there are only 24 hours in a day.
After a dinner of takeout last night, I leaned over the top of my kitchen island last night and looked Husband in the eye and confessed something: I'm feeling overwhelmed, I said. He nodded as I elaborated. It's just the back-to-school stuff. I'm class moms for TWO classes and I'm not sure I'm good at that stuff. And I want to finish this book and make it perfect. And my blog post today. I'm so happy I wrote it and so many people are reaching out to me and this is amazing and good, but I'm feeling kinda depleted.
He's a good guy and he just listened and then asked if there was anything he could do. And just the question made me feel better and I thanked him, but said no. He'd already done something, something important, by asking if he could help. I felt better. I made mint tea. I took it to my desk, sat down, put on some good music. And I got to work.
I spent time filling out questionnaires about my girls for their future teachers (they start tomorrow and Thursday). I spent more time that I probably should have, spilling anecdotes, really thinking about it... No. I take that back. I spent the time that I wanted to because it matters to me that these teachers get an accurate glimpse of my kids. And then I responded to the emails I received from people yesterday, people who were thankful that I wrote about something that affects them and deeply. Drinking affects so so many of us. So many of us are in the throes of it, frightened to feel the struggle of it, unwilling or unable to speak up about something that's hard to name. So, I responded to emails, somewhat inarticulately because it was late, but it was time very well spent. Responding to those emails, connecting with those real people who had read my words and had seen something in my story, mattered to me. And then I did the same deal here; I responded to the comments, comments from people who were perhaps shaken in a good way. Again, time very well spent.
And then I was going to call it a night. It was late. Far later than I normally stay up. I took my mug to the kitchen, placed it in the sink. I looked over at my laptop, closed and calm after a long, active day and then I just walked over to it, sat down at the island and opened it up again and worked on revisions of my manuscript. I dug in. I scribbled notes and tweaked sentences. I made it through to the end, reading my final paragraph, smiling, saying to myself, Holy shitaake, this story is good. Time well spent.
And then I slept. And I had a dream or two. And now I'm up with my girls, sipping coffee, thinking about this good world of ours. A world that can be beautiful and brutal. A world that is ours. And I'm thinking about time, about how we only have so much of it. No one of us knows how many days we will have, but in the frame of each day, we have hours. Twenty-four of them. And some of them we must spend doing things we might rather not do, but there are hours that are ours, hours to play with, hours to claim.
If we don't choose how to spend these hours, someone else will. Yesterday felt good even if it felt overwhelming because I filled it (overfilled it?) with things that mattered deeply to me. I'm not sure if I'm making any sense - a theme, yes - but I think I'm onto something.
Time will pass whether we like it or not. We can't wait to do the stuff that matters. Thank you to all of you who read my words yesterday and all the other days, who take the time to comment and email and share. You are reminding me again and again of how powerful stories can be and how I want to spend my time, my time, telling them.
How are you spending your time these days? How would you like to be spending your time? Do you tend to feel overwhelmed at this time of year?