From the Compost Pile ~ Where Was I When the Starting Gun Fired?

It hits me when I walk to the enclosed back porch of my house, the kitchen set if you will, to retrieve a toy bin. Gorilla shelving holds haphazardly stored bins of toys. All brands of plastic home organization represent. There are cardboard boxes storing college kids’ treasures these days.

It’s precarious back there. Removing and replacing randomly perched bins is a feat of bravery and strength. It is a constant battle of order vs chaos, with chaos, more often than not, the victor. Sometimes odor is the victor, and my valiant husband kindly sniffs out and searches for and removes the source.

A trip down to our cellar is equally daunting. A labyrinth of stacked containers, pallets of camping gear, and heaps of luggage must be navigated. There are also cardboard boxes storing adult children’s precious memories, these days. And the books. Oh the books.

A good, heavy rain, leaking into the cellar, may have taken care of that problem for me. I haven’t had it in me to go investigate after the last summer storm, though I did hear the wet-vac being used by my husband one Saturday when he went to the basement to fix a fuse.

The spiral starts. The comparison.

I remember standing in a friend’s garage. Gorilla shelving with identical Rubbermaid tubs lined the back wall. To the right were wire racks holding shoes, which were removed by all and placed neatly in pairs before entering the house. To the left was more tasteful organization in the form of a whimsically repurposed bureau, certainly containing out of season scarves or gloves or such.

I struggle with the desire for time and clarity. With the if onlys.

I grieve lost time, where instead of learning to connect and grow with my husband after a grueling four year courtship (throwing that word in for kicks), I jumped into married life headfirst, knowing full well that I would need to suck it up and just deal with it whatever it was.

There is the constant feeling of not knowing what to do or how to do it, but that if I observe others closely enough, I might catch on. A life full of accidental observations, it’s as if I have collected pieces of other people’s puzzles and tried to cram them together to make my own picture.

What in all of this is really me? It’s hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of missing myself.

What does this have to do with my kitchen set and the bins?

My friend’s bins appeared so neat and planned and ordered. All matching. Clearly labeled.

Mine, on the other hand, are simply chaotic. Stacked haphazardly, cracked, incorrectly labeled, constantly in a state of flux. The track in my head, true or not, whispers that had I taken time to think through my life…well, it would have been different. Better, somehow.

It seems that while everyone else was out limbering up for the big race, I was hauling rocks out in left field, watching from a distance. Then the starting gun fired.

This is a place that continually surfaces to process and sort truth from lies. It usually presents when I am in a season of things feeling out of control, or all of the time. These days there is great transition in my life, both planned and unplanned, and it is easy to embrace the “It’s all about me and my choices” thoughts, when it’s really not.

It’s all about the journey and being held in it.

Where are you in your journey today? How will you continue to move forward and through it?

7 thoughts on “From the Compost Pile ~ Where Was I When the Starting Gun Fired?

  1. maretta

    This resonates with me, although I wasn’t out picking rocks, I was (am) standing right there with the other runners, but when the gun went off, I was just too scared to run…too scared of the outcome, the failure, the rejection, the vulnerability, the spotlight…the risk. So, when the runners come around again for another lap, I’m still just standing there at the starting line. (Truth be told, I get myself in the motion of running, in the hopes that others don’t realize that I had been standing there all along.)

    You have a beautiful heart and a warm home, my friend. I love you.

    1. mommypancis Post author

      I love you, too, and your comment brought tears to my eyes. And not just because everything seems to do that these days! Because it was a risk for me to post these thoughts. Thank you for being one of my partners in the race as we try to figure out just where we are anyway. Really, all that matters is WHOSE we are.

  2. Stephanie Eriksen

    Let’s see… I looked down to see that my place in this journey now involves scribbles all over what I’m trying to write in my composting notebook, and a pen in the process of being pried from my hands (while his notebook is sitting on the floor right next to us). My heart was coveting the bins and shelves and the kitchen set dedicated to the bins and shelves while I am wracking my brain trying to figure out how we can make that guest/storage room into an office for B, and some more play space for Kale while still having room for guests to sleep the one or two weeks a year that happens. Every time I go into that room to go through the boxes and purge, I walk back out and shut the door. One of these days! And reminding myself that the answer isn’t just moving back where things are cheaper, but it’s being content with where we are in this moment.

    Love you!!!

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Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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