When was the last time I felt challenged?
I wake up, sip my coffee, trudge through my morning routine.
Mouthful of medicine for my chronic illness.
I write, I pray, I listen (to a book, podcast, or music).
I chew my breakfast while I drive to my same place of employment for 14 years.
I continue to listen (to the book, podcast, or music) OR I stare off into space while I drive.
I get out of my car, unlock my office door, log into my work computers, and it begins.
I get back in my car, return a million missed texts, phone calls, and emails as safely as I can using Apple Car Play / Siri Safe Drive.
I pull into the garage and count down the hours until bedtime.
I chew my supper while I try to remember my name.
I chat with my family and aging parents about mostly-trivial but sometimes-important details.
Another mouthful of medicine for my chronic illness.
I look at my beautiful children in awe, and I wonder what kind of men they will be.
I sit with my husband for an hour (if we are lucky) before he leaves for his night shift job.
Bedtime routine for kiddos, occasionally a TV show that makes me think, and then I'm staring at my palm-sized demon looking for answers it does not contain.
Is this it?
Is this the peak or the valley? The joy or the pain? The calm or the storm?
I don't know anymore. It all feels the same.
Yes, yes a global pandemic has stripped me of some of my best days.
It has calcified my heart and further thickened my skin.
My eyes grow both weak and clouded.
My soul is but an echo of its youthful GLOW.
My mind, once invigorated and eager... my mind sits solemnly in the corner silently daring someone or something to call upon it.
Goodnight, my once-lively darling.
I have tucked you in every night for almost 2 years now.
Your light is weak now, sweet darling.
I see a glimmer. A flicker of promise.
Can life wake you and shake you before your final flame burns?
That is the challenge.
No one else will save us or light our fire.
We must find the spark, the ignition, the catalyst.
Find a mirror, sweet darling - and DIG.
DIG DEEP my darling. She is in there.
Let us LIGHT HER ON FIRE again.
That is the challenge.
I wrote this for any person anywhere who feels like they are sleep-walking through life. You are not alone. We are all struggling. I stand with you. Let us find our fire again.
Please help support my fellow hope*writers by visiting their work:
Writing Consistently is a Challenge by Regina Marcazzo-Skarka
The Motherhood Penalty Challenge by Ashley Olivine
Insomnia With Anxiety and How to Overcome the Challenge by Epigen Wellness Group
Challenging Times and 3 Ways to Endure the Struggle by Lindsey Gibson
Jar Full of Manna 31 Day Discipleship Challenge by Kelly Heath