Life is rich with fleeting beauty. We just have to pick it up and bite right in.
I have been thinking a lot about how I spend my time. Analyzing it with the objectivity of an outsider. I've poured the hours and activities into beakers and shaken them together to see their reactions. Trying to look at the minutes rather than the outcomes of the days. It has been an exercise in brutal honesty and I haven't been very pleased with the data.
I spend a lot of time escaping.
Often I flee into the pages of a book. Even my objective researcher self finds difficulty in objecting to that. Books, words, stories are life. They give more than they take. But I also run with abandon into the lands of Instagram, online commentary and snark. (We are being honest here, right? I love snark. Political, pop cultural or intellectual - I don't care. As long as it is witty, sarcastic and at the expense of a deserving movement, or even - and here is my shame- person, I eat it up like a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity. It is my most delicious vice.)
I spend a lot of time saying tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will work on my book. Tomorrow I will bake with the girls. Tomorrow I will serve. Tomorrow I will go outside and adventure. Tomorrow I will do what is expected of me. Tomorrow I will do what I expect of myself. I am so rarely ready for the todays.
I spend some time saying "yes" to too many things.
Freelance, nights out, the needs of people so far outside my circle and, worst of all, the constant "YES" that affirms my self-doubt and mistrust in my life's mission.
I spend a little time wishing I was included.
In that play date I saw going on down the street, in the dinner I saw on Instagram, in blogger conferences that are filled with photo booths I have to keep myself from mocking. (oh, snark. The 8th deadly sin.)
I don't spend enough time doing what I want to do.
The writing, the mothering, the wife-ing. The moments alone. The beauty captured and the dark extinguished. The reveling in my small part in something grand and bright.
So. A challenge for the next seven days. It took the Lord seven days to create the world, certainly I can begin to remake my corner of it in that much time. (No, no, no I don't think it took a LITERAL seven days to create the world. Yes, I grasp the symbolism of seven in the Old Testament. But the concept really made that last sentence flow so...let's move on.) For now, change will begin with three little steps.
I am unplugging. No more politics, pop culture or sarcastic commentary. I'll use social media for 15 minutes each day, only utilizing the aspects of it that uplift me. Keeping in touch with friends and family. The community of Instagram has been, on the whole, a good one for me. But for this week, I'll visit once a day.
It is time to journey back to the classics. This week it will be Moby Dick accompanied by grilled cheese sandwiches and cream of tomato soup.
And finally - and certainly most revolutionary - I am going to spend the week doing the three things that make up the essence of this moment in my life. I am going to mother, I am going to wife, I am going to write. Everything else can wait. Maybe until next week, maybe until next year, maybe forever.
Because here is the deal, I learned something I already knew during my experiment of objective analysis. All we have is the moment we are in. The past falls away like so many leaves on a tree while the future is uncertain and unfixed. All I can grasp is right now. And right now deserves more.
I deserve more.