Pin It I've been taking life a little slower over the past few weeks. It all started with Rome...being away and then returning after such a length of time inspired the necessity for Getting Caught Up--no easy task for my over-achieving self. There was a backlog of work to complete for the kindergarten teacher I volunteer for, as well as the high-school student I teach and that recertification course I was taking, along with laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping, figuring out where my own kids were in school... In short, I had to figure out where I ought to be in the context of my own life, and journey back to that place.
It takes a while, when the puzzle pieces of your day-to-day have been so shifted and altered to accommodate your absence, to slide them back into a place that not only accommodates your presence, but welcomes it. But I made it back, slowly and meticulously and with the quiet joy that comes of simply being home attacking each out-of-place piece until it, and myself, all fit securely and comfortably once more.
There was little time during this process for extras. Little time for camera work, for the mountains of tivo'd television thoughtfully saved for me by my husband, for blogging, for even finishing that novel that I'd started on the plane. I was wiped at the conclusion of each day, happy to simply shut my eyes and fade on out by the time red digital numbers read nine-ish.
It felt good to take each piece of my life slowly and meticulously. So good that when most of the essentials were reined in and where they needed to be, I continued to take it slow...finishing that novel, fooling around with a few more of the thousands of Rome photos still needing editing, puttering in the kitchen and with the few flowers I'd managed to get planted.
I did nothing that consisted of an obligation, other than those obligatory tasks that come with the titles of "mommy" and "wife". I did no work for Vacation Bible School. Nothing for the church newsletter, due out in a week. I finished my coursework, and did nothing more for that class. I decided that Autumn would only tumble twice in a week instead of four times, until her standardized tests were finished. I cheered instead of grumbled when my student cancelled. I did no volunteer work, letting it sit, instead, in its crate by the sofa. I didn't even blog. (Gasp.)
And I discovered something about myself. I do know how to relax, and I kinda like it. There was supper on the table three out of four nights--supper I had enjoyed making, and didn't mind cleaning up after--mainly because I hadn't taxed myself silly all day. My house was cleaner and more welcoming than it has been all year. All of our clothes were clean, folded, and put away. And there was time when it was all done, time left over to simply sit and do whatever the heck I wanted.
So I hung a mental do-not-disturb sign on the Door of Things I've Obligated Myself To Do, and ignored the tapping toes on the other side. Instead I read two books, played umpteen games of chess, saw Letters to Juliet and Robin Hood in the same weekend, whittled my Tivo list down, and loved every minute of it.
So...to all of those remotely involved with my list-of-stuff to do: sorry about the vacay. I'm on the way back, promise...I've just been a little busy doing nothing.