Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Great Expectations (the whisper-shout)

This weekend I'm headed to the Allume Blogging Conference.  I sense that this is coming at the precisely the right time.  On a practical level, I'm eager to learn from those bloggers who have gone before me.  I'm poised to embody the adage: Learn from experience.  Preferably other people's.

I'm old school, too.  I'll be the woman holding the legal pad and scribbling notes with a pen, not clacking at the keys on my laptop.  Look out.  I'm prepared for this to be my trademark.

On a personal level, if there's ever been a good time for me to get away for a weekend, now is that time.  I'm tired, my friends.  If I can mix metaphors to describe my current state: I've been burning the candle at both ends, holding too many irons in the fire, and sustaining an all-work and no-play existence for longer than is healthy.

Keeping up with my three dear children, managing the planning and grading for the four college classes I'm teaching, undertaking the release and promotion of my new book: Then I Became a Mother (TIBAM!), sustaining this blog, and navigating day-to-day life like hosting weekly dinners for 30 students, having an extended house guest living with our family, keeping on top of laundry and doctor's appointments and second grade math homework, and, you know, life -- has taken a toll.

The weekend of my book release my husband was out of town.  More than anything, I wanted someone to be with me.  Instead, I was working through a pile of student papers and single-handedly taking care of those children who made me a mother.  Although I kept telling myself to buck up and power through, I spent portions of the weekend alternating between sobbing, manically laughing, and, at one moment, angrily punting a Strawberry Shortcake house that had been absentmindedly abandoned on the hallway floor.  (There was some impressive loft to that kick, I must admit.) 

It's what happens when you're depleted.

I need to step back and remember who I am.  To soak up the realization that God is pleased with me -- crazy about me, actually -- regardless of my performance.  This weekend will provide an opportunity to do this.  It's also providing an opportunity to sleep in a hotel room BY MYSELF where I can wake up on my own accord, rather than being startled into wakefulness by a child who's six inches from my face and whisper-shouts her request that the-TV-remote-isn't-working-and-can-you-please-fix-it-right-now-because-we-really-want-to-watch-cartoons-please?

I'll be honest: I'm also a little nervous to attend.  Each time I think about heading into a large gathering of strangers, I recall Anne Lamott's fantastic description of the awkward mingling that leads her to skulk and then fall into a weird shuffling, lurk mode.

Knowing how my mind works, I've forewarned myself that I'll need to take reality checks throughout the conference.  I'll remind myself that I'm just one person -- that this isn't a competition or a who's-who, that my worth isn't based on the size of my platform, and that I'm not called to do what everyone else in the room is called to do.   Because no matter who you are -- whether your blog is just beginning or yielding highway traffic, whether you're clinging to dream or publishing your first book -- I'm not sure if you ever feel like you've "arrived."

I certainly don't feel as if I have.

This weekend, I'm just Robin, the imperfect Strawberry Shortcake house-punting mother who, like always, desperately relies on Jesus for my strength, my security, my provision, and my sanity.

And I expect to hear that still voice of God whisper-shouting, "That's enough, Robin.  That's enough."

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14 comments:

  1. smoothstonesOctober 24, 2012

    Hoping you returned refreshed and renewed! If anyone deserves a break...

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  2. Whitney W LourdonOctober 24, 2012

    Robin, as someone who sees the amount you take on in your life, you definitely deserve this weekend! Enjoy it! Savor it! You do so much for others! 

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  3.  Okay, I know the severity of depleted that you speak of here, but you have me laughing at the thought of punting Strawberry Shortcake houses. I love this post and am hoping you get some amazing rejuvenation this weekend!

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  4. Dear Robin, I burst out laughing at the Anne Lamott description. Enjoy the weekend away, order room service and take a wonderfully long bath. 

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  5. Ok, you are so one week late with this post. I needed it last week as I headed out to my conference where I was the one with the small traffic size, who wasn't a who's-who. Just. Have. Fun.

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  6. Oh, I love the honesty and the visual of punting the Strawberry Shortcake House. Nice to be reminded that I'm not alone. I know how you feel. Enjoy that peaceful night sleep!

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  7. Oh, Robin, I love your writing style! So fun, easy to read, playful, heartfelt and giving glory where it belongs. You are such a pleasure to know. Thank you for sharing your story with  me. jana

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  8. It was so great to meet you this weekend Robin. So glad you held on to Him long enough to get away and be refreshed in His presence. You are a blessing and I hope you got exactly what you needed!

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  9. Sara MeehanOctober 31, 2012

    love it. hope it went well.

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  10. Thanks, Sara.  The conference was excellent!

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  11. Great meeting you, too, Diana!   I hope you left the conference equally refreshed!

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  12. Jana, thank you!  It was such a pleasure getting to sit and talk with you this weekend!

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  13. Amanda, oh, I enjoyed that sleep SO much!  :)

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  14. You're still a rock star in my book, and you always will be.

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