Ah Saturday morning.
The sounds of my washing machine. Neighbor children playing loudly on the other side of a backyard fence, and it’s only 8:18am. I remember those days of “Oh god, what will we do with them for the next 12 hours?” Sometimes the answer was, “Send them outside, and don’t let them back in until somebody’s crying.” But even so I waited for the sound of almost tears, from the youngest, mostly, and relented to fend off the terrible despair of a 3-year old. So hard to be little and powerless, especially when you’re smart enough to know what strength would feel like.
That era when laundry was not a joy.
In a way, I am only now moving past the thought-mode of child-rearing and house-running. Where ruminating was never better than action, and the thrum of Get Going never stopped.
I wanted to tell you guys how it’s been to make resolutions this year. Oddly freeing, that’s how.
My list has meant that I do not more, but less. Everything got quieter. Just as a small idiosyncratic example, I needed to pick up cardboard boxes at Staples to pack away files, I used to try to make myself walk. That internal discussion of “Is the exercise of walking worth the misery of carrying large intractable rectangles for miles?” Exhausting.
Fighting with oneself is tiring, the combatants know each other all too well.
Excuse the effort of an ornate metaphor, but if we agree that after years of raising children and managing subordinates, internal voices remain, a Goal Chorus of sorts, we might say that I have now put the singers in their rows. Must Exercise Must Exercise sings baritone, Don’t Eat That Chocolate, highest soprano. Imagine the Queen of Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute.
Quiet down, exhortative chorus singing Cross Things Off, with the occasional command performance of To Warrant Being Alive.
So now, by resolution, I am no longer trying to do everything every day. The boring details are that I have signed up for a personal trainer, twice a week, to begin as soon as the physical therapy for my shoulder ends. Thus ends the need to examine every twitch for exercise potential. Space-clearing is almost complete, stuff has been boxed. All that remains is time from someone who can help me lift and move things into their final resting places. He’ll get to it. And volunteering. I have a list of places to contact. I’ll get to it.
I’d always resisted resolutions precisely because of the high-tuning to goals. I worried that turning up the must-do noise dial would break glass. As it were. Again, forgive the metaphor. But this is a sensory experience, the voices of Do A Good Job laid down early.
By the way, I’m neither expecting nor requiring the voice of meaning to speak to me now in the silence. Maybe all I’m going to hear is the washing machine, the dryer, and a jay.
The children, it seems, have gone inside.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Today I couldn’t help but think, as I wrote, of the blog Collage of Life. She’s on to the empty nest, as her youngest goes off the school. Her Instagram photos of Vietnam are wonderful.