A little bit pissed...
I just have to say that I did everything I was told that would make me have "a more joyful life." There was certainly a good side, I admit that:
1. I met some really amazing people and fell in love with them.
2. I had lots of fun with them.
3. I'm more relaxed about allowing myself to make mistakes.
4. My house doesn't have to be "eat off the floor" clean.
5. I'm working with the youth again, after a hiatus of about 15 years.
However, there is also a definite downside (read: not joyful):
1. I see no point in meeting really amazing people, falling in love with them, and knowing that ten years from now none of us will remember each other's names--unless we send Chritmas cards, and then we'll only know because it's on a list. The truth is that no one really belongs to anyone, life happens, people get busy, and then they go away. This is not joyful.
2. Having close friendships is complicated. It seems that other people have lots of feelings, and they aren't as reticent as I am about having and expressing them. This can be uncomfortable. I don't like the fact that I often have emotional responses to their feelings (like empathy or frustration). It's much nicer to not be close, to be able to listen, offer understanding phrases, and go away from that person thankful that you don't have their problems, and immerse yourself in your own life. I'm finding no joy in this complicated friendship thing.
3. I don't like making mistakes. I don't like not having a completely clean house (although my husband and kids are loving it). I was much better at my jobs when I was more obsessive and structured. There is no joy here.
4. Working with the youth is fun and exhausting. There have been times when I've been so tired (no sleep/bad dreams), but I've given seminary lessons anyway. No doubt I'm preaching false doctrine, but they say that parents have more influence on their children's lives (mine didn't) than seminary teachers and youth leaders. That's a good thing. I detest most of the lessons in the Young Women's lesson books (sappy poems, emotional stories, not enough gospel and scriptures), so no doubt I will soon be released. I actually do have great joy working with these beautiful kids. I'm just really, really tired.
Darrin and I talked yesterday because he feels I'm withdrawing again. I've done this periodically throughout the past year, especially when I get tired. It's difficult not to use coping mechanisms that are accessible and comfortable. And I do want to retreat and stop trying to figure out all this friendship/relationship crap. But Darrin keeps pointing out how much closer we have become in the past year, and he wants that to continue. But, again, this is hard work and I'm tired. Also, when I get tired, I'll confess that it's more difficult to maintain my focus in my marriage and I'm distracted in ways I'd rather avoid (no, I'm not going to run away with the first cute girl that I find, but distraction is frustrating). I'm not surfing the internet or watching tv lately because it seems that the partially clad female body is everywhere, and I don't need that right now. And yeah, it sucks that I'm even talking about this because I usually don't.
Okay, I'm finished.