Some days the world is too loud, too harsh, too much.
When you see the ones you love being battered by situations that have to run their course a first instinct is to look for a way to help, to ease their burden until the storm passes.
In those seasons a sense of needing to fix everything so a loved one can gain some relief, find a little breathing space or just simply sleep, sits oh so heavy on the mind and on the heart - even when you're weary and worn down yourself.
But you push through, soldier on, try harder to do 'one more thing' as an act of love for the ones you cherish.
Then you wake up one morning, fall in a heap, and as you try to drag yourself from mattress to floor a truth slowly becomes clear and common sense speaks louder than it has in a while and says...
"You are not all things to all people and there really is no Wonder Woman cape in your closet. Nor is there a magic wand, an overflowing bank balance, or a potion of strength."
That was me this week.
When I'm up, I'm UP.
Adrenaline loaded I can 'almost' leap a tall bottle of San Pellegrino mineral water in a single bound.
For days, sometimes a week or two, my life is full to overflowing with tasks and travels and 'all hands on deck' as I attend to everything that needs doing at home and for those I love.
Being helpful is important to me. Being a burden is not.
But when all my adrenaline is expended, as it always does when I am not mindful to conserve energy, depression comes knocking, migraines return, and every part of my body aches and groans until just walking from one end of the house to the other becomes a trial.
I've had this adrenaline issue all my life, but for the past three years since my brain trauma injury it's become a lot harder to manage because I neglect the obvious - I'm older, have a new health issue and cannot do as much as I once did.
Yet, stubbornly neglecting the obvious, I power on without thought to what the end result will be - an inability to function normally until I am well rested and my body can recover.
So I'm not Wonder Woman.
But gosh I'd love her waist, and her energy.
Very humbling admitting this to you, but this is my real life.
It's not all roses and jam and fresh bread and stitching. Sometimes its a day or two in my pajamas with a pot of tea, a few Monte Carlo biscuits to dunk in my cup, and a string of old movies. It's cheese and vegemite on toast for dinner (my beloved's favourite take-it-easy-tonight meal) or maybe a home delivered pizza. It can be weeks of walking in the valley alone while all the time smiling on the outside so as not to worry those around me.
When life unravels at my feet, or this brain injury reminds me there are limitations to how far I can push the boundaries, it's right on God's doorstep I seat myself, curled up and forlorn, knowing only in His arms will I be comforted and given the grace I need to stop everything for a time and trust my loved ones are being cared for by Someone far more able than I.
And that's humbling too.
You and I, we can't be all things to all people. We can't save the world, and though we can help with some, we'll never be able to fix all the problems our loved ones face.
I don't know if you go into rescue mode like I do, and I'm not sure if you push yourself beyond the limits of health, strength or ability...but if you do, are you pushing too hard??
I am. And I think I do some of it because I need to be needed or to feel useful, while at the same time feeling overwhelmed when too many are needing me at once.
I am so BLESSED in this life. Blessed in ways others may not consider a blessing, yet blessed because in every difficult circumstance, and in every opportunity to rejoice, Jesus walks beside me as my trusted Friend and Saviour.
And it's because Jesus loves me so very deeply that this time, in this season of utter weariness, He's not letting me hide from the reasons I've found myself once again in a dark valley, nor will He let me ignore His counsel. I have to be realistic, accept who I am and the limitations life has set upon me without guilt, frustration or a pity party, and just do the best I can within those boundaries - joyfully.
I guess it comes down to asking God in prayer, "what can I do for this precious person?" before running ahead to do what I believe should be done. It also means not imaging myself as a rescuer, but turning to He who really is our Deliverer and trusting Him completely, whether He directs me to hold back or run forth.
When I was young I thought anyone aged 59 was really old.
Yet here I am at 59 and God can make me feel like a child because there's still so much I'm learning, still so much to refine in my character...yes, in His eyes I am a child, a very loved child, just like you.
So this is why I'm a bit quiet right now, why I'm not pushing myself to do or to be.
Like I said before, I'm so very blessed, and as I'm making my way out of the valley and into the sunshine again there's a confidence I won't see as much of that valley as in the past because a lesson has been sorely learned this week, a lesson about being content as Jenny and not wishing to be Wonder Woman.