You know sloths? Those animals that live in trees and hang upside down? They eat plants, sleep during the day, and are mainly hunted by jaguars. Of course, the main thing people know about sloths is that they move so slowly. In fact, sloths are the slowest mammals on earth. They are not lazy, they just don’t have the energy it takes to move very fast.
I find that there are many days when I feel like I can empathize with sloths. The day Jack was born, time seemed to stand still. For six weeks my world was at a standstill and then all of a sudden it was time to jump right back into the fast lane. Could you imagine walking alongside speeding cars on the freeway and then being expected to start running along with them? Like a sloth, there were many days I just couldn’t muster up the emotional or physical energy it took to keep up.
June came before I even realized that March had passed. And now August is right around the corner. In so many ways it has been difficult to keep up with what is going on around me. Children who were born around the same time as Jack are growing and changing and it is all very strange to me. In fact, some days it feels like not only is everything moving too fast, but also like time has switched to reverse mode.
It was exactly one year ago that we found out we were having a boy. When we received that good news, I immediately sought out the perfect coming home layette for Jack. One piece of which, instead, he was buried in. The feeling of losing all the time since then just feels so…weird. I sometimes feel as though I have nothing to show for the past year of my life. I know that I DO. I really do know it. I just wish the proof was in my arms.
There have been many days out of the past eight months when I have been able to strap on my running shoes and run. In fact, I was actually literally running the other night when the song “Beat It” by Michael Jackson came on. Not only did the music get me pumped, but some of the words really stuck with me. One of the lines says: “Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight” and I thought it was sure applicable to the days that I somehow muster up energy.
You know, it is true that I feel like I have digressed a bit in the last year in the sense that I am still only responsible for one child and I feel so distant from nearly everyone and everything around me. But, if I was really honest, I would have to say that I have progressed more as a person in the past year than I have in my whole 25 years combined. I am throwing myself into scripture study more than ever. I am more patient with Megan. I am slow to judge and quick to forgive. I am offended less. I am kinder. My prayers are more sincere and I love more freely.
I am grateful for this progress. I am not by any means perfect, and I still have a long way to go when it comes to overcoming my many shortcomings. I pray that those I am in contact with will continue to be patient with me as I journey to the person I need to become.
I don’t really feel like I am at a standstill anymore, but instead I am moving slowly and working hard to catch up. I don’t know if I will ever be able to move at the steady pace that I once maintained, but maybe I always should have been moving a little slower. So, if I seem a bit “slothful” to you, just remember that I’m not lazy, I’m just slow. But no jaguar can catch me, because my fight is strong and funky.