Monday, April 11, 2011

The Late, Late, Late Show

It's late (11:24 pm) and by some miracle, I'm still awake. Maybe 11:24 pm doesn't sound like late to you, but to this mom-with-a-tornado-for-a-child, it is waaaaaay past bedtime. So, you may be asking the question, why are you still up? Well, to be honest, I'm not sure. It could have something to do with the few (understatement) handfuls of chocolate chips I've recently consumed (hello, caffeinated sugar bomb). But, I think it has more to do with the fact that my time alone is rare, like Humpback Whale rare, and I'm trying to stretch it out as long as I can. So, now I'm up past my bedtime perusing websites that feature elaborate handmade pillows and framed fabric swatches with pithy sayings crocheted on them. Oh, and I'm also doing laundry, but that's nothing new (see blog sub-title). Basically, I'm wasting time. But, the important part here is that I'm wasting time all by my lonesome.

The husband is snoozing upstairs and I imagine the little guy is dreaming about cookies and The Backyardigans and endless sippy cup-fulls of Juicy Juice right about now. And so the house is quiet except for the sound of the dryer tossing around my last load of laundry for the night.

The house is mine for the moment and I find that I'm not even sure how to be this alone anymore. It used to be the norm most evenings (before the boys upstairs showed up) and now I find that I'm pretty unfamiliar with my own company. It's a curious thing to look into the mirror some mornings and realize that I don't know the person looking back at me as well as I used to.

Seven years of lovely/terrible singleness after college afforded me lots and lots of time to ponder my self, my personal dramas and heartaches, my plans and my hopes and the plethora of things under the category "my." And now, most everything about me revolves around none of those things anymore. And, in most ways, that's a really good thing. I've filled whole (seriously dramatic) journals about silly boys, detailing inevitable break-ups that I was nonetheless stunned by. I've spent hours and hours on the phone with friends dissecting relationships and pondering my particularly unique (and yet not so much) path through life ad nauseam.

I miss some of that time to myself, searching out the intricacies of what it meant to be me. But, now that I look back, I realize that a lot of time got wasted on stuff that really didn't matter a whole lot. I could have saved a significant number of trees if I'd volunteered at a soup kitchen instead of chronicling my little romances in dozens (and I mean dozens) of leather-bound journals. Twenty-something angst was quite the fodder for journals I hope I have the good sense to burn before I die.

Now that my life is summed up by laundry and cheerios, I have to admit that, despite its severe lack of personal introspection, it turns out that it's fulfilling in a way that all those years of near total self-focus never could be.

I could probably use a little more time to myself for things like taking a shower that lasts long enough to include shampooing AND conditioning or maybe reading the magazine I bought back in October. But, all in all, I think that the time I'm not spending on myself these days is better spent than any of those self-indulgent hours of journaling my personal dramas or staring out a window wondering when my life would start.

I may have digressed a little here. Obviously, alone time isn't always a slippery slope of narcissism. It's definitely a necessary part of healthy self-awareness, but I think God was on to something when He said "It is not good for man to be alone." I'm pretty sure He knew that community would be the place where we could be our best selves, rather than holing up with a journal (or an iPhone) somewhere.

Pause. I think I hear my bed calling me.

Well, if you made it this far, you may feel that you've just wasted some of your own precious time and I might agree with you. Late night blog posts are usually something I'd suggest you avoid. Now that I've done my share of rambling, I suppose it's time to hit the hay. Only seven more hours until the whirling dervish wakes up and demands a sippy cup. Sigh.

Goodnight, quiet house.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post so much I'm not sure where to start.
    First of all, you said whirling dervish. Major bonus points.
    Also, I read "the little guy" as Matt and then pictured him watching Backyardigans while drinking Juicy Juice. Awesome.
    But mostly, I just love hearing you think out loud and reading the way you string words together. And I love that our lives are so much the same at the very same space in time. And I love this sentence:
    "I'm pretty sure He knew that community would be the place where we could be our best selves, rather than holing up with a journal (or an iPhone) somewhere."
    That sentence gives me both freedom and conviction and I love that. These past few days when I was phoneless were pretty amazing. It's absurd how much time I spend zoning out in one-minute increments throughout the day.
    In conclusion, I love you, friend. Thanks for writing.



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