I was talking to my friend Mary yesterday. As always, she asked me how I was doing. Everyone asks me that question. Usually, I respond with "Pretty good." If its a close friend, I might say "I'm tired a lot." But yesterday, my friend asked me how I was doing. I took a deep breath and I told her. "I'm so exhausted, I can hardly stand it. I haven't got any thing finished for Christmas, and I'm trying not to be stressed about that, but I am. I love Christmas. I love the preparations. This year, I can't get excited about them at all. I'm also tired of trying to figure out what to say to well meaning people who say things like 'you need to make sure that you're learning what God wants to teach you' (my immediate response, always choked back before the words are said: 'Why? If I don't, is God going to give me cancer again?) or the people who want to know why I haven't called.
I told her that I was angry and impatient. Frustrated at Tim's job loss, and the shoddy treatment at the hands of his boss. Disappointed that things are, financially, so tight right at Christmas. Afraid to think about insurance. As far as we know, we still have it. Can an insurance company go back and cancel you retroactively? We don't know. COBRA is not offered when a company goes out of business. We did not have a clue about that.
While I was baring my soul, I said, "I'm sick, Mary. I'm sick all the time, and really, I didn't expect that one, because I'm NEVER sick. I'm lonely because hardly anyone calls. I feel like a poor wife to my husband, a poor excuse for a mother, like everything is about me, and my routine, and my shots, and my appointments, etc." Finally, I stop talking, ashamed, and grab for a Kleenex.
Mary quietly begins talking. She tells me that I need to be selfish. She reminds me that Tim's job loss does add stress to the situation. She comments that I need to stop saying "I'm fine" because she's known right along that I'm lying to her. And when she's done talking, I do feel better.