Monday, March 10, 2014

How My Day Was

A  real day; an ordinary Monday. No snow, no disruptions to the schedule.

It felt like grace, all day long. Routine and a full schedule.

We have a houseguest, a friend staying in the basement room while he sorts out some big life changes. He comes in through the back door and often I don't see him until he pads upstairs, into the kitchen for a cup of instant decaf.

"So how was your day, Miz Stoddard?" he'll ask.

Because he's a guest; that's appropriate. I find it interesting that nobody else ever asks - not in that fashion. My husband always supposes the best - "Did you have a good day?" - because usually, I do, and that's an easy answer. At this stage of life, my sons mostly grunt in reply to my queries about their day; they don't have too many questions for me.

But our guest, he asks every day.

And so today, I thought about his questions, my arms in soapy water massaging the grease out of a frying pan.

"My day was....good. Long. Busy. I'm tired."

He went on to talk a bit about his day; the first visit to a new counselor, getting stuck in traffic...but my mind meandered in my own traffic as I worked the sponge in and out of a plastic cup.

I strained for extra sleep this morning, after seeing David out at 6:40. I crawled back into the warmth of the covers and stole another hour of sleep, dreaming fitfully that I'd had a stroke and was paralyzed on one side.

I stumbled through the early hours of the day, forsaking coffee since my first meeting was at Starbucks and I knew I'd get my fill there.

Our team meeting was productive and rejuvenating; we've missed one another and were glad to be back on track. The coffee was good. I spent several hours working; I headed to the high school to play the piano for an hour for the concert choir. I gave a piano student a ride to the music store and wrestled Chopin and Mendelssohn with her.

I listend to my son cough and made a doctor's appointment for tomorrow. I answered email, planned a retreat, managed time logs and wrote reviews.

I bought pizza for dinner.

It was a busy day, and it's yet to be over; David is wrangling algebra problems (with Tony's help) and coughing. There's so much going on, so many productive moments, so many responsibilities.

But there was space today - breathing room - and I'm not sure that I didn't just seek it out after the gentle rhythm of doing things that mattered and refusing to stress over the rest. I filled that space, short as it was, with a 20 minute visit to my parents. They live five minutes away, and I don't hardly ever just drop by to say hello.

Today, I did just that; and at the end of the day, when questioned, I can say My day was good and know that the best part of it wasn't the productivity or the checklist.

It was the coughing boy, learning algebra.

It is twenty minutes on the phone with my brother, enough for a quick update and debrief on his most recent sermon.

It was a ten-minute phone call reminding a beautiful friend if it is within your power, make peace with all people.

It was the husband's favorite Italian dish alongside the pizza.

It was the guest, sipping coffee in his Batman pajamas and praising Jesus.

It was my father, gently rocking the swing on the back porch.

It was my mother, excited to show me the new pattern for Daniel's graduation quilt.

It is the little things, but mostly it's the people, and the space to see them and hear them and acknowledge their value.

We took the time to stop and snap this sunset photo outside of Graceland Baptist Church
on the way home from my parents' house.

I swear, this Facebook fast is much bigger than I ever imagined. There are so many cracks, and so much light is seeping in...


Lindsay Durrenberger said...

suck it Facebook!

annie said...

Sounds like a great day! My parents live just down the street and I don't stop often enough to visit with them. I need to do a Facebook fast.

Lori said...

Annie, just stop in and say hey! You don't have to fast from Facebook... in order to visit your folks.
I love that your guest ask you" how was your day?" Because I think mostly people around us assume it's okay.. or good.. or that nothing "happened" but something doesn't have to "happen" to have an off day...
I like your day. It was good... and you had breathing room. We all need that.