This morning between my math exam and work I had an excellent phone conversation with my mother.
Tonight I saw a man exercising his dog by driving loops in a parking lot with his smart car, his dog running happily behind.
She asked if I was okay and I said, “Yeah, I’m fine.” So she asked again.
The “first day” mantra treated me well again this morning. I was lying in bed, staring at my sunrise lamp, waiting for the alarm to go off. I was making up excuses about why I couldn’t run, why it was okay to skip class, why I didn’t need to get up until it was time for work. But instead I said, “You don’t want to miss your first day of marathon training, do you?” That, and I promised myself a cigarette.
My aunt sent me a text today about keeping up the fight. How it’s hard for all of us sometimes, but we have to keep going. That’s the only option we really have. I needed that reminder and I got it.
I have been asked for patience.
All the gears squeal and fight against themselves. The flood. Anger and desperation and hopelessness. “Not right now,” has got to be the hardest thing for me to hear. I live entirely on split-second and often horrible decisions. I am made of nows and nevers. But I was asked for patience. And I understand why it’s needed, why it’s vital. I understand in waves. All the instances my friends, my partners have asked for something as simple as a little bit of time.
I’m launched back to the night I made Mason ask me for a divorce even though he wasn’t ready. To filing the paperwork neither of us was sure about. Standing in front of a judge still not convinced I was doing the right thing, but resting easy knowing at least I was doing something.
Always have to be doing something.
But this time I recognize it. This time I know it’s a trip-up. A weak point. This time I can teach myself to fall into the lull of waiting. Uncertainty is not a thing we have to embrace enthusiastically, but we must wrap our arms around it and carry it with us regardless. And I’m in a place where I can practice doing that. Where I can wait.
“First day.” That’s what he said the slogan for the year would be. “First day.” Like every day started out as something new. As if we always have a chance to decide we’re going to do it different. “First day.” Because all that really matters is what we’re grappling with right now. Now. Be here. Present. Plan, yes. Make goals, yes. Reach, yes, always. But stay grounded. Remind yourself that today is always the beginning of something. “First day.” Each day individually. Pay attention. Breathe.
I ran this morning. In the rain. Not the snow, not the freezing, but in the rain. The true Seattle winter returns and we all remember that we are web-footed and moss-covered. We know what to do with this. This we can do.
In the time between my math class and work I sat down and drank a cup of coffee. A few minutes of solitude. Of rest. Of nothing. How easy it is to forget to let those moments happen to you. Always plugging in, turning on, looking up. Forgetting that sometimes we should just sit. Just be. Remember our hearts beating. Still. Still.