“If you see a whole thing – it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives… But up close a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern.”
- Ursula LeGuin
Last night, the doorbell rang just after 9 and I cautiously flicked on the porch light, peered into darkness. No one was there. I looked down and there was a plastic pumpkin. We’d been “Boo’d”. Turns out, one of Pumpkin’s friends (and her parents, I’m presuming) Boo’d nearly every house with kids in the neighborhood. It was a fun gesture – this pink plastic pumpkin full of candy, and my kids were overjoyed and spent this afternoon looking for people to “boo” back. Me? It just makes me tired to think about.
More and more these days, I think about how I want to spend the time that isn’t committed to things already. I have hours dedicated to my full time job, I have hours committed to the commute to and from. I have the time I spend with my children, providing them with love and providing them with care. I have the time I spend working out. The time I spend trying to keep my house from looking like an episode of Hoarders. And with the time that remains, I try to fill it with people and things and places that make me happy.
And some things don’t. There are projects I still do out of obligation – projects that used to bring me a lot more joy than I get these days. Things I used to do because I had more time but now that I don’t. I mean, even my workout regimen has had to take on an altered status because it’s hard to find time for it like I used to. I accept that, it’s life and it happens. But with the decrease in free time comes a shift in priorities and a need to figure out how to get things done and just what things are worth my time.
I would love to take a pair of scissors into the fabric of my life and hack giant holes into the pieces that don’t work, and patch those holes with things I like better, prettier fabrics, and trim up the whole chaotic mess with grosgrain ribbon and maybe it won’t look nice or make sense but it will be mine and it will work somehow.
Maybe I could cut out some of these joyless pieces and replace them with camera pieces. Fun time with my kid pieces. Laughing with friends pieces. Because the joy-sucking pieces of life are making the rest of things look bad. And they’re making me tired.