Essay 8 of 52: Survive or Thrive

The older I get, the more I've realized that I operate in two different gears: Survive or Thrive.

Surviving is minimal. It is scrounging. It is digging out an old granola bar for breakfast, or the sugary oatmeal I hate from the top shelf. Surviving is taking a nap at lunch, shoveling food down my throat on the way back to work. Surviving is three hours of television in the evenings. It is an unmade bed, dirty clothes piling around the chair in our room, and squeezing the  v e r y  l a s t  bit of the toothpaste on my toothbrush to avoid another trip to the store.

But thriving. Thriving is making it to work on time, belly full of eggs and toast and fruit. Thriving is making time for scripture and journaling before the sun peaks through our windows. It is curly hair bouncing and an outfit picked out the night before. Thriving means 24 ounces of water are consumed before 10:00 am and my nails are freshly painted. Thriving is a clean bathroom, a fully stocked fridge, and new craft in my hands.

January often morphs into a season of survival for me. The days are dark and the mornings are cold. Bed seems to good to refuse. I end up snoozing a few too many times and before I know it, my attitude for the day is set. Hair frizzy and up, makeup smudged, and coffee to go.

And that's okay. It really is.

I've also lived long enough to know that life is comprised of both surviving and thriving. Seasons of each, moving in and out like tiny stitches. I used to beat myself up about surviving. It felt dirty and bad and filled me with jealousy as I peeped on others who were in a season (or day) of thriving.

And I know that I can't let it last. I can't sink myself into a season of surviving. I can't loose myself in the softness, in being too easy on myself. Thriving is too good. We were meant to be disciplined and say no the bad things and yes to the good things.

But it is January. And I am surviving. And remembering that this isn't a permanent stage.

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