Fall down, get back up again

The urge to write has been overwhelming lately, but I struggle with what to say. So many things swirl around my head every day — snippets of thoughts on a ton of topics — but when I sit staring at a blank screen, my mind also goes blank.

“This isn’t even worth writing about.”

“This idea is monumentally stupid. Step away from the keyboard.”

“No one’s going to care what I think about [topic].”

The doubts come in, and not on the little cat feet like Sandburg’s fog. They stomp and crash, kicking me to the curb with steel-toe boots. But despite the doubts, and the stomping,… the urge is still there, growing into frustration that brings tears. In the immortal words of Maya Angelou, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Ain’t *that* the truth.

I finished up the evening shoo’ing kids into bed, determined to spend at least a few minutes with my laptop tonight. As I folded laundry, I took a step back, mentally, and thought a bit about things that have happened — as long ago as a year, and as recently as two hours ago. There’s been a lot of falling down and getting back up again. Sometimes it’s me  — like with my enthusiasm to make this Lent the most meaningful of my life; sometimes it’s friends who are pushed down, and struggle to get back up. Examples started popcorning my brain. Pop, pop,… poppity, pop. The common thread woven throughout all these situations is “starting over.” That made me think of the name of the blog, “SquareOneMom.” The name is an evolution from the original blog, “Back to Square One,” which I began almost seven years ago when Bobby was born. Jeff and I had gotten married the year before. We were new parents, while five other kids peered over our shoulders. Then I was downsized out of a job, and had to start looking for another job.

Starting over. Going back to square one.

Lent is a whole eight days old, and while I’d had hopes of crushing it, I’ve fallen each day. Perhaps I set myself up for failure, setting too rigid restrictions for myself. But I know for a fact that my guidelines were follow-able, because one aspect of my Lenten journey mirrored month number one in Jen Hatmaker’s book “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.” It’s the simplify-your-life-one-area-at-a-time-over-several-months project, beginning with food. She modified her diet to just seven items, which she would eat over the course of a month: chicken, eggs, avocado, whole wheat bread, apples, sweet potatoes and spinach. My menu varied a smidge, as I added my newest favorite thing, quinoa, and I allowed for green tea and coffee, besides water. Looking back, my resolve was pretty strong those first few days, but then a weekend happened, and VALENTINE’S DAY happened and how in the world was I supposed to pass up a breakfast made with love by my husband, and there was no possible way to refuse when the darling almost-7 year old pushed two foil-wrapped Hershey’s Kisses across the table, saying, “Here, Mama… these are for you.” I had all the feels and all the love and absolutely ZERO willpower.Bring on the bacon and chocolate!

So, yes. There was falling. And once I fell, it was too easy to rationalize and slip again. But when I began to beat myself up about it, the lyrics to Toby Mac’s “Get Back Up”came to me:

We lose our way

We get back up again

It’s never too late to get back up again

You may be knocked down

But not out forever

Everything’s a cycle, we always find our way back to the beginning again — ready to get back up again. Whether it’s Lent, a job, a marriage, whatever, we may get knocked down, but we’re not out forever.

Get back up.


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