It’s just past 7 o’clock in the evening. I am tucked into bed. A cup of steaming hot chocolate sits on the bedside table with three giant marshmallows melting into its comforting goodness.
A layer of snow blankets the ground outside. It’s too dark to see it, but I know it’s there. My heart beats a little faster with the thought that the morning might bring a thicker blanket of my favorite precipitation.
This week has been a roller coaster.
Tuesday was my last first day of school. Wow. It’s almost over. A friend texted me on Thursday to remind me that I would be graduating 4 months from that day. I haven’t even begun to process that fact. I simultaneously want to jump for joy and run screaming in terror. Where has time gone? Why has it taken so long?
It’s nice to be back in Virginia. I’ve missed my friends. I’ve missed my church. I can finally meal prep! (I really missed my crockpot.) My days and weeks have more structure than they have had in months. I’m settling, sort of, into a routine. Structure comes with cold calls and reading…lots and lots of reading. I’ll make it. The reading will get done. The cold calls will get answered.
The slow pace that I fell into while abroad has been washed away. There are places to be and people to see. There are emails that need a response and texts that simply want one. There friends who ask to grab coffee and friends who need a hug. It warms my heart that my friends know that my apartment door is always open. I don’t always have the answers and I don’t always answer texts in a timely manner, but there is always a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate for anyone who needs liquid comfort. (Fresh cookies can and will be baked on request.)
In the interest of honesty, being back after four months away is a little…a lot…overwhelming.
So as I sit here, curled up in my nice, warm bed, I am thinking about this week. I’m thinking about my failures and my successes.
My room is clean, but it wasn’t 24 hours ago. I spent the last week literally jumping over things to get from one side of the room to the other. I have the bleeding toe to prove that it wasn’t the safest environment.
My fridge is stocked with good, tasty, and healthy food options. I had Star Wars Macaroni & Cheese for dinner. In my defense, character mac & cheese is my favorite snow day treat.
My reading for last week is completed. My reading for next week has barely begun.
I am grateful for the opportunities—personal and professional—that have come my way. However, I am quick to complain and forget when things don’t exactly turnout the way I was expecting. You would think after 25 years, I would be used to unexpected results and unplanned detours. Maybe I should stop praying for patience? Maybe perseverance too?
I ran a 6 mile trail run this morning. I ran up and down a mountain not once, but twice. I’m still woefully behind on my marathon training.
Outside of my faith, my family and my friends matter more than anything else. During this past week, I have been there for some of them. Others I let slip through the cracks. This makes my heart hurt.
There were many other successes. There were many, many more failures, but time and attention spans (including my own) are limited.
So how am I ending this week-long roller coaster?
Curled up in bed, drinking hot chocolate, hoping that I wake up in a winter wonderland, and thinking about this crazy, overwhelming, and anything-but-perfect-but-still-kind-of-awesome week.
Hopefully, next week will be better. I’m going to try my best to make it better. After all, all things are possible with Christ. . . and hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Whose woods these are I think I know.His house is in the village though;He will not see me stopping hereTo watch his woods fill up with snow.My little horse must think it queerTo stop without a farmhouse nearBetween the woods and frozen lakeThe darkest evening of the year.He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if there is some mistake.The only other sound’s the sweepOf easy wind and downy flake.The woods are lovely, dark and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep. – Robert Frost