Saturday’s weather took us outside (’cause who could help but be swept up and out?). After a day of moving and spreading the compost pile, tilling, weeding, and planting a garden, mowing the yard, peppered with the ins and outs and ups and downs of children navigating, my husband and I convened to the outdoor furniture to savor a few moments of inactivity before moving on to the final leg of the day. My work’s-done-for-the-day-celebratory-beer went down especially smoothly (as it is often wont to do after such a day). In response, I blithely commented, “I’m grateful to be a grown up and get to drink beer.” My husband said that ought to be my blog post for the day. Just that.
As I was ironing this morning I thought about that and how I did not write that or anything else as my blog post. I remembered again how this not-writing has become a conspicuous trend the last couple of months. The blog has been silent, the pen has remained largely still. I’ve resented a little this being compelled toward functioning for the good of the people in my immediate sphere instead of indulging my desire to write about the life I’m leading (instead of just living it like I’ve been doing). Because of choices I’ve made neither excess time nor excess energy have been mine in abundance lately, so inevitably, I give up writing – and “processing” as I’ve come to call it – my experience.
But this morning as I was thinking about this and longingly looking over at the dusty keyboard just a few feet away but more like worlds away with all the laundry and ironing and schooling and gardening and food and bread making and all the myriad number of other tasks and unknowns that show up in the process of a day, I remembered that I am a grown up and I’m grateful to be one with all these many things to do. That I am master of my own destiny (God notwithstanding) and that thing that I’m not doing, as much as I love it, is not more important than what I am doing. Being a grown up who also tends ever so slightly towards excess and abuse of those things that make me feel good, I realized (once again… How many times before a lesson actually sticks and becomes part of our way of doing?) that in the simple utterance and acknowledgment of a thing – in this case being a grown up and savoring the privilege and enjoyment of a specific thing – that I was empowered ever so slightly. Reminded of my place in things. That there is a crazy get-swept-up wave that can carry us along, but every once awhile, it’s important to plant your feet, stand against the current, take a deep breath, and regain your bearings. It also needs to be mentioned that my prayer life has not been awesome lately. None of this came until after I’d talked with God about it and apologized for my neglect of that aspect of my life. It sneaks up, this insidious do-it-on-my-own tendency. And then I wonder why I’m so miserable. Everything changes when He’s invited.
I’ve bemoaned not getting to do the thing I think I want to do so that what I am doing becomes a source of frustration and agitation. So maybe Greg was right. Maybe that simple return to basics is what may blessedly bring one back around to where one needs to be. Maybe that’s where all the real good stuff comes from. Not in long winded “processing” but in short utterances of praise and gratitude for what we do have. So, in honor of a wise husband and in an effort to return to what’s best, and even though I’m not even currently drinking a beer, suffice it to say:
I’m grateful to be a grown up who gets to (insert what you’re grateful for today).
…”go outside with my kids and make a pea trellis out of sticks” would be mine.