As I was gearing up for a long week of meetings yesterday, I found out some awful news. My friend is sick. Very sick. I believe in my heart she'll be okay because she is the strongest person I know, both physically and emotionally.
It made me stop.
There are times that I feel like all the laundry, the errands, the food preparation is a giant waste of time. I am only a housewife and what impact does that have on the world?
And then my friend is sick.
I want to cancel every meeting. I want to stop in my tracks and kiss the ground. I am healthy. My kids and wife are healthy. I have an amazing family.
I want to sit and watch the baseball game with the kids tonight. Make the butterscotch sauce from the recipe I was sent the other day. Laugh.
My first instinct was to try and make my friend, and her wife, laugh. They are waiting for news that could be very hard to hear. I am once removed and it's agonizing for me- I cannot imagine how hard it is for them.
I need to spend more time with friends and less time in meetings. I need to cook giant meals and have everyone over to eat, drink, laugh.
I need to live in the moment. Right now.
It's funny, I had decided a while ago that I wanted to take two weeks in Downeast Maine this May. Alone. I felt like I needed time to work on my book, but also to simply be for a while. To haul wood, kayak, cook on an old stove in cast iron skillets. Drink perked coffee, always somewhat burnt from the time on the stove.
I wanted to stop. Smell the ocean. Sit in the dense fog and listen to the sounds.
I don't want to convince an investment committee that socially responsible investing is the right way to go. I've tried for ten years and enough already. I don't need to be right.
Well, clearly I do or else I would have stopped nine years ago but now I feel myself stopping in my tracks. I want to clear off the folding table in the basement. I want to sit and eat a bowl of cereal with the kids when they get home from school (actually, I just did do that).
I'm not getting younger. My time with my boys is limited. I've known that but for some reason today, I know it. In my heart.
I can't help but keep going back to the book I finished, Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas.
"I was on a small island once, in the middle of a great big lake, mountains all over the place, and as I watched the floating dock the wind kicked up, the waves rose from nowhere, and I imagined myself there and the dock suddenly breaking loose, carried away by the storm. I wondered if I could lie still and enjoy the sensation of rocking, after all I wouldn't be dead yet, I wouldn't be drowning, just carried off somewhere that wasn't part of my plan. The very thought of it gave me the shivers. Still, how great to be enjoying the ride, however uncertain the outcome. I'd like that. It's what we're all doing anyway, we just don't know it."
I'm ready to go lie on the dock.
Or maybe acknowledge the dock I am already on.