I’ve been home sick for the last 3 days. It’s the kind of sick that leaves me too tired to do much more than cross the room but it’s not like I’m puking or sweating out a fever either. This has left me with a lot of time to, well, ponder. THAT can be a very scary thing. TRUST me. I’ve also had a lot of time to observe. I’ve observed what the stress of a late harvest does to my husband’s demeanor. (Try as he may to remain unaffected). I’ve observed what the thrill of the spotlight has done for my daughter. She loves play practice and whatever took place during that time seems to come spilling out of her the moment she walks in the door. I’ve noticed what really fitting in has done for my middle son who has settled well into the social climate of the sophomore class. SO much less angst than there was last year. My youngest daughter revels in the attention she readily receives from her zany comments and silliness. It’s clear to see that being in the seventh grade has rendered her a bit self conscious and unsure of how to act. Thus the crazy Hannah Montana mimicking that, frankly, gets a bit tired. After all if you’re not sure of your identity yet, why not steal someone else’s right? My youngest son has finally broken into a time of life when we all go to watch HIM do things. Football, basketball, speech, band and choir have us pursuing his schedule now and after following along with the four who’ve gone before him, he finally feels he’s arrived. And my oldest son. Wow. He’s almost a man. He’ll be 17 in a month and I can hardly believe the confident and mature individual he’s become. He’s receiving all kinds of praise at work for his efforts and hunting season is upon him. In his world nothing could be more “right”.
All of this observing left me wondering, are we all so reactionary? I would think if it holds true in my home, it probably does in yours as well right? What I’m trying to articulate is that as I look over what I just wrote I realize that we are all SO affected by outside forces. The season of our lives, the input from the people who surround us, our age, our social circle, the activities we’re involved in, the pressures of our work. These things affect us. Of course they do. That’s normal. I guess.
But, it leads me to wonder…if we weren’t surrounded by so much outside stimuli what would our personalities be? Of course, I don’t want to be a hermit. I realize that the lack of stimuli has basically the same affect in that it HAS an affect, but I’m trying to get at something deeper.
We’ve all had those days where we start out feeling good. We have breakfast and get ready for whatever might be going on. We look in the mirror and perhaps for this day aren’t terribly unhappy with the reflection. We make time for devotions and feel empowered and refreshed. All seems right with the world and then BAMM… something happens. A co-worker makes a rude comment. A sibling calls with a family issue. Someone rear ends us in the parking lot. Our mood changes. Our whole outlook changes. And the people around us have to deal with it. Sometimes these things last for a day and other times we find ourselves in a season of affect.
I started to look over my life. I thought about all the components that affect me. I wondered why I gave these things so much power over me. I pondered whether it was within my grasp to remain unaffected. And, I came to the unsettling conclusion that it is not.
There is a girl I’m not sure I want my middle son to date. It looks very possible that it will happen. I know that will affect me. I really want my oldest son to achieve great grades and ACT scores this year as he prepares for school. What he chooses will affect me either way. My youngest daughter lives for volleyball. How tryouts go this January will affect her so much… and via her.. me.
And that’s just a sampling of my family, one aspect, (albeit the largest) of my life.
So as I observe this week from my sickly perch on the sunlit couch I wonder this; “Who is it God intends for me to be each day? Does He intend for the reactionary Cherie, who is so very affected by her circumstance? Or does He intend for something other? I wonder who Cherie really is… if she isn’t who everything else affects her to be?” Hmmmm…it’s interesting.