Thursday, April 18, 2013

A New Day

Yesterday I woke up to another day of gray.  The sooty skies were heavy with what was to come: more rain.

I managed to get out for a walk right after drop off duty.  I started listening to Elie Wiesel's Night.  I hate to say it, but the somber subject felt right for just this kind of day.  It was quick to draw me in.  I extended my walk along the way so I could keep listening to the haunting story.   How is it I have never read this?  More proof that there is never enough time.

The rain was held at bay until I turned up my driveway.  Then as if on cue the skies opened up and the heavens roared.  I love nothing more than a thrashing thunderstorm mostly because it is the most urgent invitation to snuggle in with a good book and a cat or two.  I have a stack...many stacks...but nothing is calling my name right now.  I am in a place where I need to be lured.  I decided I would peruse the aisles of a nearby used book store I have had my sights on. 

Two hours later I left with four books.  The truth is that tally is a sign of great restraint.  I was proud of myself though.  I've decided I will only buy books I absolutely must own.  Those that fall into the category of want to read I can get from the library in due time.  Patience is not an easy virtue for me, but this is an exercise in waiting that gets easier and easier the longer I practice it.

Then I came home to find a book I requested on hold for me at the library proving my point.  It is an older Gillian Flynn novel written prior to her popular Gone Girl, which I loved simply for its entertainment value.  I got right back in the car to pick it up because that was exactly what I was in the mood for: mindless diversion.  An easy read.

Once home, I curled up and dove in.  I drifted off within a few minutes/pages only to be woken up by a crashing round of thunder.  It was a good thing too since it was already time to pick up the kids.  Just like that and it's three o'clock.  It amazes me almost every day how quickly time passes whether idle or engaged.

T. Bone was quick to remind me that I promised an after school stop at the frozen yogurt shop.  Miss Bit was just as pleased.  A promise is a promise or so they say.  That could have been dinner as far as I was concerned, and in college many nights it was. 

When Coach arrived home, I was alternating between napping and reading in my favorite family room spot.  He kindly assumed dinner duty.  And maybe homework duty as well.

At the end of the eve, I retired with Miss Bit to my bed for our nightly read aloud.  After many detours, we're finally making headway with A Little Princess.  I fell asleep mid sentence at the end of our chapter.  I woke up to my girl imploring, What was exciting?  What?  What!  She had no idea I was out cold.  She thought I was just leaving her hanging...playing...joking.

I roused long enough to finish the last two paragraphs and tuck her in for the night.  I went back to bed to read and then T. Bone sweetly came to tuck me in.  I fell asleep before finishing my chapter.

I felt the weight of the world yesterday.  Everything seemed heavy.  My life was water logged.  All I have to do is to look at world affairs or the local weather for an explanation, but really it's more than that.  It's deeper and more personal.  Today I'm not going to dwell on the worries and woes of yesterday.  What I am going to take away from the day is the healing power that exists in taking care of oneself without guilt or excuse.  There is no shame in a little escape when the going gets rough.  The other thing that I am realizing is that it is OK to let things slide or to ask for and accept assistance.  Acceptance here is key.

How fitting it was that one of the books I picked up from the bookstore was Claire Dederer's Poser.  I don't do yoga, but something deep down and intrinsic tells me I should.  Sure I've dabbled in it a time or two, but I've never committed.  I leafed through the book and focused on this detail: A chicken roasted in the oven was a virtue discernible.  There it was: love, concern, nurturing, all rolled into a four-pound organic fryer.  I instantly related.  Of course I has to do with cooking not yoga.  But it also speaks to keeping it real and acceptance.  There's that word again.  Really does it mean I love my family any less that I didn't make them dinner last night?  Are they scarred by the fact that Coach baked non-organic chicken breasts?   Should I be embarrassed to admit that I took two naps yesterday and did zero loads of laundry?  Is it neglect that all three pairs of Miss Bit's beloved yoga pants are in the wash?  Will Coach begrudge me for going to bed with the kids?  Will God forgive me for being too tired to pray?  I say no...Sometimes the most valuable gift we can give others is love, concern and nurturing of our very own selves.  It's not natural for me to be selfish in this way, but there are times that it is essential.  Yesterday was one of those days.

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