Hello, ladies! Thanks for visiting today! We’re talking about peace. In your single life, what brings you peace? Hobbies, reading, crafts, something else?
One of the wisest things a dear friend said to me about relationships is “You’ll know when there’s peace.” Wiser words have rarely been spoken to me. Thinking about previous experiences, an unrequited crush with a friendboy left me anxious and irrational. And as comfortable as previous short-term relationships in my early twenties had me feeling, the overall feeling after they ended was not peace. ID didn’t really experience true peace in relationships until I started dating my now-husband PJ. I hate that expression that “you’ll just know,” but seriously, I didn’t know what real was until I experienced it firsthand. But what about peace when you’re single? That…was a bit harder.
I kept busy–writing, reading, working, spending time with friends and family–but was a calendar full of stuff to do really engendering peace? I wasn’t content with my singlehood, and poor online dating results at time left me a minor inner emotional wreck. While those favorite activities did help me feel better, and on some level content (“I don’t need a man when I have____!), I couldn’t let them become the sole source of my happiness. I needed to feel peace with myself in the moments when I was alone, with nothing to do. The times I did experience calm, tranquility, and freedom from worry was when I truly believed in the following words from the Mass:
What a perfect prayer! It’s asking God to take all our worries on himself, as well as making the wait something happy to anticipate. And calling upon that, as difficult as it was in some periods, was probably the greatest thing that brought me peace.
Now that I’m married, I have peace with myself, with our relationship, and with my call. But like faith and trust, peace, I believe, can have a certain fluidity to it. I sometimes feel anxious about possible (hopefully!) motherhood, my work as a writer, and the capacity to deal with what life throws at us next. I’ve lost the strong embrace of the quote above, and I’m working on bringing it back. So some of the things I’m doing now, while they’re not achieving peace 100%, they are bringing me to a state where I can calm down and reflect on things–a state where I can find myself and be content. Some activities are still reading, writing–blogging more so, I have to be real, starting to exercise more, and gosh, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but, coloring.
Yes, I have jumped on the coloring bandwagon. Though when I was a bookseller we met the crazed coloring book seekers with bafflement, I found a free one in some craft stuff at work and a boss bought me pencils as a thank you. And, well, I get it. I get what people take from sitting down and shading in a pretty picture. I get why my friend has piles of those kids’ character coloring books from the drugstore way before the trend ever became cool. Here’s one image I did. All we need now are some Catholic themed ones. Artists, any takers?
Oh, and peace be with you.
Next week, head to Beth Anne‘s to talk about…you! She’ll have a survey for all the NAS ladies so we can get to know each other!