Paving a Future

Posted on | August 28, 2011 | 13 Comments

Things move fast around here: time, toddler feet, swirls of emotion.  And I am running, always running, to stay ahead… of something.  I have to be one step ahead of J, one step ahead of my boss, one step ahead of the collections agents.

But I can’t seem to ever get even a half step ahead of my thoughts.

This weekend, as we always do, J and I kept busy to ward off the flood.  We went for a walk around the neighborhood and then finished pulling ivy from the back yard. We shopped, and cooked, and cleaned and played.  We watched movies and colored and took naps.  Somewhere amidst all the madness in my head, I decided it was a good idea to clear a spot in the back corner of our yard for a DIY paver patio… and once the idea is there, it’s hard to shake it.  I look out my back window now and sketch the chair and fountain or birdbath that may one day sit there in the corner.  I draw myself into the chair, sipping a tall glass of lemonade while J plays in the spaces around me.

There is always only the one chair.

Somehow the thought of being alone doesn’t frighten me the way I thought it would.  When I dip my toes in the idea of it, I find it’s almost warm, tepid enough to bathe in or to soak my tired feet.  I have spent almost all of my time running from what is there, from what is real and true for me in this moment.  I’ve been afraid to let my feet rest, to let the wave of whatever this is catch up to me… I’ve been so afraid that it would drown me whole, seeping into my pores and leaving me water logged forever.

But when I sketch that back patio, there is always only one chair.

There is no empty space beside it where another chair should be.  There is no ache in my heart when I see myself there, book in hand, laughing with J. It doesn’t reduce me to tears or violent shakes.  It doesn’t make me want to kick my feet and scream that life is not fair… even though life, as you know, is totally not fair.

It just feels right.  It feels true.  It feels like I am accepting the life that is around me.  We are building a life here, J and I, and it is a good life.  It is not the life I thought I would have or the life I wanted to have, but it is the life that I have.

It is mine.

It is ours.

If I am going to enjoy even the briefest moment of it, I have to stop running so far ahead.  I have to stop running.  I have to just stop.

It’s time to pour a glass of lemonade, pad my way out to the imaginary adirondack in my mind, and enjoy the moments that THIS life has to offer me.  Because this is the life that I have.  This is the only life that I will ever have.

And it’s time to stop running from it.

Comments

13 Responses to “Paving a Future”

  1. Jana Anthoine
    August 29th, 2011 @ 12:19 am

    And now I”m crying. What a beautiful post.

  2. Anonymous
    August 29th, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    🙁 Sorry to make you cry.

  3. Landenstar
    August 29th, 2011 @ 4:32 am

    You inspire me . You inspire me to live my life in the moment – thank you for reminding me this day counts, even if it may hurt.

  4. Anonymous
    August 29th, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    That’s the trick, right? To let even the suckiest of days count. It’s so hard, but I just keep thinking that there has to be a reason for this day, even if it is only to remind me that some days are better.

  5. Joel
    August 29th, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    I think Dr. Laura once said “invite it in for tea”… (or lemonade in your case!). Good job on taking the high road.

    For me, it falls into the proverbial departmet “easier said than done”. I tell myself to make this day count but the tears won’t stop coming.

  6. Anonymous
    August 29th, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    I know what you mean. It’s hard to see through all the crazy to find the calm. But I’m certain there is calm to be found.

  7. Heather Griffitts Clark
    August 29th, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

    LM – I don’t think we ever have the life we thought we would have or even that we wanted. Each of us has our own collection of heart aches, our own mental list of “I wishes….” and “I should haves (or should not haves)…” and “If onlys” that can haunt us into a very painful place.

    The true test of just how centered we are, just how healthy our spirit and our body remains is in how we deal with the life that we’d imagined and the life we have.

    We can wallow in it or, we can do what Henry David Thorough tells us to do: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life that you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

    I live by those words – and I think alot of people forget thelast sentence of that quote. That if our dream is a simple one, the life we’ve imagined one of peace and love, my path to it is simpler.

    So, I chose to live to love my children and the people around me. Do good. Pray for properity. Pray for patience and strength in the face of adversity and allow God’s will – even when I don’t understand it – be done. If I keep my dreams to that – life gives it to me.

    Sounds like you’re starting to figure that out for yourself – and for that I am so happy 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    August 29th, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    It’s so hard to remember in the small moments… in the moments where everything seems wrong. It’s hard to remember that it’s wrong for the right reasons, and to embrace it for what it is. But yeah… I’m learning. 🙂

  9. Heather Griffitts Clark
    August 29th, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

    Oh…I understand competely how difficult it is to remember that. It’s why I have those words pasted in a TON of places to remind myself that just because what I have doesn’t look like what I thought I’d have, it’s not bad. It’s just not the same. It is a *constant* stuggle, even when things are good.

  10. Joel
    August 29th, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

    “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” Heather, thanks for posting that. I needed that.

    I printed it in big lettering and attached it to the fridge! =)

  11. Heather Griffitts Clark
    August 29th, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

    Duplicate post 😛

  12. Sara
    August 30th, 2011 @ 1:33 am

    Ah, how I love your metaphors.

    Thanks, again, for writing.

  13. Mrs. MidAtlantic
    August 30th, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    Only one adult chair, but I picture a matching, but miniature, chair beside yours. You’ll always have J by your side, no matter what.

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