Lessons of Ladybugs

Every weekday, I have to be at work at 8 a.m.

What this usually translates into is me rolling into the office at about 8:10, 8:15…8:25.  Today was an 8:25 day, mostly because I couldn’t even haul myself out of bed until about 7:45.  I’m entering my third week of no days off and quite literally only being in my house to sleep.

I do it to myself, I know, but whatever my choices or lack of choice or job or calling or anything, I’m running out of steam.  This is not helped by my ear acting up again and my having a concert on Sunday in which I have a solo (and let me clarify why that’s A Thing:  I do not have solos.  I do not do solos.  The concept of singing in front of a large crowd of people by myself is freaking me out to such an extent that I’m treating it like a Tyrannosaurus Rex:  if you don’t move, it won’t see you [and I don’t care if that’s not true, Jurassic Park taught me that and I’m sticking with it]).

All of this is to say that I don’t anything clear to say, because when I get super tired I have real difficulty focusing on the life-giving parts of my day-to-day routine, and I also just stop talking to God.  I don’t have much to say to Him, which is bad because at least I could complain at Him about how tired I am, I suppose, like I am to you.  But I feel like, at this stage, it’s more that moment when you just take a day with a friend and marathon mindless films together, not really talking because each of you knows the other is beat.

Well, I’m beat, anyway.  If God is beat, I think we’re all in trouble.

So anyway, instead of continuing to tell you in one hundred different ways how I have constructed a life that is slowly draining my lifeblood in the name of things like “experience” and “duty,” I will instead tell you two things:

1)  Next month is NaNoWriMo.  If you don’t know what that is, I encourage you to poke around the site and explore.  Short version:  write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I’ve been doing this for years now (and even hit the mark once), and I’m planning on doing it again this year, so be prepared for me whining about how my characters refuse to cooperate with the very clean path of plot I wish for them to walk.

(I hear it now—but Christiana, didn’t you just say that you’re so very worn out and it’s all your own fault for adding things?  Isn’t this adding a thing?  Yes, it is.  See also “life-giving activities,” which I really, really hope this will be.  Because if I continue to live a life in which I’m only taking minutes for meetings and creating spreadsheets of averages, I may lose my soul.  I’m only partially exaggerating that.)

2)  There is, at this moment, the zombie apocolypse of ladybugs outside of my office window.  Yes, this is noteworthy, because this is the third or fourth time in the last week or so that there have been literally hundreds of ladybugs swarming my building, buzzing distractedly against the window I hurriedly close so as not to be finding their shell-corpses in my light fixtures for months.  Is this a farmer’s almanac type thing, that tons of ladybugs means there will be a bad winter, or a mild winter, or a confused groundhog?  I don’t remember ever seeing them like this, which then makes me chuckle about having somewhere passed the threshold of being able to say “I don’t remember” as though I have a memory bank large enough to actually measure things like this.  Yet I sit in my office with the teetering stacks of flattened tree pulp sacrificed to our need to document each other for an accountability we grasp distrustingly and I hear the one ladybug that got in before I could shut it out.  She—or he, for how does one tell?  Am I not also one who dresses outside of what is considered my gender and expects others to allow that without confusion?—is up in the blinds at the very tip-top of my long rectangular window, desperately trying to escape to the wide sky s/he can see through this mystifying mostly-clear force field.

The thing of it is, though, that I know s/he won’t go out if I open the window.  This happens with all of the insects that find their way into my office (since I usually have the window cracked to remember that there is air in the world not cycled through decades-old vents dripping cobwebs of crystallized dust particles); I don’t know whether they’ve injured their minds by banging against the glass or whether the sudden intake of wind confuses them, but they don’t leave.  They often fly in the opposite direction until I take a piece of paper and scoop them out, hoping they remember the power of their own wings before they hit the ground four floors below.

Ain’t that a peach, though, to fall directly into a well-worn comparison?  Way to interrupt the movie marathon, God—for how on earth shall I judge the ladybug?  Do I not also stand right next to the open window and fly my little self the other direction?  There are a couple of areas being highlighted in this time of no rest, no sabbath, in which I find I cling fiercely to outdated perceptions, expectations, and reactions that are actually wounding me as I wrap myself around them.  I will be one of the shell-corpses in the light fixture, and yet when God and the various people He sends show me the way out, I refuse.

I can only hope, then, that when He decides to scoop me out, I remember He gave me wings enough not to hit the ground below.


Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  (Exodus 20:8-11, ESV)

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