[3] The Sunday Collections: Middle Space

It has been a centering kind of season, and sometimes centering isn’t fun because it makes me pull in the bleeding edges and deal with issues I’ve been ignoring or justifying for too long. Not everything that is ultimately for the best feels good at the time, though.
It seems as though I’m always, forever sitting in a middle space. I’m neither here nor there. Always going, never quite arriving. I’m at the point, now, in my middle space where the novelty has worn off a bit, the end is just foggy enough to be out of reach, and I’m feeling the rut beginning to form. I hate that rut. It is the routine, the repetitive work. What I’ve noticed about myself is that I usually dive into new things with intensity, and then the shine wears off and I’m looking for the next thing. This is a habit that scares me, a bit. I’m trying to train myself out of it. I don’t want to spend my life addicted to running over the next hill while never actually leaving behind work of substance.
We’re all building something, I think. We’re building careers, families, relationships, our stories. My question to myself is: what grounds me enough to push through that boring, dusty middle space? Personally, I’ve discovered that I need to be creating things. Rather than always chasing the newness out there, I can create new things here and now to keep the restlessness at bay. When I’m craving a change of scenery and it is not the right place or time to leave, I need to look at where I stand from a different angle.
The other thing is comparison. It is easy to glance over into the lives of other people and convince myself that they have better problems, more freedom, or a nicer life in general, and maybe, if I tried something new, I’d get there too. See, that type of thinking is dangerous, especially if it propels me to drift around, taking on projects and signing up for things that don’t fit who I am because I’m trying to find the magic life. It is especially dangerous if it makes me a chronic “leaver,” ever unfinished and never truly satisfied. I know I’ll never build anything strong if I keep disappearing before the end.
Part of why I have this urge to leave before the end is because I hate endings. Denouements are painful and final and sometimes I’d rather skip across to new beginnings without the nasty “end” part. There’s something healthy about allowing a season to finish, though. Some of us drag out our seasons on purpose so the end will never come. Some of us avoid endings by trying to evade them. Either way, closure sometimes hurts and it is important to acknowledge that. It is good to say good-bye at the right time. Sometimes it might not be our choice to say good-bye, but it is essential to learn how to work through this, even if it might be very painful.
It is Sunday. In a way, this is a day of beginnings and endings. It starts a week and signals the end of last week. It is a day that I use to reflect and it is a day I use to look forward. I think that this practice subtly helps ground me, as well. It shows me that last week had purpose and beauty and lessons, and so will this week. It is the sigh of relief and a spark of possibility wrapped into one day.
This is the ebb and flow of life’s rhythm.

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