I am terrible at limbo.
It’s all I can do to stay upright on two roller skates without the added pressure of being clothes-lined by a broomstick.
But as hard as the broomstick-limbo-on-roller-skates is, the other kind is far worse: the limbo that finds you waiting for some life-changing bit of news.
And I was prepared at this point to lament the difficulty of waiting for a new job assignment. Or waiting for a house to sell. Or wondering when the next deployment would come.
Until I spoke to a friend who is waiting for health results from an oncologist. And then my limbo didn’t seem so tough. In fact, it seemed a little indulgent to even mention my dilemma.
But the pitfalls of any limbo are the same.
Because my tendency while I’m waiting is to put life on hold: to spend every waking moment thinking about the news I’m waiting for, so that I end up missing the life that happened in the meantime. To be so focused on what’s coming that I miss what’s already here.
I’m also inclined to worry endlessly about the problem at hand, as though worrying will make the house sell faster or cause the answer to come sooner. Put another way, I worry so much about where we’ll go next that I forget to enjoy where we are now.
I’m not any better at change now than I was multiple deployments and several years ago. In fact, I might even be worse at it because I know what’s coming. I know that I’ll have to balance my desire to plan for the future with my inability to know what exactly I’m planning for. I also know that control of the situation isn’t mine.
To be fair, limbo doesn’t belong exclusively to military families. It’s a by-product of everyday life for families everywhere. And though some situations are much tougher than others, limbo is tough for everyone.
Especially on roller skates.