Lately, I have been really, really, really bad at life. All of the little stuff that makes long to-do lists – it’s just not getting done lately. Adulting is hard…Parenting is hard…Adulting and parenting together lately have me reeling. I’ve been running on fumes for almost a month – and there is way too much falling through the cracks.
It’s not like me to have a pile of unopened mail, but there is one sitting on my home desk right now. It’s not like me to forget day after day to make phone calls to schedule dentist and doctor appointments, but I’ve had a list for at least two weeks and not made a single call. It’s not like me to not have a plan for weeknight dinners (and the appropriate food in the house), but recently there is no meal planning and irregular grocery shopping. It’s all little stuff – the stuff of my to-do list – but lately I have really just been really, really, really bad at the stuff of life. But I have also been trying to treat myself with grace, because…Adulting. Is. Hard.
Today, a dear friend popped into my office to see how things are going. She knows that in recent weeks my son has once again been experiencing panic attacks at school, and that there is a huge emotional toll on the entire family as a result. She also knows that my daughter has been sick for about a month with a seemingly never-ending cycle of sinus infections, ear infection and upper respiratory infections, and that in recent days she’s been sick enough to need a pretty high level of hands on care. In the midst of our conversation, she made a comment about how impressed she is at the grace with which I am managing.
At the time, I think I just shrugged and smiled. But when I replayed that conversation in my head a little earlier, I actually laughed out loud. The truth is, I am barely hanging on right now and there is a whole lot more grit than there is grace getting me through the hours, days, and weeks.
I’ve talked before about how I try to live my life, make decisions, parent, and partner from a place of grace. My centering breath prayer is “Grace in. Grace out. Amen.” It helps to center and calm me, but sometimes grace just isn’t enough. And that is where the grit enters the picture.
I am learning in this season of life and parenting, that grace and grit go hand in hand. We need to openly receive and give grace (Grace in. Grace out.) to fully live. Living from a place of grace means allowing for possibility and perspective and choices. Living from a place of grace means allowing for mistakes and second chances. Living from a place of grace means acknowledging that God is the keeper of the master plan. But grace alone isn’t always enough, sometimes we need to have grit as well.
Grit is digging deep. Grit is the courage to put my voice out into the world. Grit is a stigma fighter. Grit is accepting and loving myself as I am (all of the broken and beautiful parts) to give my kids the courage to find their own rightful place in the world. Grit is what propels me when my emotional energy is stretched to capacity and it can difficult to see or feel the grace of life.
Right now, my emotional energy is stretched. So right now, I am relying on grit to get me through and grace to soften the inevitable bumps as we navigate this season of life and parenting. Grace in. Grace out. Find the Grit. Amen.