I’ve spent the morning pouring over the last few years worth of pictures in my phone, on Facebook and Instagram. The soccer games, band recitals, drama productions, holidays, picnics, dinners, you name it. What a blessing my world is. What an amazing place filled with beautiful little faces. Good luck today my babies. I hope 11th, 8th, and 6th grade is fantastic!
What a strange thing time is. Moments hang in the air that seem to last for eons, yet they are surrounded by a thousand days that went by in a blur. We capture these little moments, the ones we try to hold on to when we are stuck in those blue periods. How strange it is that the one thing we really don’t have much of, yet waste at an excruciating level is time.
Trying to fall asleep last night, these numbers kept running through my mind. We spend 8 hours working, 8 hours sleeping, 1 hour getting ready for work, 1 hour cooking dinner and eating it, and an hour trying to get to work and home from work. That’s roughly 19/20 hours a day, that are just gone. Used up on things that we have to do. That leaves us a meager little 4 hours. 1/6th of the day. 4 simple hours to spend how we choose. With the people we love. Doing the things we want to. Being ourselves. Now many people fill that time with homework, gym time, television shows… so really, it’s more of that stuff… more of the same. More have to. More time wasted. (You can argue with me that your gym time isn’t wasted all you want, but please… just read between the lines and get the point).
It’s those moments in the 4 hours of the day that belong to you. What are you doing with them? Recently my husband’s grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They’ve given him mere weeks to live. Now sure, he’s lived 86 wonderful years, but for each of us, they do come to an end. We are mere mortals.
A few years ago, I was able to go to Italy with my grandmother and my mom. I’ve never seen such a sparkle in my grandmother’s eyes as I did for MEAGER 8 days. She was exhausted. Her legs were swollen nearly to the point of no movement from all the travel. Yet she was glowing. She was living a dream. Why do we only get to do that in 8 day increments? How did that happen? Why do we only get 1/6th of the day?
Speaking to my grandfather the other day on the phone, listening to his deep gravely voice that I have heard thousands of times over again, I realized how it’s one of my favorite sounds in the whole world. Yet I only talk to him on the phone maybe once a month. How many more of those conversations do I have? Why are they only 1/5000th of my year?
Russell and I get on the motorcycle and ride down the beautiful country roads of Alabama. The fields are full of corn, and cotton and the air smells thick of magnolias and honey suckle. The view and the smell is intoxicating. The humid air clings to our skin as music pours from his speakers, my arms are out and I feel wildly alive. These moments. They’re mine. They’re memories. It could have already happened for the last time. I’m not promised tomorrow. I only have now. We only have now. What are you doing with it? Are you happy? Are you faithful? Are you just? Today you have 4 hours. Maybe. Have you inhaled the scent of your baby? Have you danced in the sprinklers with your 6 year old? Have you held hands with the person you promised your 4 hours to?
I walk through the cafeteria where I work. I am somehow surrounded by people that strangely enough look very similar to each other. The men are wearing khaki pants and white shirts with light blue pinstripes through them. They’re balding. They’re carrying a tray of food to a table where they’ll sit next to their carbon copies and eat. They look boring to me. Or bored. I’m not sure the difference anymore. The women are in capri pant suits. They’re floral. It’s bad. Pink lipstick and fluffy bangs and oversized gold jewelry. They sit together and gossip and talk about their church groups and diet fads. They watch television in their own rooms, away from their spouses and kids each night. They all have their own televisions. And iPhones. They eat individual dinners, at individual times as they run from ball practice to dance practice to violin practice to Girl Scouts. They’ve lost their 4 hours a day. It’s been sucked into a backdraft of fucking have to’s.
Saturday will roll around and I will wake to the sun streaming in my window and watch the geese play in the lake. He will be there, and rub my back and hips as he always does, and I will breathe in the scent of freedom. It smells like bacon and pancakes and possibilities. Somewhere in the middle. Somewhere there’s a break between what we have to do and what we want to do. All I know is I won’t be content until my time is at least split in half. But I will not settle for this 1/6th bullshit. It’s not enough, and it shouldn’t be for any of us.
I’ve been hearing lately that my fans are greatly disappointed that my pen has been on hiatus. Ok, ok, mostly it’s just my mom asking me when I am going to blog again, but she counts 10 times. So ha.
I decided to open the laptop, stare at the WordPress screen and let whatever shall happen, well… happen. The screen said INSPIRE ME… when I clicked on it, I got an error. I should have known then. Inspiration is one of those things that constantly seems to come out of error.
I find myself a little lost as of late, mostly because I have it all. Great husband, smart children, nice house, new car, good job… yadda yadda yadda. But I find as I run the rat race day in and day out, sometimes it is just TOO much. I start the day burnt out. Exhaustion creeping over the edges of my mind when I look through my daily have to’s. Seems awfully whiney to complain when you have so much.
I wouldn’t trade the great husband or smart kids… but what about uncluttering from that job. The new cars. The nicest houses? What if I just sat here everyday… every single day and wrote. Could I be the next American classic novelist? Oh, I don’t know, but I think I would like to try. I seem to be hitting an age where I just want to learn about this great big world. Take a French class, just for fun. Take guitar. Something away from the cubicle walls, that suck the years away from me. I’ve been doing the same work now for 5 years or so, and it pains me the irrelevoncy of it. If that isn’t a word, it should be. It’s irrelovant plus some.
Anyway, I am in the middle of downloading some gorgeous family photos, so I am going to run and do that. Until another day, soon Mom. Soon. ;)
Recently at a trip to the grocery store we allowed each of our 3 kiddos to get something for their “significant other” at school in celebration of Valentine’s Day. That ended with Ryan finding something cute for his girlfriend, Hailey getting something to surprise her crush, and Faith getting a heart shaped basketball filled with chocolate for her best guy friend at school (she’s 10).
Once we got home, Faith deemed it necessary to write a note to her friend letting him know she was glad he was her friend (so that he wouldn’t think she liked him….blah blah blah….we all know they end up going to prom together 6 years from now, but anyway….). In doing so, she opened the chocolates to put the note inside. Then she closed the box and left them on her desk. The next day when she was getting ready to leave, she decided to check on the note just one last time, to make sure she wrote it correctly and it said all the things she was trying really hard to make sure she wasn’t saying (and yes, you read that right).
A chocolate was missing.
She freaked out. After a good review of her room, and her desk, and everywhere else… it was determined that it was either Hailey or Ryan that had taken the chocolate and eaten it. Or hid it. Or whatever. But here’s the problem with the “not me” ghost in our house. He’s lazy and messy.
Our kids put no effort into their lazy stealing of other people’s property. They’re no good at it. And quite honestly, at this rate they won’t even be busted by real cops for theft, it will be by the school resource officer that has jelly donut on his shirt.
Before you judge my lack of compassion or reason here… think back. When you were a teen and you wanted soda and your parents said no… did you just take the last one anyway and then say, “It wasn’t me?” HELLLL NO YOU DIDN’T!!! You secretly snuck one when there was 17 left in a 24 pack. Or you took the skinnest little slice of cake you could muster from the tray of untouchable desserts while your mom was cooking and high tailed it to the back yard to devour the one bite of cake you snuck. You drove 700 miles an hour to get home by curfew at 11, you didn’t walk in at 11:03 and go, “What??? I’m here.”
There is no glimpse of fear in your eyes when I say no, and 20 minutes later you do it anyway. I’ve read a lot of places that people believe it’s the style of discipline that has changed. That people used to be terrified of their parents kicking their asses. And yes, I was terrified of my parents kicking my ass… but thinking back… they never did. I may have been smacked here or there, but nothing to warrant the fear I had. Because maybe that fear was of disappointing them, not actually of them. Regardless, our kids have none. And I find it quite disrespectful for someone to steal a Valentine’s Day candy out of a box of chocolates that is a gift for someone else… from your little sister. Shameful. Tacky. Tasteless. So I am calling you out on it, you “NOT ME” Ghost in our house. And you better hope, you can vanish quickly when I find you out. And I will.