yesterday i went to feed janet’s cat but wasn’t sure if i needed a coat. janet is our neighbor, & she & frank are on a mini-vacae on the gunflint trail this week. we watch their cat, who has kidney problems & a new canned cat food, while they’re gone. i don’t even know cat’s name. isn’t that sad?
anyway, the coat question brings up a deeper issue, i realized as i crunched over tire marks cast in frozen slush. my original thought, & the one i’ve nursed my whole life, is to just go quickly & get it done, & move on to the next thing. if i just run over quick, i’ll not need a coat.
but i’m kinda tired of moving on to the next thing. “quick” has had my number far too long.
so, i put on my white columbia that my mom bought me, tucked under the hood, & went out the door, leaving everyone else inside.
& then i exhaled. nice & deep, & for effect.
why, i said to my slow-moving self, do i have to go so fast all the time?
what if i walked slowly, if i took in the way my center of gravity shifts when my foot slides on the ice? have i entered an imaginary race somewhere?
because i feel like i’m always doing, & never getting enough done.
part of this, i realize, is having a baby in the house again. i’m in the perpetual state of putting someone itty bitty at the top of the list. i get that, planned for it, count on it. but the larger segment is a heart issue, something God snuck up on me & nudged in to view: you go so fast, try to get so much done, because you’re afraid you’re not good enough if you don’t.
& the inverse: the more i get done, the better mommy/wife/human being i am. if i get the laundry folded every day & the children fed something green & the mess (the creative, holy mess!) picked up & the blogs read & sneak in a page in leify’s baby book? yep, that’s right. then i’m good enough.
& no, i don’t actually say these things to myself, & they sound really lame when i read them on the screen, but the sad thing is that i believe them. i own them, have them written on the tablet of my heart.
so sped on i have. & where has it gotten me? well, i’ve gotten an insane amount of stuff done, making my scandinavian roots proud. but even my scandinavian roots are worn out.
& truth be told, i don’t want to base my happiness on whether or not the laundry gets folded. because a lot of days it doesn’t. & to hinge my value on clean underwear? yeah, not workin’ out for me.
so, i’ll slow down a step. or two. babies’ll do that to you. God’ll do that to you, when He wants to get your attention & let you know you’re okay just the way you are. He should know; He thought you up.
so, you’ll excuse me if i take a step back? if i put my coat on & walk slowly to feed the cat instead of racing over & racing back again? if i take the time to slow dance my bundle to sleep, patting his little bum & nuzzling his fuzzy head? if the crumbs stay & the phone calls go unreturned sometimes, if i check in with His opinion before racing around to accomplish?
if you’d like, there’s plenty of room here. i’d love the company.