Written in December 2015: this is where yesterday’s post, and the 2016 journal I’ll be sharing in the days to come, realllllly started…
The world has gotten so big lately.
I live in a 2,000 square foot house in a town of approximately 1,300 people, and yet, from a tiny screen that I can hold in my hand, I have 24-hour-a-day access to every major and minor breaking news story in the entire land.
Not only that, I can also – if I so choose – give ear to every phone-wielding human on the planet, including all 500 presidential candidates.
And sometimes it can all start to feel normal, this new “plugged in” mode of living.
We’ve gotten so used to it, in fact, that many of us can scarcely recall what it felt like to be excited to check the mailbox, or to be stuck on the highway with no way to tell our daddy that we had a flat tire, or to see someone at our 10-year high school reunion and have NO IDEA what they’ve been up to since graduation.
We are updated, to the max. We are connected, at all times. We know everything about every person and every subject, and if we don’t, we can look it up in a millisecond.
That’s not all bad, of course. I don’t miss being stranded on the highway and at the mercy of potential serial killers.
But then, occasionally, these moments of clarity pop up out of nowhere — say, for instance, during Thanksgiving break, when I’m typically away from the internet for a full week — and the drug of omniscience wears off and I remember, all of a sudden, how great it can feel to be a person who lives, for lack of a better term, “outside of the screen.”
It’s like stepping into the sunlight after quarantine.
And it didn’t really dawn on me until recently (this most recent Thanksgiving, to be exact), how incredibly heavy-laden I had become about all of it, namely, the scores of worldwide matters that I maybe don’t even need to know about in the first place.
It was definitely beginning to take a toll on me, and I didn’t even know it.
Does my mommy heart, for instance, really need to hear about every kidnapping in America? Do I need to read about every grisly murder that takes place on our soil? Do I need to hear about which celebrity has posed nude for a magazine today and who has a new sexual preference in their life? Do I need to hear about who is angry with whom and which group is outraged with which and who is calling for an apology? Do I need round-the-clock exposure to sinkholes and earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes and floods?
I mean, is it not scary enough that I personally had to take shelter from a tornado in the Spring of 2008?
Can we just still try to deal with that, maybe?!?
And it just makes me wonder…
perhaps we weren’t created to carry the weight of the entire world on our shoulders.
And it’s a feeling that I just can’t seem to shake, this overwhelming craving for the world to be little again.
In the little world around me, the one I actually walk around or drive in, there is a beloved extended family that I am always happy to spend time with.
There is a community that needs my attention and compassion and cooperation.
There is a church where I can invest my life and love.
There are real conflicts that I can actually help resolve.
There are four little faces, new to this world, who need my daily instruction and guidance. And to be wiped.
There is a husband with red, curly hair who longs for nothing more than…well, ME.
And this little world, the one that has been assigned to me, the one that I wake up in on a daily basis…
this I think I can do.
So this coming year, I so desperately want to leave the big world behind — and all of its voices and its opinions and its violence and its outrage — and I want to dwell, not in a head-in-the-sand sort of way, but in a this-is-where-I-live-and-I’m-going-to-act-like-it way — in the little world that surrounds me. The one that I can see with my eyes and touch with my hands and smell with my nose.
The one that takes blood and tears and sweat from my own physical body.
The one that has a heartbeat, or at least a heartbeat that I can hear.
In other words…
I’m going home.
Part Two coming soon!