The hour is late. My fingers glide over the keyboard. I type a few sentences. Then I hit delete. The blank screen stares at me like a pair of headlights on a dark road. Struggling, I start again. The pile of books on my desk are a distraction. Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl and J.Palacio’s Wonder shift my attention. Not now, I whisper, as if the presence of these books are the reason why I am in this particular predicament. Sitting straight, my spine loses its curve, like I’ve rounded some corner I did not know existed. I stretch my arms to regain my attention. It is time to focus, I say out loud, glancing at my calendar, knowing that in a few hours, I will make new choices to dictate how the day will unravel.
Since October, a streak of melancholy punctuates some of my days. Part of this undertow of sadness comes from a break in my routine and spiraling into mindless noise that increases my anxiety. As much as I try to focus on stripping my life of moments that don’t matter, I succumb again, like an addict who can’t give up that last bet, drink or drug. I enjoy busy, but I also value my solitude. In this last month, the gap between the two is one I cannot negotiate well. I have too much of one or the other which contributes the lopsidedness in my days. It also leads to not feeling like I am not doing anything well.
I am a distracted parent, making a peanut butter sandwich while glued to my Twitter feed. I write, but I stop because the laundry in the corner of my room needs a home. While on the treadmill, I pay attention to the TV feed, while listening to music and playing Words with Friends. I start my day with a green smoothie, but by mid-afternoon, I’ve taken several sips of that fizzy Coca Cola. I know what needs to be done and even write it down, but in the evening, the same tasks are glued to the page and will carry over to the next day.
A good friend tells me that life moves in and out of a certain season. This year in particular the unrest is palpable. Entering midlife, time’s markers are emphasized with a gravity I didn’t realize before. I woke early this morning and I took a step outside to try to gain some newfound clarity to the ramble that is not only running in my head, but spilling on the page. Walking outside on my patio, a cold breeze greeted my footsteps, the crisp and light air strummed with tranquility. Above my head, a light blue sky glittered with a crystalline quality one can only appreciate in the early hours of the morning. In the distance, I spotted the sun’s rise. I took a breath. The sun’s rays appeared like a halo in the distance.
I stood outside for a few minutes.
Inhaling the moment, I stayed with the quiet and let it dictate how this day might unfold.
Maybe it’s time for a new kind of a season.