There are days when I feel less than adequately intelligent. I am somewhat obsessed with the passage of time, and the passage of time and what it does is one detail of life about which I can do exactly nothing. So why do I worry so much about something that just isn’t negotiable? It makes me feel like a luddite — fretting over something I should be way beyond by now, not quite getting with the enlightened program I yearn to follow, not finding peace about the ticking clock even though I want to be humming “om.”
Maybe it’s that I do a lot of things. I’m a hyphenate if there ever was one, and at the moment I have about 83.9 things going on at the same time (take note — be careful about deciding to release a book and a record at the same time, it isn’t for the faint of heart or the short of energy), which isn’t conducive to slowing down and being present. So what do I do as a result of those 83.9 things? I get up at 5am most mornings so that I have time to at least attempt to attend to them. The minutes between 530am (after I’ve made coffee, turned off the porch light and turned on some lamps, and taken Willie outside if he’s chosen to get up as well) and usually around 7, when John Henry wakes up, is my most valuable writing time. After he’s up and going, my day is fractured constantly, and I struggle to do what we hear as a mantra these days — get things done. And I mean really done. With periods and exclamation marks and not ellipses or semicolons. I like to cross things off the list, not put dashes beside them because they’re sort of finished and have to be addressed again.
I fail at getting the 83.9 things done on the regular.
Sometimes I wonder what do I spend my time doing. Days fly by like greased pigs running from horny hillbilly boys while I spin my wheels — managing and mothering, grocery-ing and artist-ing, homemaking and wife-ing — and there are nights when I finally get to bed, that I feel run through. Time is everything — it is the most valuable currency I have — and I hate to feel as if I’ve wasted any. I also know that inspiration and tenderness is usually found in the spaces we give ourselves. I struggle to give myself, or to take for myself, any real space at all.
I took my son for a late afternoon swim at a friend’s house today. I dutifully took my laptop with me so that I could write this while he splashed and had fun, but I thankfully had the good sense to close it after I wrote a few sentences and got in the pool with him. I’m so glad I did. It was the smartest thing I did all day. He will never be 9 years, 4 months, and 9 days old again. If time is indeed my most valuable currency, and I know that it is, I want to make sure that he is paid in full, or at least as close as I can get. There are some days when it’s hard to make that choice, and to be honest with you, I sometimes choose some of the other 82 things besides him. When my head hits the pillow, I always wish I hadn’t.
Peace and love and happy Wednesday,