Saturday mornings are not my favorite. It's probably because the kids are not in school, and they are usually just laying around like lumps. This last Saturday was particularly bad-- I know when I'm throwing the clothes in the dryer and slamming it shut, or bursting into tears at the kitchen sink (or in this case, both) I can possibly chalk it up to hormones...but I still hate it. Because my inner critic is saying things that if I'm honest I have to admit, hormones or not, have some truth to them. But it's the brutality of the accusations that really get to me. "It's your fault your kids have no ambition...you haven't been any sort of example. You never make them clean up after themselves...no wonder they are such slobs. If you were just a better mother, maybe they'd have a chance at success, but as it is..." and I have no strength to defend myself, just tears and despair.
So on that happy note, I decided to go on a hike. Ken caught me crying before I left and gave me the manly advice not to "freak anybody out" while I was hiking. ("Watch out, here comes a hysterical woman! Run for your lives!") So I choose a hike where I would spare the public my dramatics...it's only ten minutes away and not many people hike there because, like my thoughts, the trail is quite ugly. What a better place to throw a grand pity party than Devil's Mountain?
It's really just a service road--gravely, weedy, without many pretty trees or wildflowers, and steep as well.
And as I huffed and puffed and sobbed along, I tried to figure out how I was going to be a better role model to my kids. Get up at 6:00am every morning and hike this stupid mountain...that shows self discipline. Never take another drink...that shows self control. Go back to school...that shows self reliance. Self, self, self. Meanwhile my dog Lexi bounced along, enjoying the smells, the puddles, chasing the birds...living and enjoying just being what she was created to be.
Dang, sometimes I really resent being human. But then I got to the top, and ohhhhhh...the mountains, the valley, the farms, the ocean and islands. Such beauty. So bigger than my despair and guilt and shaming thoughts. Bigger than my fears. Can I not trust the Creator of such loveliness to lead me when He promises He cares for me?
I told a friend of mine that "God is bigger than our mistakes", and then reminded her that God's strength is made perfect in weakness. Do I really believe it? I'm trying--when my hormones will let me :)
So as I made my way back down I prayed and asked some hard questions. "Am I a problem drinker?" I decided when I got home I would get online and look up A.A. (they actually have a 'test' that if you answer yes to 5 or more questions you can consider yourself an alcoholic...that was one test I was thankful to fail) I prayed about going back to school; even though money's tight, maybe an online course here and there is doable. Hiking Devil's Mountain everyday? Let's face it, there's no way in hell that's going to happen. (pun intended ;) I was deep in my thoughts ("Kelly's world" as my neighbor calls it. I never wave when we pass in our cars because I'm often stuck there) and you wouldn't believe what happened. I managed to get lost. (which is pretty difficult to do, considering it's a ROAD) Kinda ironic, huh? But unlike usual, I didn't panic. I didn't beat myself up. (well, maybe a little. The road goes down...how hard can that be?) I didn't obsess over the time I wasted. (just more exercise, right?) I just turned around and tried to find where I had gone wrong. And eventually I did--there was a Y in the road I hadn't noticed. Lessons learned...sometimes it takes getting lost to find them.