Wednesday morning I wanted to get 3000 words on the page, or at least
1500. I wanted to practice yoga for
twenty minutes, to enjoy the sunshine and silence of the Little House after a
week of kids being home for spring break.
But the night before I popped open a tall can of Diet Coke
when I should have been winding down for bed.
In full disclosure, there was a bag of chips involved too, a late dinner
of sorts and when John went to bed at 10, I didn’t. Instead I searched the house, three, four
times until I found the novel I put down earlier in the day. I prowled the house hunting for it repeating
the words, “This is so annoying,” over and over in my head like a chant. Finding it, finally, where someone else had
put it, I crawled into bed and turned on the reading lamp.
At 10:20, I thought, “Just ten more minutes.”
Then, at 10:30, “A few more pages.”
It wasn’t even a good book.
At any moment last night, had I paused to listen closely to
my soul, I would have realized (in fact I did realize) I was tired and sad and
looking for comfort. What I really
needed was rest and compassion.
Snuggling with my husband would have been a good option. Instead when he asked how my appointment was,
I mumbled “fine.” I opened the can and
pressed a handful of The Worst Salt and Vinegar chips I’ve ever had into my
When I next looked at the clock, it was 11:30.
I finished the book.
I finished the can of soda.
did not, I repeat, Did Not, finish the bag of chips.)
I slid down into bed, head jangling with
caffeine, regret whirling and slid the alarm clock on for 6:00 am.
In the morning I crawled out of bed with the weight of a
reading-diet-coke-hangover dragging behind me.
My eyes felt like hacky sacks.
The kids got out the door on auto-pilot, the twins made it to school,
but driving home after drop-off exhaustion, frustration and regret followed me like a
Doggedly, I headed to the little house, breakfast, water and
the computer in hand. I sat in my usual
chair and warmed up with a few emails, then I opened a word document to let the writing begin.
My mind, my fingers, moved like molasses, heavy slow syrup slogging over the keys as I searched for words and thoughts
that refused to come. The dog, Coco,
watched, her eyes half closed, from her chair across the room.
I wanted 3000 words. I wanted to practice yoga for twenty
I desperately needed a nap.
I had ruined that which I was looking forward to, my morning
of writing and stretching, the feeling of forward momentum and accomplishment
as I checked off my list of goals. But
it was what it was and I worked hard to not attach to the thoughts of judgment
and condemnation that flew around my brain like a flock of scattered
Instead, I asked myself what Love would do, what I would
tell my kids if, when, they find themselves in the same predicament.
Love offered a nap.
Love said, “It is what it is.”
“But this is my time to write!” I told Love, “I didn’t write
yesterday and I have a meeting this afternoon, parent conferences
tonight.” I pointed out to Love that there were no other options, I
had, in essence, Ruined Everything.
Love said, pointedly, “What about grace? Maybe there’s enough grace in this world to make up for this one mistake. But, for now, all you know is what you
know. You need a nap.”
I also heard the words of a counselor I met with four years
ago, a counselor whose constant advice and need to fix things pushed me
away. “Love what is,” she had offered
one day. How I hated those words – they
weren’t the right words for me at the time, but now, four years later, they’re
the only words that make sense some days.
What other option do we ever really have? We can change “what is,” of course, but change, if it’s to be lasting and fruitful, must be rooted in love, not fear or hatred of self or others or even “what is.”
Love your tired, sleepy self. Do what is needed in this moment and the
Is that not what I failed to do the night before? Diet Coke, Salt and Vinegar and a novel are
okay. But they don’t really address what
is. (Unless “what is” is the sincere desire
to stay up late, to enjoy the feeling of fire on your tongue, to savor and
enjoy words put together on a page, then they’re Exactly what’s needed.)
I set the computer aside and laid down on the floor of the
little house, my head on a pillow, blanket tucked up tight. I slept. Love said that was fine.
* * *
We finally have a #SmallWonder button! If you want to use it, simply copy the image, then add it to your post or sidebar with a link to www.afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com.
Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.
What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?
That’s my proposal – that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days. You’re invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder. Don’t worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right – you’re welcome to come as you are.