11:11am CST, 31 Dec. 2016.
Of all the places I could be, things I could be doing, thoughts I could be thinking, I’m mighty happy right here.
I’m tired, it’s been such a long year, but right here is good.
I’m 32 years old, just barely, and I’m learning the pace of life. It’s slow and steady, and nothing we humans do can speed it up. I like that. I like that we’re not in control of some things, so many things, bigger than us, stronger than us, so very much grander than us.
We all have these wishes and desires for our lives, these trajectories we envision and strive to achieve by plotting our course and working, working, working. We always seem to want to go faster and harder and be a little bit better than ourselves as we were before. Sometimes we find ourselves ahead of the curve, and it feels amazing. Exhilarating. More often, it seems, we’re running behind a kite caught in the wind, chasing the string. That’s what makes life an adventure.
Babies change everything.
They take your old, comfortable, self-centered, easy life away from you and replace it with something entirely different. They make you a willing servant, a person who will gladly, joyfully, even at times gleefully, take care of the needs of another entirely and wholly and fully before your own. No one else can do this, only a child. Only your own. The exhaustion, the never-ending tiredness, the mind-numbing sleeplessness, it all is ameliorated, quite instantaneously, with the laughter and babbles of a baby. Or the tender words of a little girl, saying she loves you. Such simple, simple things. How can life be so simple and hard and painful and beautiful all at once? But it is, over and over, day after day, year after year.
I’m a mother of two, and my life is nothing as it used to be. There is an invisible veil that I believe all parents– most dramatically mothers (but fathers too)– pass through that no matter how hard you try to look through before parenthood you cannot conceive of it. Cannot understand what will be asked of you, demanded of you, brought out of you. Cannot imagine how you will be molded and reshaped, like soft, warm clay in the hands of a potter. Because that’s exactly it, we the parents are the ones who are shaped by our children. What a beautiful thing, if we can be patient enough and aware enough to recognize that. My how beautiful.
So we are upon the very cusp of a fresh new year, full of all the possibility and hope and wonder of the dawning of a bright new day… may we all step forward, alight ourselves upon the strong soil of reality but keep our heads in the lovely clouds, and continue to strive for greatness, for kindness, for compassion, for patience, and for the thrill of simply being alive.
Cheers… to 2017 and to YOU!
Xx, Tara T.
photo/art by me (photo from Peru, Sacsayhuamán, 2012; digital art added later.)