Today I’m snowed in; a rare occasion in Oregon. It’s picturesque outside as I sit in my robe gazing out the window at the white dusted trees. I can hear a soft twitter of birds outside the window because I make sure to put seed out for them when it’s cold. I’m sitting here, reading a book and sipping hot cocoa because that feels like what you’re supposed to do when you’re snowed in. The dogs lay lazily next to me and I hear the humming of the furnace and the buzzing of an annoying light in my kitchen, which I must put an end to immediately. There, that’s better.
On one hand I am thankful for this peace and quiet. It’s nice to take a moment to sit and rest, tucked away from my hectic life and busy job. But on the other hand it’s too quiet… it is lonely. I feel lonely. This is an odd emotion to feel because I am a part of a large family, a large department at work and many great friends. Yet, I am really lonely and I realize that having some friends or family here with me might distract me from the internal loneliness, but wouldn’t actually cure it.
I think about my friends, all the mothers, bundling their kids up to go play out in the snow. I think about the chaos they must be experiencing trying to entertain their children who have been cooped up for two days now unable to go to school, or out to their usual daily activities. Matt will be home soon, he is my world, so I know I shouldn’t feel lonely. The emptiness does not come from a lack of love and company. It comes rather from the absence of a little one, a child of my own, to make hot cocoa for and read a book to. Maybe we would snuggle up and watch a movie or bake cookies or create winter themed crafts together. It’s rare that my busy schedule slows down enough to allow this emptiness to be acknowledged. Earlier in life I would be satisfied with the peace and quiet, but now it’s something I’m simply uncomfortable with.
I don’t feel sorry for myself or disheartened. However, I do believe that it’s important to acknowledge the emotions that I am experiencing. For too many years I buried these thoughts into the junk drawer. Does your house have one? Every home does. You know, the drawer where you shove items that don’t know where else to go. The drawer that you fill with things you don’t want to throw away, but also don’t often utilize. The drawer that eventually becomes so crammed full you can’t shove anything else into it unless you take the time to dump it upside down and sort through it item by item. It’s not fun to face the junk, but you might just stumble across something useful in the midst of all the garbage.
I acknowledge this current emotion because it’s important to remember it was here, present and unavoidable in this chapter of life. It’s important to write down this feeling because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it will be over one day soon. And someday when I am a mother and I’m exhausted from chasing the kids around the house, I will stop and remember what it was like when the peace and quiet felt lonely. Then, I will treasure the chaos and embrace the exhaustion with joy and gratitude. I look forward to this day, and I can feel myself smile just imagining it.