Falling slowly

The movie Once has been on my radar for some time now, and I finally had the opportunity to watch it the other night. I don’t like watching movies on my own, so I generally wait until someone can join me. Funny how I can watch TV shows endlessly no problem (hello Ted Lasso), but movies, not so much. There’s a lot of amazing reviews about the movie and so my expectations were kind of high going in to it. And for me, it did not disappoint. There were a couple of scenes that honestly left me with no words and a full heart.

The movie’s magic is in its simplicity.

Don’t get me wrong, I love movies with complex emotional turmoil (relatable?) and love feeling the hard stuff with the characters as their stories play out, but there’s something to be said for a slow fall into a soft space that is being created in everyday relatable situations on screen.

The main track for the movie has been on repeat around here since Friday night, and got played four times, at a high volume while I was driving in my car alone today.

Have a listen. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

That note he hits in the middle of the chorus is haunting and beautiful and full of sadness and hope, all at the same time. Simple, right? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I really feel that note every time it plays. I feel it in my soul and I am transported to a place where the pain is as real as can be, but there’s a safeness to it also; the aforementioned soft space perhaps.

That movie and the accompanying soundtrack are enough, just as they are. The sketchy camera angles and framing and single-shot scenes are all enough in their own uncomplicated way.

Enough is a word I battle with regularly. Not just in the last four years, but for years before.

What do you do when your best isn’t enough? When you give everything but more is demanded of you? Is that just parenting in a nutshell? Is that just life sometimes? And who’s measure of enough are we even using?

Psychologists use the “bucket” or “tank” analogy for our emotional well-being. When our tank is full, we can be emotionally available to help others, as well as maintain ourselves. When we give out faster than we can replenish ourselves, our tank runs dry and we are no good to anyone. I have so many tank-fillers in my life – mainly people-centered quality time and activities – but kids can be really sneaky about taking more than they give.

I found myself running on fumes tonight, and it kind of took me by surprise. Sure I’ve had a few late and interrupted night’s sleep lately (going on 11 years…. 🙂 ) and it’s been a big weekend, but things were going really well. Until they weren’t. And I had nothing more to give. It was 7:45pm, I had four tired kids who really needed to go to sleep in about 30 seconds, two of whom wanted me to stay with them, (in separate bedrooms) and it took another hour and 10 minutes before they actually were all asleep.

I share this with you because I know I’m not alone in this; I share it so these feelings of “not enough” have a loud voice for us to band together against it, but not so loud that it convinces us of untruths. The story we tell ourselves is the most important one we hear. It can be so hard, and I sometimes need gentle reminders from friends, but I really do try to make sure that gratitude and encouragement have a more regular presence at a higher volume than the self-doubt and fear.

Two quotes were presented to me today and they both screamed at me:

You didn’t come this far to only come this far.

and

… that all that I have lost has given me everything I have… (Thank you Kat for that one. Absolutely beautiful.)

The rain has come which means it’s time for me to head to bed and fall asleep to the sound of rain falling on my tin roof. And just like that, I feel my tank filling up once more.

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