no longer need to put two spaces. However, if you've been typing this way for more than half your life, it's hard to change your two space ways.

Yes, it's snowmania around here. We only got a couple of inches, but the kids had fun shoveling, building forts and sledding.