Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


Rattled for What Reason?

Tonight, I did a late-night grocery run.  

Superstore was open until 11:30pm and I had a nap in the afternoon and a strong cup of coffee around 7pm so I figured I could do a late shop. Also, I just wanted to get out of the house. I wasn't sure why, I just felt irritable and wanted to get out. 

As I wandered through the isles my mind began to tally up the day's events. It had been a good day. I relaxed, accomplished some tasks, organized my desk, got a few things done and enjoyed time with my family. My folks stopped in for a visit. I watched an episode of one of my favourite shows and had a piece of my son's birthday cake in the afternoon. It was a good day . . . so why this irritable, rattled feeling?

I put a jug of milk in the cart, some yogurt and cheese and headed toward the bakery. A few more items off my list and I'd be done. Maybe I just needed to get out more often, maybe that's why I felt irritable. But no, I reasoned with myself, I had been out quite a bit actually. I mentally went back through the calendar of the last week. It had been quite busy. Lots of good and important conversations with friends and family and neighbours. Lots of emails, paperwork and errands. Creativity and fresh energy coming from everyone in our home.  All good and enjoyable things. I should be feeling fine. 

As I packed the groceries into the van, I started to understand something about myself. I have a strange love for both chaos and order. For instance, we reorganized our entire basement this week to make a larger art studio space for my husband, a workshop for tools and a spot for the weights. It was fun and we made a giant mess in order to switch everything around. I am quite comfortable in chaos and I am patient to let the mess sit for awhile while we figure it out, but I made sure that our bedroom and upstairs stayed as tidy as possible. Chaos in the basement, order on the main floor - no problem. My mind and heart seem to long for a quiet, non-stimulating environment in order to slow down and rest and I could take a break from creativity and change by coming upstairs.  The balance of that seemed to be just right. 

Pulling into the driveway, I noticed I felt a bit more calm. Once I unloaded the groceries and put them away, I went to my room and closed the door. My room was tidy and calm but my heart and mind felt cluttered, chaotic, full of conversations and important events. I haven't done much journalling this week and I think that makes a big difference for me. Journalling helps me empty my thoughts onto paper so I can see what is there, what needs to be sorted, eliminated or brought before the Lord for help and wisdom!

Ahh . . . a cluttered heart and mind. Order was needed. So, I journalled for awhile tonight and found a few key things that stood out as to why I was feeling so rattled. My focus sharpened and perspective cleared. I was able to plan out the next week with a pace and schedule that better suited where I was at and allowed for rest and reflection. 

I'm thankful for that irritable, rattled feeling. It's like a warning light that alerts us that something needs our attention. Solitude and writing seems to help turn that red light off for me.

What works for you?