Friday, March 15, 2013

One day your life won't be like this

West Virginia snow? Or Narnia? March 2013

Last night -- somewhere in between working late to prep for a day off, squeezing in homework on the treadmill at the gym, planning two menus yet food-shopping for three, scurrying around giving small tasks great import and important tasks undue smallness -- a thought came to me:

One day my life won't be like this.

I thought about my possible children -- how many? what color hair? how often will they get stomach viruses? -- and how I'd finally have someone around to help me fold fitted sheets. I thought about my possible husband -- just one? what color hair? does he like The Dick Van Dyke Show? --  and how he'd add his hands to the never-ending to-do list and also force me to sit on the couch. I thought about writing, about finally being published, and how I'd be able to drop that juicy tidbit into cocktail hour coversations. I thought about where I might be living, and what my routine might look like, and what might be driving me crazy and what might be astounding me and what might have fizzled away not even into memory, and I wondered: How will I pack lunches and be a listening ear and get my work into Harper's and help with carpool and retire by 65 and travel the world and call my friends and keep the house clean enough to avoid vermin if my very existence already overwhelms me?

Then another thought came to me:

Why not try living this night first, in all its guts and glory?

And then tomorrow night.

And then every night thereafter, until the nights are gone.

Prayer #243: Going, Going, Here

God of a million tasks and must-dos and nice-to-haves,

Show me what is worth pursuing. Show me what is worth fretting about. Show me what demands action and what needs setting aside.

Remind me that stopping -- really stopping, as in putting down objects, turning off devices, looking up and around me -- anchors me to my present. Ground me in my current dreams and frustrations, as well as in the wisdom that every personal epoch has benefits and drawbacks. Slap me silly until I remember that now is already a good ol' day, simply by virtue of the sun rising.

But more than anything, douse me in the grace of perspective -- that for all my annoyances and tired moments, for all my panics and tirades, I am free, the driver of my own destiny, accountable only to myself and to You for what I make of this life.

Amen.

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