Day of madness..
Mom and I used to have a custom of going out shopping on Black Friday. I only recall one year when there was something she actually wanted to find. Usually, we simply went to get out and look around. We haven’t been the past few years for various reasons. Mainly it isn’t safe for her and I don’t want to put my mother at risk around people who aren’t paying attention and or don’t care. She needs to go out in a while, not for any sort of gift, but because dad is out of something he needs. I told her I would drive her. I need to find a chauffeur’s hat.
When we first started doing this, we would go slightly early. Not the camping out in the parking lot early or even join at the end of the line just before opening early. We always waited until the first mad rush had gotten inside. If we found anything, then we found it, if not, that was fine as well. There has only been one time that I went to crazy extremes for a gift. I had found out that a local big box was going to have a game system my son wanted. The hour they would be available was..early. I set my alarm for something like two in the morning, got dressed and slipped out of the house. I parked as close as possible to the door and made my way inside. I saw someone working there I knew and asked where the system would be. I was pointed in the right direction and took my place in line. I was in the second place. It didn’t take long before the line began growing and stretching back into the store. Even after a manager came out, counted those waiting. At one point he told them, sorry, this person is the last one we have a system for. No one left, they were determined and hopeful. Finally they began bringing out the systems. I got the one I went for and held it tightly as I quickly left. The sound of people wanting to buy it from me echoing in my ears. I have not tried or had to do anything like that since.
Now today, mom is waiting until after lunch to go. Waiting for the crazy to calm and for the day to warm up a bit. Waiting for me to give her a ride because traffic I know, is going to be insane. Finding a parking spot is not going to be all that easy either.
I wonder about our many searches in life.
As a youth, I sought friendship and fitting in. I found the friendship, but never felt as if I fit in. I did with the few, but not the many. As a young adult, I sought love. Instead I found everything but. Until I met my late husband. I still sought the fitting in that eluded me. As a wife, I sought being a mother. Only after giving up, did God bless me with a wonderful son.
As a widow, my search took many directions and paths. I had to find my balance, I had been cast adrift unprepared for the storm. Oh we had wills and life insurance, but it was the emotional balance and strength I had to find. I now had so many things I suddenly found myself having to handle. Thankfully I was able to find people around me who guided my steps and helped me along the way. Once all the formalities were done, it was as if I were standing on the edge of a precipice looking out into the unknown. Standing aboard a ship whose sails were tattered and torn while the winds buffeted the ship mercilessly. I had to find a safe harbor. It took family and friends bearing with me, listening and understanding. It took long walks, research and prayer. It took taking different routes at different times to find my way.
As one among many who became unemployed I found myself once again on the hunt. I had to find ways to adjust and accept this new way of living. I had suddenly gone from seeming to live at work to not working at all. Not a paid position anyway. I had to fill those hours and seek a new balance.
I had once upon a time, place the definition of who I was in my relationship with my husband and with my job. Now both were gone. I now had to decide how badly I wanted to discover the me that I may have never fully allowed myself to know. Who was I intellectually, spiritually, emotionally? What part did my creative side play in who I am? How could I discover all this and bring it all together? How did I rid myself of fear and stressful thinking? While I have made progress, I now understand this journey of discovery, is an ongoing, never ending journey. Every day as long as we search, we learn more and understand better. It all depends on how badly we want it, and to what extreme we will go to find answers.
I have found contentment. I have found that when issues arise where I am stressed or feeling alone, a long hike heals a hurting spirit. Getting out into nature and feeling the spirit of peace filling a heart running on empty. I have found that on days I can’t get away, I can sit and gaze out my windows, watching life in my back yard. Whether it is the cats, falling leaves or the sunlight playing across the ground. It is a nice dose of peacefulness.
Have I found the fitting in? No. What I have found is that we are not fully meant to fit in. We are meant to be different, unique, special. Yes, we are meant to be a part of society around us, but in our own colorfully designed way. We each have our gifts to share and make life for all better. I have found, that when we lose some things, others are there to be found. Other gifts, lessons, adventures await.
I have found that life is meant to be an adventure. Each new path offering opportunity to grow, to be better, to find ways to be the difference for those around us, making their journey better as well. If we seek. If we seek, we will find.