Taking My Time

It has been a day when time stretches out from beginning to end, and I treasure every second.

Home, after too many days of going hard and fast. The sweetest thought, when I awoke, was that there was not one single thing on my calendar.

I took a peek at next week’s calendar a few minutes ago, and the days are already full. Meetings and places to go and people to see, and usually just enough time in between for me to get from one to another.

I say this not to encourage sympathy or try to subtly let you know How Busy I Am. I’ll tell you, flat out: I’m busy. But truly, no more busy than the rest of you. Every season brings a different sort of I don’t know how you do it! and I am speaking to you, Mom of three littles settled into your homeschool routine every day. I am speaking to you, parents of one kid instead of five. I am speaking to you, empty nesters. And you, dad-out-of-work.

All of us, truly; the swath cuts wide and deep and none of us have a hold on how we Get Through It All, until we’re through it and we look back and see that there, by the grace of God, we did it.

So in this season of my life, the dawning of a day with a clear calendar is a balm to my soul. I happily engage in my work and my responsibilities every day of the week, but this day?

It was a gift.

And we ended it with a late dinner – grilling in the dark, the thick steaks that would make my youngest cry, if he knew we ate them without him. Cooked to perfection, with quiet music in the background and gentle conversation with my beloved.

I washed and put away clothes, and I cleaned the kitchen, and I talked to God and prayed for people as breath coming in and out of my lungs. I exercised my body and I bought fresh spinach and chicken breasts and chocolate milk and I sat on my parents’ couch and stayed a while.

These moments offer something so deep, so rich and resonant. Perhaps it is my perspective, this seasoned place pushing through middle age into something wiser; but with every day that passes, I am more grateful, and more aware of how brief a time we actually have here.

I remember, just a few years ago, when I was having huge issues with the thought of turning 50. I felt as thought my life would end. I was beside myself, looking down a long tunnel of something that felt so foreign and strange. And I couldn’t stop talking about it.

My friend Walter said, “Get over yourself.”

I was so worked up. And it was such a waste of time.

I’m 51 now – almost 52 – and today, I woke up and stretched my legs and was thankful to get out of bed and have nothing to do. That’s a miracle, right there, and a gift.

Live well. Take your time. Let the day stretch long, and treasure all that is right here, within your grasp.

A few snapshots from my day:

Does anybody feel my pain here? Do you know of this hateful thing?

My mom’s flowers are blooming…

This is just to make David cry. Pretty crappy photo, especially  for Sarah Brawley’s mom….

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