Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Today felt different...

It really did. I woke up, slipped my feet into my slippers, slipped my body into my robe, and slipped my robed body quietly into my study room. I sat down on the floor to think, to pray, to read, to write my morning pages. But before I got to the morning pages, I slipped into the homeschool room to check my email and to check up on my various Yahoo groups. Bad idea – if I don’t write in the morning, the morning doesn’t go well. Today was no exception.

Except for one thing: it felt different. I knew that I couldn’t just let the anger and frustration of a thoughtless, wordless, pen-less morning overwhelm me or the children. It wouldn’t be fair to them or to myself to waste one of my last few days on earth unnecessarily annoyed about something relatively minor. So I pulled out my morning pages journal during art class time, did my writing, and felt much better. This evening when the fish didn’t turn out as I’d hoped, I took a few deep breaths and figured out what it would take to fix the mistake I'd made. No need for anger. No need to eat something wholly unsatisfying. Life is too short for bad food. Life is too short for bad moods. Life is too short to shout at the children, regret the yelling, and refuse to ask for forgiveness.

Today turned out to be a day of reflection, of reading, of gratitude, and of thinking about what my life is and dreaming about what I hope my life will be. I thought about what these last 364 days should and shouldn’t consist of. Here is a little of what I came up with.

Life is too short for diet soda. Drink the real thing, or drink water.

Life is too short to save all the good clothes and good jewelry for Sunday. I may only have a month of Sundays left; why not wear the good stuff everyday?

Life is too short to keep a long list of grievances.

Life is too short to read trashy novels, watch trashy television, and eat trashy food. Unless I want to.

Life is too short to be able to spend sufficient time with my friends one-on-one; I want to get them all together in one place and dance all night long.

Life is too short to go to sleep angry at people. I may not wake up and be able to make up.

I have loved and been loved deeply in my life.

I have known truly remarkable men and women during my lifetime. I wish I could tell each of them how much joy and love and grace and wit and humor and style and creativity they have given me.

I have seen beautiful cities and towns in this country, in Europe, and in South America. But nothing in the world is more beautiful than the smiling face of a friend or loved one after a warm hug.

I have eaten a lot of candy in my thirty-nine years, and I don’t regret a single milk chocolate pecan turtle, Tropical Dot, Snickers bar, chocolate truffle, almond M&M, mint kiss, malted milk ball or green apple jelly bean - even though I have had every fill-able tooth in my mouth filled – twice.

I love silver jewelry. I have 15 cross necklaces and over 20 silver bracelets. I can’t count the earrings.

I have a collection of elephant statues. I plan to write about each one, where it was purchased and what drew me to it.

My bookshelves are filled with books that, when taken together, tell the story of my life. Each one came into my life at exactly the right moment, giving me another piece of the puzzle that makes me – me.

However, the most remarkable thought I had today is this: There isn’t a whole lot about my life that I would change if this were the last year of my life. I love the house and city we live in. I travel often. I read and write and try to take life seriously – but not too seriously. I eat what I like. I wear comfortable shoes and clothes that allow me to breathe and move freely. I create art that makes me happy. I end conversations with salutations that express my feelings for the people with whom I speak. I love my husband, our children, and our extended family, and they know that. I treasure my friends and value my acquaintances, and they know that. I am at peace with God and with myself. What else is there? Am I missing anything?

So now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I won’t regret this hunk of cake.

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