Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Season of Starting Over

Whether returning to my kitchen to be the primary cook again after being away for a time, getting recommitted again to the laundry on Sunday nights, or conquering aggressive weeds that are dominating my neglected gardens, it occurs to me that my life is a series of linked episodes of starting over. They follow stretches of time when I've been away from my chores or responsibilities for one reason or another, so things have lagged and fallen behind. But I have an unspoken understanding with these responsibilities: this is temporary--I'm coming back, and they know I'm coming back. As soon as my work lightens up, as soon as I'm finished with school, as soon as he doesn't travel so much, as soon as the holidays are over...

Though in some ways, I feel a sense of failure when I return to start over, there is also something powerful and renewing in the experience. Before me I see a blank, textured canvas where all my past successes are memories tucked away just for me, and my past failures are forgotten and I grant myself a childhood do over. It's when I commit again to being a good cook, a better mom, a more committed wife, a loving daughter, a better Christian.

Similar to springtime, this season is filled with energy, hope, love, growth, warmth, and possibilities, though I know just on the other side lies another time when I'll fall away again. But then I'll recycle myself and return renewed, wiser, better, and perhaps a little more forgiving of myself than the last time.

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