Whirlwinds, cyclones, hurricanes, dervishes…all perfect ways to describe my life these past few days, even weeks or months, really. From the time I get up in the morning, until I finally lay my head on the pillow each night, I feel as if I’m in a constant state of motion.
Yesterday, as I was driving (for the third time in one day!) toward the high school for (yet another!) rehearsal, I found myself teary eyed. Maybe it was the warm spring breeze and cloudless blue sky, or perhaps it was the song I happened across on the radio, a folk song called 45 Years From Now. Most likely it was because yesterday was my 31st wedding anniversary, and I was remembering what my life was like in those newlywed days. I had so much time back then…each day seemed to last an eternity, because I was home alone while Jim was working long hours, building his career. I worked too, but desultorily, part time music jobs, teaching piano lessons, taking some classes here and there. Mostly, I played house. Decorating, cooking, shopping, all the things that 21 year old girls with their first home like to do.
The pace of my life stepped up quite a bit when Brian was born. Still, the days seemed endlessly long, with so much time to fill, caring for and playing with an active, curious little boy. There always seemed to be time for walks in the park, or sledding on the hills, reading, watching movies, play dates and games.
Truthfully, sometimes during those years, time weighed heavily on my hands. For many years, Jim worked excruciatingly long hours – 60 or 70 in a week. And he traveled, too, for extended periods of time. I learned how to live almost alone, almost a single mother sometimes. In those days, the time between dinner and bedtime was horribly long, and I clearly remember feeling overburdened, restless, and resentful.
It’s a cliche, I know, but I would love to go back to those days, to the time when my life revolved around nothing more than a child and a house, (and occasionally a man), when the due date on a stack of library books was the only deadline I needed to worry about, when the most pressing thing on my agenda was baking chocolate chip cookies or playing another round of Candyland.
Where did all that time go? The older I get, the faster it speeds by, and I’m constantly trying to cram all my responsibilities and committments into days that seem to be getting shorter and shorter. The proud young “homemaker” who cleaned house religiously every Monday and Thursday, tried out one new recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook each week, and was up to date on every episode of Dr. T. Berry Brazelton’s What Every Baby Knows, has not dusted or vacuumed in weeks, relies on Papa Romano’s and Chin’s Chinese far too often, and hasn’t even spoken to her son in almost two weeks. Whew.
So, how do I fix this mess I’m in? How do I dial back a life that is out of control and spiraling into disaster? Because this past week has left me feeling that disaster is lurking around the corner unless I find more time for myself and the things that are important to me.
I’m moving that question to the top of my list of things to figure out~as soon as I have the time.
PS…I wrote this poem last summer, and it’s very appropriate to this post…
doesn’t begin to describe
what happens to it
disintegrate, evaporate, eviscerate
My lack of it
like the sharpest of knives
in my drawer
The one I use for carrots
Little pieces of it
get swept into the dust bin
before I know they’re gone
I rummage through trash
hoping to find a morsel
I can still put to good use
I grab scraps –
ten minutes here
Could it be I’ve found
soggy and tattered
amidst the rubble?
Clutching this treasure
this time of my own,
Then throw wide the door