It's 5 am, East Coast time. Before the recession, I used to take the boys all day long & try to fit in time for myself whenever I could, which wasn't often. Mostly because one can't find time for themselves if they are forever sticking their kids into everything they do. I'm in love with family time. It's what I know best, it's where I feel the coziest & most protected. I never really knew that I was drained until I cracked, agitated & worn out, bantering on about how I don't get to make things or travel the world. Once I hit those walls the world would turn black & white for a few hours - yes, hours, as I lamented over how much I've given up for this dream I'm living. D has always said I married too young, that he caught a girl with wanderlust. He's right, except for the "too" part. I plan on fitting these guys into all of my dreams, & I'm slowly learning the art of sequencing my hopes over time & space.
At home D would be working upstairs, & I'd take the kids on field trips. We would both manage our businesses in our own ways, with him doing all the collaborating, the managing, & the "doing," while I'd coach our partners & management. Of course, my love is the arts & contribution, so as the recession made it more & more clear that this was not the time for a green exotic car share, & I became less & less enamored with our partner's laser surgery clinics, I started to feel less & less inspired. I'd look at my unfinished garments & illustrations. I'd think, "I just want to work all day." Really, I just wanted to control what was happening.
my ca "office," complete with dirty toddler socks + someone in my chair
It hurt to lay off people we love, to close the doors on D's gorgeous garage, but it was happening with all of our peers. It hurt me in a more intimate way to stop giving. We've always had to budget ourselves, but we've always been lucky enough to be able to create incomes for others. We've always gifted causes that were meaningful to us, even if we only had $60 in our bank account. All the rules have changed, & it's an adventure trying to figure out the flow right now. Do you hold on & hoard what's there, but then stop the flow?
I think D & I lose vitality when we do that. There's something about our nature that wants to be free-er than free, to hold on to nothing, while still experiencing the very best of life. None of this energy is really ours, anyways, it comes from other sources & wants to go back out again. Like if finances were water, most people are public water fountains that supply small amounts as needed, not holding on to much at all. Some folks are great lakes with dams that hold everything back for themselves. We want to be part of a delta, part of a great, lively ecosystem with constant movement. It just feels like such a healthy image to hold, this idea of money, literally bio-survival tickets, circulating around & around, reaching every living creature, feeding & being changed by everything it touches. And us, just a part of all that.
So now I'm here working, in a blessed part of the world that includes sitting in front of an endless glistening lake, but inside, at my computer. I watched D today, gathering up the boys, one in every size, gathering snacks, snapping up their "buckle-buckles" (life jackets), basically wrangling 3 unwieldy animals. He's yelling, he's tender. He's military, he's present & listening to their ongoing narrative. He's amazing. They head out in the boat, all 4 of them tan with glints of gold in their hair. And I'm thinking, "I just want to play all day."
I'm so grateful for all the times he watched us leave without him. He always said it was painful. And my mama, working 3 jobs & not seeing us kids. And my dad, a published writer & visionary, putting in all those years as a mail carrier. Pops, working the fire department from beginning-to-end, with his electrical business on the side. Work is work. It can be a vocation. A calling, a joy. And still, There's a physical element of wear & tear in every career. There's people to love that we can't be with every second.
So...when I do get to see them, I glad to have made some soup. Because when they've been in the water & their lips are purple, it's nice to have a warming station of towels ready to lie on. It's nice to have something warm to put in their bellies. And even if they've been getting that all day already, I'm so glad to get a chance to help a little.
Rustic Lentil Soup + Quesadillas
In a pot throw 2 handfuls of wild rice, 2 handfuls of yellow lentils, 5 chopped celery stalks, 2 chopped carrots, 4 inches of water & some Organic Better-than-Bouillon. Bring to a boil, lower heat & simmer for 40 minutes. Shred organic white cheddar on 10 corn tortillas on baking sheets. Broil to melt. Stack the hot tortillas & cut into 6 wedges. Pull them apart. Serve the littles soup in mugs with a bit of milk to cool it off. Feel comforted when they say it's the best soup they ever had, feel miffed when one announces, "I don't really like it." Then be truly important & finish their food for them before going back to work.