Sunday, November 11, 2012

Selective deprivation

I wanted to close the chapter about being with/without a car in Cape Town. The day after we got the car back, we were again faced with all the choices we'd had before, which was stressful. Should we go to the beach? The park? A special park? and so on, and so on. Would I still have time to do my work? If I did things this way would that leave Eug and I more or less time to work on this or that? What about house projects? And on and on. If the day wasn't working, there was some pressure, real or imagined, to make it work better because we suddenly HAD options. I say this knowing that a total prison of lack of choice would be terrible, too.

During our time without a car we were in crisis mode, where we are at our best. Rather than try to make our lives work, we acknowledged that our lives weren't really working, and that we needed help- supernatural and human.

So although we were in crisis, we did very well. Which brings me to the subject of selective deprivation. I've nurtured a lot of different crutches and coping strategies the last few months with small children and work: getting the kids out of the house, ice cream, coffee, chocolate, Modern Family. Some of the coping strategies are just good parenting- to have ideas for when the kids aren't doing as well as they could. But some of them seem to incubate that sense of crises, even when that crisis is just Life. Counter-intuitively, I've found that saying no to some of these crutches leads me to pray and not feel like life is made up of a series of crises. At this stage in our lives there are bound to always be crises. Again, it helped to acknowledge that something-- that life, objectively easy as it is for us-- still wasn't working.

And now, we're battling a bird mite infestation which is eating our Noah alive. I think that is yet another legitimate crisis....

1 comment:

Danny said...

I was recently chatting with coworkers, trying to explain why we had gone without turning on any lights in the house for a few months last summer, using some similar language. Basically, my argument was that when you go without a particular thing it opens up other possibilities you might not have otherwise seen. Some people got it, but one woman very quotably told me, "I don't do without." I think she's more in the American mainstream than I am!