Waiting.

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“I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.
The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.”

- Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

“LOVE CHANGES WHAT IS PROBABLE AND MAKES UNLIKELY THINGS POSSIBLE.”

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35

It’s enough.

sunrise-girl-lying-down“If you’re struggling, you deserve to make self-care a priority. Whether that means lying in bed all day, eating comfort food, putting off homework, crying, sleeping, rescheduling plans, finding an escape through a good book, watching your favorite tv show, or doing nothing at all — give yourself permission to put your healing first. Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and today, whatever you do, let it be enough. Feel your feelings, breathe, and be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can to cope and survive. And trust that during this time of struggle, it’s enough. “

- Daniell Koepke 

Cranky Old Man.

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What do you see nurses? … What do you see?

What are you thinking … when you’re looking at me?

A cranky old man … not very wise,

Uncertain of habit … with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food … and makes no reply.

When you say in a loud voice … ’I do wish you’d try!’

Who seems not to notice … the things that you do.

And forever is losing … A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not … lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding … The long day to fill?

Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am … As I sit here so still,

As I do at your bidding … as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of Ten … with a father and mother,

Brothers and sisters … who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen … with wings on his feet

Dreaming that soon now … a lover he’ll meet.

A groom soon at Twenty … my heart gives a leap.

Remembering, the vows … that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now … I have young of my own.

Who need me to guide … And a secure happy home.

A man of Thirty… My young now grown fast,

Bound to each other … With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons … have grown and are gone,

But my woman is beside me … to see I don’t mourn.

At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,

Again, we know children … My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me … My wife is now dead.

I look at the future … I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing … young of their own.

And I think of the years … And the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man … and nature is cruel.

It’s jest to make old age … look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles … grace and vigour, depart.

There is now a stone … where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass … a young man still dwells,

And now and again … my battered heart swells

I remember the joys … I remember the pain.

And I’m loving and living … life over again.

I think of the years, all too few … gone too fast.

And accept the stark fact … that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people … open and see.

Not a cranky old man .

Look closer…see … ME!!

You can’t eat beauty.

back-girl-hair-sun-Favim.com-185355“You can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you…beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be. You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What actually sustains us, what is fundamentally beautiful, is compassion–for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty inflames the heart and enchants the soul.” 

- Lupita Nyong o