So I have been working out some details about what I do exactly, who I am at this moment. Right now, I am a collection of who I have been and who I will be. I am exactly me, and there is joy in knowing that is all that is needed. Among the many lists I currently have going, I love making lists, this is a list more specifically connected to my soul than the “To Do’s” like Christmas shopping and cleaning the house.
I am Christina Lyons. I love to write. I get lost or is it that I get found when I have a blank page and a pencil. I am writing a memoir that honestly is a story I would rather not tell so that you don’t look at me differently, but you knowing more of my story might help you understand your own. I want deeply to be involved with the healing of hearts and to walk with people on their journeys into themselves. I want my choices to make a difference in my mind and my actions. I want my hope to shine a light on your hope and together light the hope of the wounded around us.
I am Caleb’s wife. I love him more than I knew I could. We have had so many beautiful and tragic moments in our 17 years together. Moments that mingle together and have created life. We own a tattoo studio. I run the business, and he creates the art. Together we are strong because apart we are wounded and can’t seem to stay standing.
I am their mother. David, Sarah, and Gideon are my children but honestly and more than anything I am their mother. I am their teacher in every way one can be. We learn everything from math to science, from joy to pain together. I spend almost every waking moment with them. In fact, right now I am sitting in my dimly lit living room writing out who I am while my youngest lays next to me trying to rest. He has had a rough night. As I sat down, coffee in hand, he tells me, “I am so tired, but my body is very awake.” Today we will do school, laugh, clean and watch Christmas movies.
I am an organizer but not much of a cleaner. I enjoy throwing on a TV show or movie I have seen a dozen times and cleaning out a closet or organizing an entire room. I am not thrilled about the day to day cleaning and picking up after myself and the rest of the house. I would trade it for the desire to maintain a home for a week just to see which I like more but every time I put it on my day planner I close the app, and that’s that.
I love to look at recipes, but I often forget people want to eat the food not look at the pictures. I often wonder, is it the cooking or the eating that I find overrated? I mean I love the idea of cooking up yummy foods and serving them for my family and loved ones. Sadly, the meal planning/grocery shopping and then the implementing of said plan can quite often get lost under the school lessons and the sweeping up of so many dog hairs. I do it, but there will be at least 2-4 meals a week that Caleb will look at me and say “what are we doing for food” and I will ask, “any chance there are leftovers?” The problem with leftovers is one has to have cooked the day before and remembered to put it away for there to be food left over for another meal.
I have a few conflicting joys in my life. First, I love to walk among authors and find words to bring home with me to breathe life into me. However, I am mostly a non-fiction reader at the moment because this is what I make a priority. So I have quite a few breathtakingly brilliant novels waiting for me to let them carry me off to a land far away to where children become wizards and grown up problems only last about 256 pages before they get resolved, and then everything ends well. Second, I want to live with less stuff but if I step foot in a parking lot of an antique store it feels like home. I could purchase things to fill my home almost every time. However, I don’t want the clutter that would come if I did buy all the beautiful that when listened to tells stories from before I was born. Honestly, like most, there is a strong magnetic pull from deep within Target that connects straight to me soul. It calls out to the part of me that likes to look at beautiful yet unnecessary things. I find myself there quite a lot with nothing on my shopping list.
I love to workout. I do. I love heading to the gym early in the morning. I love lifting weights and running sprints. I love sitting in the sauna and stretching out my tired body. I love coming home knowing that my family will just be waking up and our day will start off in the right place. Sadly my love for this is not as strong as my back pain and my soft place here on my couch at the moment. I started having to change my routine about a year ago to take care of Caleb while he was suffering from migraines and it has been a struggle to find my way back to myself. Sometimes just loving something isn’t enough. Sometimes, more than I would like loving who I am when I am taking good care of my body and my mind gets set aside for something else more important to us as a family unit.
I am a coffee everything. I have not had time to keep up with everything the hipsters have done with this delicious bean, but I am sure when I have the time to try what they have been brewing up I will love it or at least appreciate the effects. I drink a darkly roasted double espresso around 6 a.m. every morning. He is soothing to my slowly waking mind and brings a feeling of home and safety to me. If I am lucky or maybe just being rebellious to my other love of healthy eating habits I will let my soul have a vanilla latté. Depending on where I purchase it or if I make it at home determines whether it is a small double espresso latté or a large quintuple espresso latté. She brings a sense of rest to my scared and has become my closest friend over the last two decades. I can be honest with her, and she always makes me feel like its going to be okay. She likes to stick around my hips and mid section, so I have had to put some boundaries on how often we get to hang out, but she understands.
With all the things that are beginning to fill the page, I am feeling a sense of joy. I like these things. I don’t like the balancing of them, but I like them. For the last 20 years or so I have been perfecting my interest. I have been getting to know myself. When I was 14 a dear friend looked at me while I was in the throws of grief that went deeper than the broken heart of my first love, he asked me, “What is it that you love?” “What is something you enjoy?” “What brings you joy?”. I searched and searched and found two things. I loved coffee, and I loved how I could trust that when you heated the water and poured it over the beans it created a warm, safe place where I found what I didn’t even know I needed. I also found my love for the French language. Although, I have found perfecting my barista skills far easier than mastering a simple conversation in a foreign language.
I found a part of myself when I later went to Paris. I realized there that I have two homes. The one I live in and create life in, and the one I will travel to when my children grow and move on to their future homes. What I didn’t realize then but makes me smile now is that the way my friend and I communicated most was through written words. It would take several more years before I realized why I felt safer with a pen in my hand.
Now I have so much more that fills my life with joy. I love piano music. It calms my brain and helps me focus while I am learning, writing and teaching. I love taking photos of beautiful moments and creating images that help my words feel complete. I love tv shows like Bones, NCIS, Friends and Parks and Rec. I want to enjoy dancing, but when the dancing starts laughing at me, I find myself laughing at me too. I breath better when I sit by the lake and create more when I have space. I have friends that I love to go to and I have friends that love to come to me. I could sit at my homeschool co-op with the moms laughing around the round tables for hours.
I find myself wondering how do I do this? How do I love all of this and balance it all and not fall under it to be lost in its weight? This space is where I find myself today. As the season is changing from fall to winter, I realize I have needed this shift. I love how beautiful the holidays can be, but while I am in the in between of grief and healing, I am looking forward to the rest that January brings. I will hide in myself to give my heart some space, and I will let my story write itself down and heal my days. It is an honor to have you stick around to get to know parts of my ever evolving story.
May you find joy in your list of things you love about yourself and who you are right now.