I don’t know about you, but I think of every day as a blank canvas and it’s my responsibility to paint something useful or beautiful or helpful on it.
I’m a list maker so each night before I drift off, I usually jot down 3 or 300 things I would like to do the next day.
I get up, get started and then (more often than I’d like to confess!) hit a wall.
Sometimes it’s the wall of circumstance. Things happen I didn’t expect and suddenly the hours I was going to spend cleaning the garage are spent cleaning a mess.
Sometimes it’s the wall of community. Someone calls. Or a multitude of someones call. I hate to admit it but I’m really not a fan of the telephone. Like Alexander Graham Bell, I consider it more of an inconvenience and interruption than a means of delightful connectivity. Minutes slip by and I can’t recover them.
I love my friends and family.
But I’d rather chat while we are doing something together in person than over the phone.
Sometimes it’s the wall of pain. Rheumatoid Arthritis, like all autoimmune diseases, is unpredictable. Usually I can tell in the early morning hours if my joints are going to cooperate on a given day. But sometimes they surprise me and I find that all that yard work will have to wait.
Sometimes it’s the wall of grief or sadness or longing or any of a multitude of feelings. I have gotten pretty skilled at steering clear of grief triggers when I know I have lots of things to do. I don’t listen to the songs friends post on their timelines or read too many comments on the sites for bereaved parents. But I can’t anticipate random sights, sounds or memories. I’ve been working on a room, cleaning drawers, moving stuff tucked in corners and come across a Lego man or a pellet from the air soft guns they weren’t supposed to shoot inside the house (but of course did anyway) when the boys were young. That does me in and I have to walk away.
Sometimes it’s the wall of “What difference does it make anyway?!!”This one I usually see approaching in the distance when there have been too many days and too little progress. Or a string of gray, rainy mornings. Or multiple failed attempts at fixing something. And then I throw up my hands and decide my paltry attempts at controlling my corner of the world hardly matter, so why keep doing them.
So I give in and let myself just have a day.
It doesn’t have to be a good one or a productive one or even a cheerful one. The glass can just be a glass. I don’t have to pretend it’s half-full or declare it half-empty.
And after a rest I usually remember that what I used to find impossible is now possible; what used to be hard, is often a little easier.
I am stronger and better able to carry this load.
Sorrow is no longer all I feel nor my son’s absence all I see.
And although THIS day may be lost. It’s only ONE day.
It’s perfectly OK for me to sit down with a cup of coffee, a book or a movie and let myself off the hook.
The sun will rise tomorrow and I can start over.
I will start over.