Wednesday, August 29, 2012

growing boy, growing mother.

Hayden has started first grade. For the first time in six years there is this vast expanse of time in my days, a little over 6 hours stretched out before me, blank. I'd been looking forward to this all summer, in desperate need of space and quiet, but I now find that there is almost too much space, too much quiet.

What I just expressed is obviously ridiculous in some sense. There are busy mother's out there, far busier than I, who'd kill for just one day a week that's like mine. I am a young woman with no job or career strapping me down, freshly childless for almost half the day. I can fill these hours any way I please. And maybe therein lies the source of my discontent, not really knowing what to fill these hours with.

It's not as if I lack things to do--there is so much cleaning, and after the cleaning it's time to consider what we're having for dinner, and after that there is running or yoga, and the garden to tend because the tomato plants are falling over, and phone calls to return that I've ignored for days, mounds of laundry and letters to send out and errands to run. I have chores, to be sure. But I wonder if perhaps my days lack any real purpose.

I remember reading something somewhere, about the Buddhists and how they believe that if you are doing what you are doing with beauty and intention, with all of your heart, then are you are living with purpose, whether it's shelving library books or cashiering at the gas station or being President of the United States. Maybe that's true. I know I'd really like to think it is. Maybe scrubbing the goop off a plate is a sort of Zen exercise.

I've prayed about my place in life for a long time now. I haven't received any bits of great wisdom, at least, none that I'm aware of. Maybe God is helping me by not helping me. Maybe I am exactly where I belong, right now, today.

I guess you just do your best with what you have, where you are. Wash the pan. Study. Drink your coffee. Do the laundry. Run in the woods. Hold your son. Lather, rinse, repeat. And if an opportunity does present itself, waving its arms at me, trying to get me to notice it, I have to be aware, I can't forget that opportunity wears many, many costumes.

1 comment:

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