I had some thoughts today, and I wanted to write them out. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and for that I apologize, but since I’ve done this, we’ve had Christmas and New Year’s, four wisdom teeth removed, and traversed the miles between here and North Carolina. The kids have started back at school and we’ve all picked up the threads of life, moving forward, as there is no other place to go. We can’t stay in one place, no matter how cozy, comfortable … safe, it may feel.
Life just … goes.
It’s been really cold here. Trees are in sharp relief against the white skies, lacy and black like a Sharpie pen. Green is only in our Georgia Pines and yards are that universal color of brown and grey. The weathermen shout, “Ice! Snow! Freezing rain!” at us like it’s really going to happen, but any Georgian worth their salt knows they can believe it when they see it. Nonetheless, it has been cold, and so I was out on the porch with our mega-heater going, watching the trees in the backyard sway and the branches scrape against the glass of the windows. It was that perfect time of day, when Mary is asleep and the younger kids are not yet home from elementary school, molting their papers and agendas all across my clean kitchen.
It was peaceful and quiet. It was a good time to think.
One day, I’d like to build my own house. Not a huge monstrosity, just a functional, warm, and amazing place where my children will know that they are loved and thought of. Where the rooms give one the feeling of acceptance, belief, and unconditional conditions. I try to create that here, but sometimes life gets in the way, and my temper and frustration with it. Dirty clothes pile up in the linen closet. Clean clothes pile up on the living room sofa, waiting to be folded, sorted, distributed. I suspect that is the way of most homes, and through it all, we still try to create that environment where our kids come home, flop into a chair and know that they are loved. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I just turn into the shrewish, witchy mom from Hell.
I was thinking about this new and improved house today. The one where utopia reigns and all is wine and roses. If ever I get to build my own house, I want a linen room. A room with tons and tons of shelves, where each set of sheets have their own space. Where towels only have to stack three deep. Where the sash windows are floor to ceiling, framing the backyard and there is a long wooden table to fold things like fitted sheets and bath sheets. A room where there is peace and freshness and a second set of a washer and dryer. A room with a wooden floor and lavender tucked between the cotton. A room … in my imagination, where I can go and feel like I feel when all is quiet and the only thing I hear is the swish of the ceiling fan.
Somehow, I’ve gotten lost in the day to day. The constant running, the chasing, the meeting expectations of everyone around me has kept me racing from task to task. There used to be a time when I was capable and contributing. Dependable and executing. Now, it seems that I run from fire to fire, only to find that the hose just barely reaches, and I am exhausted by the effort. I guess that is something I should have expected. Sixty minutes in an hour isn’t what it used to be and time keeps tapping its fingers at me, impatient and thrusting. What is the answer and where do we go from here? I’m not exactly sure, but I think some of it comes from being happy with what we have and not wishing away the present.