Seeing It From All Sides

Mornings in my house are like a row of dominoes: one falls, all the rest fall in quick succession.

Someone’s tired, it’s time to get ready for school, they lay down on the floor and fall back asleep. Another whines about not knowing what to wear. Someone rubs their eyes, yawns, stretches, in that hinterland between awake and asleep, knowing they’d rather stay in sublime sleep but have no choice other than to awake.

We live our lives on this machine that has us running constantly. The school bell rings at 8:05 and the final bell at 8:15 – hurry hurry hurry! Work meetings, phones ringing, emails dinging, everyone wanting attention.

But wait! Have I read my morning digests? Have I said my quick little solemn prayer begging God to guide me at the highest level in everything I do all day? Shoot. I forgot today. It’s no wonder things are out of whack.

Have I done my yoga poses in the basement? Nope. Walked in the neighborhood to get grounded? We’ll do it at lunch. Is the husband running on overdrive too? Of course. Came to bed late and in a funk and so everyone else is too.

One bad mood spoils it for the bunch. Six bad moods makes for a rotten landscape.

How many mornings have I lectured in the car on the way to school because one kid scowled and barked at another kid unnecessarily?

And I am not blameless here. How many times have I been the one barking? Blaming? Scowling?

We can’t blame others for our bad moods. It’s a choice.

So what do I really want? Last night Asher spent two hours telling me we’re too busy, our days and nights and weekends are too packed. I asked him what we could let go of, how we could free up time. Sometimes I just want to vent, Mommy…

What I want:

A peaceful start to every new day. Hard work, around good people. Time to read a book. Serene sleep, and enough of it. Time, time, time. Fresh air and clear skies. No unnecessary busy-ness, no to-dos.

Reverence for the fact that we choose our moments, our rituals, our craziness. Reverence for the way we elevate our meals and our days and our nights and our interactions with a simple prayer, a simple show of gratitude.

I want to be home more. And yet, I want to grow, grow, go.

There are moments when I am starkly aware of the reality that life passes whether we make the most of it or not, and I sure hope I am living well and fully and with enough love.

The other day, I hugged my eldest son. We lingered in the hug, each of us clinging to the other. That hug felt so good – just sitting there, eyes closed, smelling his skin, feeling his heart beating beside mine, holding each other fully as if we’d never let go.

I didn’t think.

I didn’t analyze.

I wasn’t looking at my iPhone.

I wasn’t worrying about the pile of things to do.

We don’t hug enough, I said, pulling him closer. We need to do this more.

Because what really matters gets obscured by all the ways we keep busy.

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