Thursday, January 8, 2015

A New Kind of List

Some days I spend spinning with lack,
Spinning with what’s next,
Spinning with this learned drive to check off another box
because at least then I am still moving, still feeling some tiny speck of satisfaction in myself. 

But really, I am just numb. 
Numbed out on lists
    Numbed out on routine
         Numbed out on the mundane
the daily responsibilities that I let agitate and frustrate and fall right through my frenzied fingers. Counting down the hours until nap time, counting down the minutes until work is over, counting toward inevitable ends, rather than living fully now...
“To live fully” – a catch-phrase that has gained popularity in churches and offices and social media. Everywhere you turn: Be here now. Be present. In the moment. Live this moment fully.
And I try, in spurts. And I succeed, temporarily. Then I find myself spinning again. Rushing and wanting and counting my days away, never satisfied with how many boxes that were checked, because boxes cannot bring satisfaction. Because accomplishing one more thing – throwing a great party or keeping the house clean or organizing the closet or finally writing out my goals – is not what my soul really wants. 
What I want is this moment. This second that I will never, ever get back again. This second that makes me ache with longing because I know it is so fleeting, so fragile, so quickly gone. This moment that beckons me to wake up and to see the life right in front of me. To see all that is already done, here, right now. 
I have long been a maker of lists – grocery lists and invitation lists and chore lists and bucket lists. My lists have served me well, allowed me to fit more into my day, to be efficient, organized, focused. But what if organized and efficient isn’t what I want anymore? What if fitting more into a day isn’t the legacy I long to leave? 
No more spinning, no more striving and reaching and missing. Missing these moments now. Missing the simple beauty right in front of me. Missing the holiness of each breath, each blink, each being. 
To be. 
To be whole, to be still, to be full and awake and enough. No need to numb out with lists. No urge to run ahead in distraction or look behind in regret. No discomfort with the present, because here, now, just being, is enough
I’m writing a new list these days, inspired by those who have gone before, spinning their wheels and, finally, finding a better way. A list of all that is here, all that already is, all the simple beauty and the already done and the fragile seconds before they’re gone. 
The weight of my baby’s head resting on my arm.
And the sound of giggles and mealtime chatter.
And the aliveness of 10 degree breezes blowing through my hair.
And stacks of books - words, words & words.
And rosy cheeks and frozen fingers.
And warm cocoa and crossed-legs.

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