When you are building a crib and sewing burp cloths, or when you are picking out flowers and centerpieces, or organizing your flight and shuttle services, you are doing these things in preparation for a new baby, a wedding, and a vacation, and you have a due date for these events…you have an idea for when something is happening and you are planning for it. Life it seems has, as we are all well aware, no known dates. We can plan for things but some things just simply unexpectedly happen.
In the last two years I have experienced the deaths of several dear people; two in their early 60’s, two in their late nineties, one in her thirties, one in her forties, and one just had turned 52. Some of these relationships were from my past and some were in my present and all of them made me sad for different reasons. I have been thinking about all of these people quite a bit the last several days. I recently saw a t-shirt that read “have the cake- take the vacation- life is short” and I thought, well, for some it’s very long and very well lived, and for others it is shockingly short, and I am thinking about all that I have to do and all that I want to do and wondering, each day in this present, am I any nearer to any of these things?
Do you have a To-Do list? Do you ever make them, or think of them? My notebook for work is very full and messy with notes of tasks and jobs, chores to be done and phone calls to make, errands to be run and lists of things that need to be purchased…I write it all down so I don’t make any customers mad, and to keep my small business running big enough to keep afloat. My lists in my brain however, they are not written anywhere, words and ideas and wishes and plans, just floating and swirling about, and honestly, the person I should most want to please in the world, and should have the least interest in making mad, is me.
I know quite a few pregnant women at the moment, and I am thinking about how much devotion it takes to want to have a baby…they cost so much money and take so much time and then it continues to cost a lot of money and take a lot of time until you have completed your task of raising a child to adulthood, and I thought, Wow! These women know this and still choose to do this. I applaud their commitment. A woman I know well just got married, and a woman I know a little is getting married soon, and I am thinking about how much devotion it takes to want to bind yourself legally to another person, and we all know that divorce is so common, and separating one shared life back into two single lives is expensive and sad and stressful, and these women know this and still choose to do this. I applaud their commitment.
I’m thinking about what I want to do and that these things are due for doing. My list is, compared to many people I know, rather small. I have friends with teenagers who are faced with many obligations that are far behind me. I have some friends with very young children who are faced with many obligations that are far behind me. I am deliciously aware right now that I have more freedom than most of the people I know and that I must do the things that bring me comfort and joy, that satisfy my wants and my needs, and make them happen however best that I can…I have been feeling sorry for myself these last few weeks with a painful wrist injury and ridiculously long work days and unending work weeks and when I stopped to think about it the other day, when I saw this t-shirt, I thought, it is so true…life is short and my things I want to do are my own…they just don’t have the formality of due dates, but they should be planned for and joyfully anticipated nonetheless.
I feel like in honor of these people who I knew and cared about, and who now are not on this earth, I should focus on my lists and really strive to achieve some of these goals, and complete some of these tasks, and while it is in complete disagreement with one of my goals, eat more cake.