instead of wondering when your next vacation is,
maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.
i loved this nugget of truth. i am so affected by my surroundings, noticing details and getting joy from inanimate objects. however, i’m also able to ignore dust along the baseboards of my bedroom that are the size of baseballs (no exaggeration) or a toilet so filthy i imagine some would be concerned. i will leave a dirty coffee cup in a corner for longer than is appropriate and step over a basket of laundry for days.
there are aspects of this tangible life that bring literal smiles to my face. when i stand in naomi’s room of twinkly lights and walls filled with pictures and quotes. when micah lines up his rocks or coins in prominent places of the house. when eliza wanders through in a layered assortment of dress up clothes like a walking textured rainbow. when i open the spice cupboard to find that jerry has gently turned all the jars so the labels are readable. when i see the old quilted bits of fabric i’ve collected. when the striped paper straws are in a small mason jar. when the orange lamp is on and the bamboo is lit up under it. when the chalk is all back in the jar with the old metal peanut butter lid.
i’ve known the worry of anxiety my whole life. i’ve felt the swirling stomach and the nudging to layer my worries. i’m ever grateful for family and friends and safety and medicine and the ultimate humility to own this part of myself. there is no doubt that part of what happens for me in times of worry, i quickly know what is most important. i strive to have order in my home, healthy food in our bellies, plenty of water, time outside, exercise, eye contact with people, love with my husband, visits with my family, connection to my church community, hot baths, light reading, manageable to-do lists, solid plans for preschool, lit candles, neatly stacked magazines, deep breathing, choosing to be grateful…
and that is a life i don’t need to escape from. thatis a life that joy and calm can more easily return to. i’m often too impatient with living in states of blah. but i’m learning that those can be the moments to recognize what really is.
:: :: ::
i wrote this last night and scheduled it for today. before it posted, a friend of mine shared this and it couldn’t be more fitting:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– Jelaluddin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks