I had big plans for the day. And now Coleman, our six-year old, is sick. I get him situated with a spelling game on the Kindle and gratefully settle at my desk to start my morning writing, one of my goals for the new year. Two minutes in he interrupts me—wanting to play something other than the spelling game. I feel my annoyance spike. Truthfully my nerves are frayed and I recognize a certain blurryness which sets in when I feel pulled between my various roles: especially mama and everything else. At least today I observe this internal static with a measure of perspective—I hope for both of our sakes it is enough.
We agree to him doing 20 minutes of spelling and then I’ll let him do something else. I set the timer on my phone and shut the door to my office. I can still hear the automated voice calling out the words “away,” “blue,” “play” through the door.
I feel a deep yearning for quiet in my bones.
Perl and I have both been sick the the past three days and tomorrow my childcare will come to an end for this week and I’ll have both girls home and then the weekend. Today was my day to catch up, to write, to connect with folks about an upcoming retreat. Instead I’m spending a lot of energy feeling sorry for myself
Interruption #2. 4 minutes 28 seconds.
“Is the twenty minutes up? He asks. Cause this is really boring.”
Interruption #3. 6 minutes. “Actually –I’m going to draw” he tells me.
I’m surprised—no not surprised exactly, but troubled by how disturbed I am by this disruption in my plan for my day. How is it that my attachment to a vision of a day of quiet is now actually generating my suffering? Shouldn’t I know better?
Now’s the point in this story when I wish I had a bit of pithy spiritual wisdom to toss in.
An upbeat prescription for the way forward on days like today. But I don’t really have one– at least nothing transcendent and fancy.
Instead I’ll just try to lighten up. Remind myself of my desire to be a parent and a spiritual practitioner who takes each day as it unfolds. And I’ll do the little things that I know to do. The simple acts of care which in fact have great power to shift my experience of life.
I’ll eat a bowl of oatmeal with almonds. I’ll remember my enneagram number and nod to the little voice which prods me to value myself through my working; even as I turn down its volume. I’ll take my vitamins. I’ll breathe in deeply and be compassionate on myself. I’ll kiss Coleman’s head when I walk by. I’ll take him to my meeting with earphones and a snack. I’ll say I’m sorry when I snap. And I’ll finally make our Christmas donation to a global charity working for children’s food security and with it a prayer of gratitude for our relative comfort and health.
And tonight I’ll go to sleep as early as I can.