It’s not that I haven’t had anything on my mind. I have tons and tons of things to say. Most of it is not private or scandalous or even very interesting. I look at the images in my phone and I think “what is THAT a picture of?” and I am reminded that I took it because I didn’t want to forget to tell you something.
I just haven’t gotten around to writing it all down. And it’s not because I have been busy.
I wanted to tell you about all the things I learned by having a ridiculous temporary tattoo for Mother’s Day.
I wanted to explain that we have finally started renovating our kitchen and that my life is upside down and I can’t find anything and that it is so incredibly hard to keep vacuuming the carpet that we are tearing out in a matter of weeks. Ripping out this shelf paper from my kitchen cabinets is like removing a little tiny piece of 1987 and the sweet old people who used to live here. It makes me happy that this room that I inhabit a bazillion hours a day will finally feel like mine but all in the same breath I am reminded of this little old couple that owned our house. There is a ramp to my kitchen door for a wheelchair and I wonder if the older fellow that went up and down that ramp is even still around to enjoy this warm weather and here I am just gleefully ripping out their shelf paper.
I keep seeing weird stuff. Truly weird stuff, like underpants on the ground that do not belong to my toddler (who by the way is totally wearing underpants now, OMG, don’t talk about it or it will all disappear in a puff of smoke like a dream.) I saw a lighter in the water bottle holder at the gym today, who has a lighter in their pocket at the gym? I keep seeing things and I want to tell you about them and say something funny.
Other things are happening, too. In my attempts to run 1000 miles this year I am kicking major ass. I hit 500 miles before the end of May and I am up 8.87% for the year, not that I am keeping track. I ran my fastest 5K last weekend after staying up too late and drinking Tuaca with an old friend and it felt really good. It is still not crazy fast but it is faster than I have done it before. Measurable results. That really gets me excited.
I am not any busier than I usually am. Not really. There are the same 24 hours and the same two small people who need me. I am not too busy to sit down and tell you about how I think that my Hooters hat is old enough to drink beer now. I stole this hat from my brother in 1993. My dad won it in a golf tournament and gave it to my brother. I stole it from him because I love him and that is how you show the feelings to the sibling. You steal their shit and wear it, right? I wore this hat all the time in the years that I drove a convertible and the inside is so disgustingly sweat-stained but I can’t seem to let it go.
So, if I am not busy why don’t I have the time to write all the mundane nonsense that keeps me feeling grounded? Even if I subtract the 871 hours I have spent sitting on the floor in the bathroom saying “Close your eyes and pee, baby. Just close your eyes and pee….” I really should be able to make time. So, what has changed? I wondered for a few days if maybe I had lost my voice or I had nothing to say or maybe I had such Big Things to say that I wasn’t ready to put the words down yet. Nope.
I have just been moving slow. I stopped hurrying. My house is upside down and it’s ok. There is laundry in my dryer and dishes in my sink and no one is freaking out. I spent 40 minutes walking to the car today from the gym. 40 minutes. We walked along the edge of the brick retaining wall and we looked at rocks. Lucy and I stopped and smelled actual roses and rest assured I snickered.
There is only one week of school left and homework is over for the year. We just have to read every day. Yesterday, instead of having Em sit at the kitchen table and read to me while I make dinner and sweep up and double-check the calendar and write a blog posts and check emails I decided to just lie on the floor and listen. And then we went to the pool and we stayed longer than I had planned and bedtime was late and dinner was a sandwich but it felt so good.
It’s so easy to want to hurry up and get to the good part. Sometimes for me “the good part” is this selfish time that I click click click at the keyboard and record the trivial details of my day so that someday when I realize that this was the good part I can look back and remember how it all went down. Very occasionally I manage to really be present. I am trying.
A few of you have emailed to say “Hey, how are you? What have you been up to?” and part of me felt like I was supposed to explain that I have been busy. But I haven’t. In fact, I am actively trying to be less busy.
Try it. I dare you.
I’ve been trying to do this too! It sounds like you have been doing a great job of it… probably a better job than me! I think I have an unfair advantage because I am off work for two months. When I go back, it will be hard again. I will remember your challenge, then!
I arbitrarily give you permission to never vacuum that carpet again.
Bless you. I am trying to refrain. I am really trying…
Me, too, and oh how sweet it is.
I’m happy for you, hot mama.
I am really not too busy to get a freakin’ cup of coffee!!! We need to get on that shizz.
Say the word! Here I sit in Durham, 40 hours a week. I’d love to see you!
My house and car are always a disaster. I’m pretty sure it’s because I stopped trying to do it all, I stopped being too busy. Now I take my kids everywhere and we play outside until dark. And it’s so much more relaxing. And I get to spend time with these amazing little people, while they still want to spend time with me.
Play outside. That’s the good stuff. I have recently become a little obsessed with four-square!
I absolutely love this. Oh, how I need to slow down!
And when I see that big girl in the picture, curled up on the chair with her grown up feet, reading her Nancy Drew aloud to you somewhere on the floor, well… sigh. Because even as we slow down, time it keeps a-spinning onwards. So glad you wrote it all down. For you and for us!
You see the same things that I see when you look at something, I love it. All I see in that picture of Emily is her big, puppy feet.