Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quiet Shifting

May is traditionally jam-packed.

Filled to the brim with commemorative, mile-stone activities...ballet recitals, Mother's day teas, high school and college graduations (shout out to my sister-in-law who rocked it at hers), final exams at school, ending spring football games, First Holy Communions (hats off to my adorable Godson), teacher appreciation gifts...and this year, our Claire graduated from preschool and so too did our family.

All of these "ends" are racing us towards summer and a chance, I think, to finally breathe.

Throughout this mix, I took on a weekly writing program, participated in my first public reading, and left for a retreat weekend by myself to write.

The dichotomy of these experiences has been whirl-windish...keeping up with the cyclical family rituals while forging space to create has kept me on my toes and feeling what it means to shift.

And somewhere between keeping the laundry going, meals on the table, homework attended to, and thank you gifts afloat,  I came across this quote and it brought me to my knees.

I am really, really good at staying busy.  Managing the lives of three children makes for an easy out when it comes to justifying the continual "to and fro" of it all.  But then what I'm also really good at is, from time to time, being quietly resentful that I use all of my good energy on the daily busyness and not enough on sitting with myself to see where I am and where I want to be.

Last weekend, when I was by myself, I went for a 5-mile run in the morning and a 5-mile run in the afternoon.  It was beautiful and painful to sit in silence at my computer with my thoughts.  And even though, my writing space was comprised of a beautiful, serene wooded landscape, it was tough to let go of all of the things I should or could have been doing with that time.

And so, while I was running, this quote came:

And for me, it bears the truth of who I am.  At the end of the day, when the laundry is put away, the dishwasher is running, the children are sawing logs and my teeth are brushed, I know who I am....even if I don't want to admit it in polite company.  I'm this beautiful mess of a being who is constantly wandering, ever seeking, never fully satisfied, always yearning to make amends, continually striving to do better, worried that I've squandered my potential.

My life makes for decent writing material.  It also makes me a pretty kind friend.  Sometimes, it makes me a miserable partner because I often have one toe in the future and the other in the past, rarely appreciative of the present.

But in a time when quiet shifting is taking place, it makes me aware, intimately aware, that even if the laundry is constant...the children are growing, my place in the family structure is changing and there is a place for the creative amidst the mundane.  In fact, there must be, otherwise the mundane is just that...rote, ritualistic. 

Here's to slowing the busyness for brief moments to appreciate and to sink into the truth of who we are, especially when no one is watching.

And as the summer comes, may there be very sweet moments of boring bliss to capture the truth of it all...deep in the pool, on the side with a popsicle and over several iced coffees in the sunshine.

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