If you’re a new reader to this space, you don’t yet know about my chronic disease. What started as an itch in my brain several years ago, has now morphed into an all-out syndrome.
If you’ve been reading for a while or live in my life, you already know about my ailment and you’ve probably been an unsuspecting victim at least once.
Maybe someday, there will be a cure.
For now, I have breakfast to make, e-mails to answer, a flower bed to weed, and another load of laundry to take out of the dryer. But first, help me remember where I left my drink, glasses, phone, and pants. As is the case with SOS, one has to back-track their movements to find the missing pieces.
The drink is on the washing machine, the phone is buried in dandelions, the pants are in the kitchen, and the pancakes are smoking because I suddenly decided to write a post.
Since returning from the Erma Bombeck’s Writers’ Workshop last week, my hair has been on fire. My brain has been spinning with BIG ideas, detailed plans, objective goals, and lists. OMG! The lists!
- Finish Editing Lipstick and Laundry–2 chapters
- Yoga. When can I get to yoga?
- I’ll just run instead. I can throw on my shoes and head out the door. But first–
- Make flights for work to Atlanta, Nashville, and Dallas
Submit a tax plan to the presidential candidates that will revolutionize the system
- Taxes! Oh, s&*%t! I gotta finish our taxes
- Baseball pants are dirty again
- Tanna graduates from college in May….hmmm…should I make a cake or do fancy cupcakes with sprinkles?
- ACK! Invitations!
- It’s time to transplant the snapdragons
- Pitch a column idea to the Capital Journal
- Oops! There’s hubby. He needs a kiss, so he doesn’t think I’m ignoring him. Hi, honey!
- I need to write a blog post: Should I do funny or serious?
- Wonder what others are writing…maybe I’ll just hang out at their blogs instead
- ROSA! What am I doing with Rosa?
My husband said, “All you need now is a candle with four wicks. Then you’d you have more ends to burn.”
I’m not alone, nor any busier than you. The only difference between your list and mine are the items on the page. I feel your pain, but it doesn’t stop me from wallowing around in self-imposed exhaustion.
On Saturday, my blogger bestie wished me a happy day and then made the innocent error of asking me what I was doing. Without even thinking, I sent her another list. Afterwards, I thought, “she doesn’t need to hear that crap!” and then added need to be a better friend to the growing list.
I don’t often check my e-mail on the weekend, but Dane and I were waiting to be helped at a store so I decided to take the few minutes and clean it up. After I finished the work correspondence, I looked at my personal account and found this gift from her only a few minutes after I’d send the self-indulgent text message.
Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,
between “green thread”
and “broccoli,” you find
that you have penciled “sunlight.”
Resting on the page, the word
is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend
and sunlight were a present
he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,
and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing
that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds
of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder
or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,
but today you get a telegram
from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom
the king and queen alive,
still speaking to their children,
—to any one among them
who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.
“The Word” by Tony Hoagland, from Sweet Ruin. © University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.
I shut down my e-mail, put away the phone and stayed in the moment with Dane. He was getting measured for a tuxedo–his first prom. How is his chest already almost the size of his dad’s?
Then, I spent the afternoon in the greenhouse and played with my baby plants.
I called my mama.
We invited friends over who we hadn’t spent time with since January. We ate, drank, laughed, and provided quiet support for internal battles not always revealed or sometimes minimized: growing children, ailing parents, aging bodies, and melancholy days.
Even though I am ever mindful about living in the present and being grateful for all of my gifts and blessings, I still let the shiny objects take me away from what’s important. But, I’m fortunate to have friends and family to remind me to embrace the spontaneous moments, to live in the present, and soak up the sun!
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