Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 • 4 Comments on Life in Passing
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look
around once in a while, you could miss it. ~ Ferris Bueller
Sometimes I feel like my life is like this picture. A blur of activity and motion and time passing, with no clear center or focus. (The picture is actually the result of a baby grabbing the camera to prevent his picture being taken and photographing the foliage overhead instead.) It’s September. The kids are back in school. Patrick is nine months—nine months!!—old. My first anthology for Cleis Press has been on the shelves for two months and I’m getting ready to submit my second collection and start planning the third. Jay has been home from his umpteenth deployment for going on four months (though he’s been out of town for about a month of the past four). We’re going to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary in a month.
Time is passing. Quickly. And I’m trying to stop and look around once in awhile, as wise young Ferris recommended a crazy 24 years ago, but it’s just so darn hard sometimes. The days are a blur of activity and routine and squeezing in just one more thing before bed. Baby milestones to record and stories to write and diapers to change and laughter to soak up and lists to make and plans to plan and phone calls to return and precious few hours of sleep to recover from it all. Oh, but life is good. So very, very good.
I spend a lot of time contemplating the future that is rushing up on me, rather than simply enjoying the present. The next book, the next story, the next milestone, the next doctor’s appointment. Do I want another baby? Or a Ph.D.? Or a M.F.A.? Should I go back to teaching in the spring? Do I want to edit another dozen anthologies or do I want to write my own novel? Family trip to Chicago or Disney World next year? Can I swing a fun trip on my own in the fall? When can I revisit my beloved London? Should we move to a new city/neighborhood? When? Will Patrick be ready for Montessori school at two or three? Remodel the kitchen first, or the office/playroom? So many questions. It’s a wonder I get any sleep at all.
The days still pass, oblivious to all the things still left on my list to do. Slow down, slow down, I tell myself. Enjoy this moment. This one right here. Enjoy it! And I do, I swear I do. I ignore the nagging guilt that I still have so many other things to do and accomplish and, hey, I’m not getting any younger thoughts, and I enjoy the happy moments as they come. Sometimes, I even revel in them, letting that knot of ambition coated in guilt and anxiety slowly loosen so that I barely notice it at all. And then I catch my breath and think, oh yes, this is what it’s all about. A summer’s day, a blanket in the grass and the loves of my life.
This is what life is all about.
Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
~ Simon and Garfunkel