My father knows how to hold a silence—just like his brother did—with tenderness and purpose. I come from a long line of gentlemen whose brains are always churning. Careful with each word they choose. They all share the same quiet, but ever-present engagement and a slow southern saunter. Their toes turn out and their chests lift up.
My mother overflows with excitement easy. An enthusiasm she shares with her sisters. All the women in my family are passionate in everything they do and quick to a plethora of emotions. We laugh easy, hurt with deep intensity, and understand the importance of hugs. Both how to give them well and with what frequency. Continue reading “How to build a family”
The past two weeks I’ve been only just functioning. December’s introduction left me incapacitated and stumbling. Wrapped in a blanket, curled up on the couch. This week I managed to pull myself from the apartment with unwashed hair and dirty fingernails. All hazy around the edges, my heart and my head were only half-way there. The kind of week I have trouble even remembering. My word. I know, I swear, I did things.
My exercise weeks start on Thursdays. Wednesday’s scheduled rest day has had a tendency to bleed into two or five days lately. My body has no idea how to go about sleeping these days. Running and trips to the gym get scrapped for sleeping in, cups of coffee, and promises to get it done this afternoon. There is always an excuse to find later. I know I have to trick myself to going outside before I even have a chance to think about it. Can’t fall for that, “Oh, come on, you have all day.” I know that isn’t true. Plus, I’ve always preferred the morning. Continue reading →
There’s always one more thing to do. One more counter to wipe down. One more bag of trash. There’s always one more email to answer or one more article to read. One more picture to look at on Facebook. One more thing to write. One more piece to edit. One more text message that needs attention. One more light to turn off. To turn back on again.
“Hold on. Real quick. Just one more thing.” Always busy. Always moving, sorting, doing.
I set aside time every night to stop. To sit. To give into the quiet and the stillness. It’s important. My doctor told me so. I make the time. I work it in. Fifteen minutes. It’s all scheduled. All laid out perfect so I can get to bed by ten. Get up in the morning at a quarter to six. Constant lists of things to do. A month’s worth of runs and gym trips planned in advance. Coffee dates and grocery shopping. Showers and mascara application. It all has its special timeframe. I wonder what I end up missing. The things that would happen if I let myself just be. Just do nothing. Sit with myself and just breathe. Spontaneous peace. Continue reading →