Thankful for time

My planner is a thing of  beauty...

This weekend was a mad house. The holidays can be particularly challenging, when navigating celebratory meetings, gift exchanges, and baking binges. All of this coupled with daily responsibilities of being an unconditionally supportive single parent, housekeeper, cook, and counselor to the masses. I'm down with that. I often make jokes about volunteering for cloning experiments, and feel well-versed in the art of time management, out of survival if nothing else. My planner is a thing of beauty, and I cherish it with my very life. Every year, I make it a habit to focus on the goals I would like to accomplish in the coming months, celebrating the squeaky clean slate offered to me in a new calendar to fill with obligations, coffee dates, and scheduled workouts. It gets me giddy. One of the things I enjoy the most, is figuring out what feeling I want to invite into my world. Danielle LaPorte (one of the powerhouse figures I admire) states in her bestselling book The Desire Map, that you need to focus on the feeling you want to evoke in life, not just single events that leave you feeling disappointed and empty when they are over. My desired "feeling" has always been freedom. FREEDOM! (Enter George Michael). 

I actually created art out of garbage...

The thing that evokes the feeling of freedom for me, is time. Oh sweet, beautiful time. In my more distant youth, I recall an excess of time. Not only were my responsibilities left to few bills, keeping my dog alive, and showing up to work at 4 p.m., it's not what one would call an arduous schedule. Much of my time was spent contemplating the act of contemplating. That's how much time I had. I had the freedom to journal for three hours, if so inclined. My hikes could be open-ended, sometimes finishing up after the sun took its leave for the day. I actually created art out of garbage, because I could. Things have changed.

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Listening to Snoop Dogg...

I work with older adults in my practice. One of the greatest complaints reflected to me about family, is that their children (gone and raised) are too busy to be much of a support- with the pressures of work and kids. This is likely the busiest time of life, for me and many of my peers. We are neck deep in our careers and raising children. The baby stages are over, and college is becoming a distant memory. This is the real McCoy. We have arrived in the blur of mid-adulthood. We're talking Girl Scouts, ladies nights, meetings, support groups, orthodontist appointments, and shoveling snow off your walk. It's heavy, and not remotely close to the days I would talk for hours about the poetry reflected in the latest lyric by Ani D. Gone are the nights of listening to Snoop Dogg with my girl Shar, as she sets up a fight scene with green plastic soldiers, participating in intermittent ping pong matches. Time. Back then, time was a fleeting commodity with little value, due to it's infinite bank in my prolonged adolescence. Today time means something different. 

  • Waking up early enough to snuggle my daughter softly awake, savoring the days she still nestles perfectly in the crook of my arm, before she is off to college and exploring the world for herself. 
  • The end of the night when the house is still, breathing into this day in my life, telling my dog she's a good girl, as she sighs with the weight of her furry misadventures.
  • Pausing in my car, as my favorite song comes to a close, playing a slideshow montage in my mindseye, of the beautiful memories it evokes. 
  • Hugs from my parents. As they age, I see our opportunities to savor each other diminished. Each hug is prolonged. Each story etched in stone.

Space between chaos...

Time may be rare in it's weight today, but there will be a day when my hair is (more) greyed, and the silence in my life becomes deafening. I choose to find freedom in the space between chaos, knowing this is all too temporary. However short and infrequent, I am thankful for time where memories are made, and another day greets me in this journey of life. Happy Gratitude Tuesday. What are you thankful for? 

AM