Monday, March 14, 2011

Existential Allyson

I haven't been in a blogging mood as of late.  Obviously.

The fact of the matter is, despite my happy-go-lucky life of baking cookies and playing endless rounds of Candyland, I often find myself awake in the middle of the night for an hour or more worrying and thinking about all kinds of craziness. I bottle it up for awhile, and then eventually it all comes spilling out over Brandon, the conversation ending with me saying something like I said to him tonight, "You should have married a simpleton from Farmington." (I think that's a small farming community in Utah--no offense, it just rhymed.)

Some days (many days) I really do wish the only things swirling around in my brain were recipes, decorating ideas, and vacation plans. The requisite business of mothering four children and running a household does afford a nice distraction from thinking if that's what you're going for (that was me last week--I got a lot done), but sooner or later there are some things you just can't avoid. Existential things like the meaning of life, pain and regret, the purpose of suffering, and other equally light hearted topics most people would love to talk about at a dinner party with me. (This is classic "alone in a crowd" stuff.)

My sister has melanoma traveling around in her body, and now it's landed in her lungs. Not a great place to be--it's inoperable, and radiation and chemo are not options. What else is there to say about this on my silly blog? Lots actually, but this isn't the place.

Then the quake and tsunami hit Sendai--the place Brandon and I met, the place where we lived and worked as missionaries. It's hard enough to see that kind of devastation on the news without a personal connection, but when you do it changes your perspective a bit. And yes, gets me thinking even more.

There's other stuff too, but it's none of your business, and I can never discount the influence of OOCFHS (out of control female hormones syndrome) as well as the possibility of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I mean, I've been using my happy lamp, but it has been downright dreary around here! (Or, if you are my psychotically optimistic husband who quotes Sherlock Holmes, you would be appreciating the "dun-colored heath.") In any case . . .

Life is so fragile. Fragile, fleeting, and moving too darn fast!

I've been noticing lately that the longer you live, the more stuff that happens. (I know, profound.) Lots of good stuff, but hard stuff too. I'm starting to see why older people talk about youth like it's such a magical thing. Sure, it's hard to go through the awkwardness of the teenage years and the challenges of the transitional years when you go out on your own to figure out what to do with our life and who you're going to spend it with, but when you are young? Everything is still waiting to happen. There is nothing but potential and possibility--nothing rotten has happened yet.

And while I haven't had a whole lot of rotten in my life, I'm just having a hard time focusing on the good right now. Call me crazy, but I'm not very good at enjoying the bounty of my own charmed life when other people around me are suffering so much. You can really start to see where Mother Teresa was coming from.

Don't worry. Tomorrow I'll be back to Elizabeth's first lost tooth, Rachael's nightly "wubby" ritual, Will's upcoming birthday, and Kate's latest art project. That's what I like about blogging.  It freezes time, and selectively highlights the happy.

I know, I get it. Life really is good. Sometimes I just get a little bummed out for awhile.


  1. First let me say how sorry I am about your sis. Since my sister is my wubby I cannot imagine her having an illness like that and it makes me so sad for your family to have to go through something like that.

    Second, I totally understand the whole down in the dumps thing. This has been the LONGEST winter and I grew up here and should be used to the "dun-colored heath"! I've found myself thinking a lot lately too about heavy things and questioning things that I've always just accepted. I find myself unsatisfied with the everyday even when in my heart I know that I am so very blessed and feel guilty for my want of more. More excitement, more accomplished, more...I don't even know. Anyway, just know that you are not alone in your ponderings.


  2. I was wondering if Sendai was close to where you guys served. I didn't realize how close!

    SAD, happy lumps, bummed out--are you sure you're not part of the Don Reynolds family? No one knows depression like we do!

  3. So this 'profound' thought you had: "the longer you live, the more stuff that happens" really stuck out to me...

    I've been pondering much the same thing. The other night, I said to my husband, 'I can't believe how many people we know that I can list right now that are having REAL challenges. Is it that more challenging things are happening in general, or is it that the older you get the more you realize challenging things are really happening?'

    Why oh why oh why is life so hard? Okay, I know deep down we both know the answer, but I still like to ask it.

    Hang in there, F.R.I.E.N.D. ;)

  4. Hi,This is sister Hirakawa.
    anata to kazoku wa genki desuka?
    watashi to kazoku wa genki desu.

    Sendai mission wa close shimasu...
    sabishii desu ne.

    facebook de Sendai mission no tame ni event ga arimasu.

    [Making special message board for SENDAI MISSION]

    yokattara sanka shite ne!

  5. Hey Allyson -
    I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. Such issues bring up heavy questions. The reality is, even with a pretty good life there is plenty of bad. Minimizing it doesn't make it go away. I absolutely know what you are talking about when you mention SAD - it makes getting out of bed one of the more difficult tasks for the day.

  6. Thanks for this post, Allyson. I love reading your stuff - you express so much of what I'm thinking and it's nice to know I'm not alone! Sometimes life is just not fun and not happy and yep, the longer we live, the more stuff that happens - both good and bad... You're in my thoughts and prayers!


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