Well, we survived Spring Break. I think. It is the morning of Monday in Holy Week and I already feel as if I have been running an exhausting marathon. Usually I feel this way Easter Morning after Holy Week. All those services and the emotional and spiritual lows and highs that go with it.
Spring Break was not particularly relaxing, nor could I call it refreshing, renewing, or even much of a break. We were away from school and out of town, but for me it was a bit like exchanging one stressful setting for another. Instead of research papers and being up to my eyeballs in reading (which faithfully traveled with me) we were researching apartment complexes and up to my eyeballs in the details of setting up a second household in a place neither one of us is familiar with. Welcome to the Army.
I shouldn't complain. We did it. Other military families do it as well. This won't be our last time, either. But the first time seems a bit more unfamiliar and confusing than any subsequent times, and so I tuck the mental notes away into the back of my mind and create a file of little things that will make the next time that much easier.
Just in time for me to return to classes, I waved my husband off very early this morning. The apartment here looks like a bomb went off; things piled randomly here and there, what seems like (but isn't) most of the furniture missing, and way more empty space than I remembered from moving in evident everywhere. It is too quiet. Not just the He's-gone-to-work-and-will-be-back-later quiet, but a different quiet. One that feels more present and somehow aware of my solitude. So as I take a deep breath and begin to try to catch up with my school work, I am also taking bits of time to tidy up, reorganize around the newly empty spaces, and rearrange the furniture so I am not just creeping around the walls but living in all of my space.
After the all-consuming experience of getting moved in just two weeks, I am remembering the why of why I am still here and not moving with my husband. School. Even though I took some reading with me, it was very distracting and rather all-consuming. I gave up after a couple of nights of theology studded with moments of "what-about-the-(fill in the blank)." I suppose that is one way to make sure your new household gets a good blessing, but it really isn't all that great for the theological development of the reader. I find I am having to re-skim so much of the homework I tried to read that it almost would have been better to leave it home. On the other hand, this experience has given me wonderful insight into my upcoming Pastoral Theology project, and I am grateful for that.
So this Holy Week I will try to remember to be gentle with myself. Not only will I be dealing with the emotional roller coaster that is the final week of Jesus' earthly life, I am also adjusting to being a geographic bachelorette. The combination makes my prayers for this week incredibly simple. Be gentle, be aware, breathe. Repeat as needed. Don't be afraid to cry if I need to. Don't make big plans for this time, and leave space for adjusting. As always, lean on God and my guardian Angels. Let them take care of me and don't try to do it all myself. Amen.