Are you living your life like a human pinball?
I meet so many women who are living their lives like they are the ball inside a never ending pinball game. They have spent so many years bouncing at lightning speed from one demanding obligation to he next that they no longer have any sense of self. They have lost who they are along the way and they want the old self back (even though some don't even know that is what she is longing for). At one time she was creative, fun, funny, sexy, energetic, passionate, and now it seems her days are just one hurried blur. When you talk with them they don't see the link between the loss of self and the pinball feeling. You know what they are calling it? Depression. And you know what you get if you head to the doctor and tell him you're depressed? A quick fix in the form of a pill. When really the diagnosis should have been boredom
I wonder if as you read this you can relate.
Motherhood hits and it's as if the parenting universe pulled back the pinball peg as far as it would go then with one quick release we are propelled from zero to motherhood in the blink of an eye. We are no longer the the name our parents gave us we are now and forever - Mommy. And it's a wonderful name. An honor. A joy. Don't get us wrong we love being moms and we are thankful to God for the honor of raising children.
But it's overwhelming as we fly through the game unaware of what we will hit next. Now here we sit 10-20 years later and we've spent a lifetime bouncing off life and we forgot to live.
If I am being honest I have at times felt like God himself was the little paddles that flung me back into the game. As I bounced off yet one more obstacle, tired and bruised, I saw the exit, it looked good, that little place of escape. I could quit. I would
quit. Then...Bam! God says no. And I go flying at warp speed back into the game waiting for the next obstacle. Like some innocent bystander, I would just brace myself for what I would hit next. And I bet you thought I would tell you that life is not like that.
That you should just buck up. Take control. Play your own game. But actually I am learning just the opposite. Life is
a lot like living inside a pinball game, and often, I think, God is
the paddles that knock us back into the game. But the difference in how we perceive the game is wrapped up in our understanding of God and how much control we allow Him
. Have you ever seen a pinball turn off course of the paddles? No, they fly full force, every single piece of the ball, completely committed to where the paddles send them. Do they know where they are going? No. They don't care, they don't hesitate. (Your thinking, of course they don't they are balls
, I know, but just go with me here.)
If we believe that God is the ultimate, divine "pinball wizard" then we have to know He knows what He is up to. Yea, sometimes we are dizzy from all the rolling, tired from all the bouncing around, but
we are right where we are supposed to be. Even the times it hurts to bounce off of something could be right where we were sent. I know that is a hard one for many. I understand. It is for me too. Really
hard.What has changed most for me is the quality of things I bounce into these days.
It used to be things that didn't fill me, and people who constantly drained me. Chasing a career that didn't fit who I was or who I was made to be. I had lost me. I was bored.
It's as if God said to me, in a very Mr. Miyagi type voice, "Become the ball, Jenielson."
I gave up trying. I gave up deciding that I would bounce off of what I
wanted to bounce off of. I asked God to steer me. No matter what. Really
hard. Even when I don't understand. Harder
. I asked Him to put things on my heart, loudly
! I'm not a great listener so I needed Him to speak loudly, to help me be in the places he wanted me and help me stay there
. I went places I just had a "hunch" about. I tried new things. I went by myself. God was not calling me and my friends to this...He was calling ME. There was no waiting until I had a group to go with me. No one to hold my hand but Him.
Heart-pounding is what it is! Uncomfortable!
I had no idea what I was doing but somehow God kept showing me he was in it and to stay the course. I did. I am...as best I can. Some days still feel like a total fail.
And, honestly, I feel no less like a pinball but I am enjoying the game. I am exhilarated by Gods whimsy, by how he lets me think
I am doing something when really its Him. You know how you let your kids win at a game they clearly had no chance of winning...that is what it feels like He does with me all the time. Things happen and I get all excited because I did something, and immediately I know I didn't. God let me win
. You can't tell me that's not fun.
Something I've been thinking about a lot lately, and will probably write a lot about, is this link between boredom and depression. I think, and this is just my opinion, there are women all over this country on anti-depressants not because they have depression but because they are flat out bored! Please don't hear me say I am against medication. I am not. They do have a place, I just wonder if they are really necessary for all
. Could some of us just use a big dose of purpose? Of Passion? Of life
This is what I'm wondering. And I wonder if we often don't talk about our boredom because that would make us bad moms.
Aren't we supposed to be completely fulfilled raising our children. Shouldn't we greet our husbands with a smile when he enters the door...not smiling. Shouldn't we get all the happiness we need within our families? And if we're not, isn't something wrong with us? Is our "mom gene" broken?
I found myself praying, "God, please either help me to be happy with what I'm accomplishing here within the walls of my home, or please, and I beg of you please
, take away this desire to make a bigger difference. The frustration between the two is killing me!"
This week is a big week. This was the first
week of the new Wellness Program at The Next Door
. The Next Door is a place I started volunteering at over two years ago after
I started praying this prayer. I am coordinating a new Wellness Program for them. Two years later, and many disappointments in between, but this week, in this place, God let me win. Women who are fresh out of prison, fighting addiction, and searching for new life will get to train to run a 6k on September 15th
, tomorrow we start circuit training, Friday is yoga.
It was happening. God had all of the volunteers in place. The East Nasty Running Club
was wanting to do this run training for the girls. Yoga teachers at Lululemon
in Green Hills were considering a place to give back and The Next Door was on their list. They just needed a contact person. And God inserted me.
God was moving. I didn't do
anything but make myself available, live out my passion for health and wholeness in the place God put me. He let me win! One thing I have learned is that God rarely answers my prayers until I am honest with Him.
He waits until I
the situation for what it is. He waited through several years of frustration, boredom, striving and tears with me. But when I cried out with what was really
on my heart, honestly, He rescued me. Not before. And even when He did, my "win", this thing that is so small to most but huge to me, was still two years later. And I'm sure this is just a "ping" to the next "bing" he has in store for me. Because this too shall pass, it will run it's course and I'll roll back down the pinball table, take a deep breath, and wait for Him to send me flying through the game to the next thing.
In short. :) My advice: Be the ball. The Guy in charge of the paddles loves to let you win!
What do you think about this link between boredom and depression?
Have you experienced it?
How do you deal with it?