Settling in after caring for Ron away from home for eight months has been a challenge. How easy it is to accumulate “stuff.” Necessities I had at home but were two hours away, I replaced. Then dragged the replacements home with me. Well some I shared, some I donated, but lots and lots came home with me. It’s always just easier to pack than to sort. Sorting means evaluating, which means establishing criteria, which means identifying characteristics or weighing positives and negatives. Stuffing the stuff seems preferable. Until the boxes are all dragged in the house. Then it seems overwhelming.
However, for life to continue – at least for me – the mess must be tamed. A place for stuff must be found. . . Tomorrow . . . Maybe.
Now that I’m home and the nursing facility is only 3 minutes – not 30 – away, I am running back and forth, trying to arrange my errands and chores during Ron’s nap times. I am missing the calm of the bubble that was “”away from home” where my only requirement was to spend the day at Ron’s bedside. Now I have a life again – sort of – and stuff to deal with. How to juggle it all while maintaining my priority on Ron’s needs?
I once saw a juggler who paused before his performance to celebrate gravity. He invited the audience to cheer for the reliability of gravity. So he dropped a ball – several times – and mock marveled at the amazing feat that the ball always went down, not up. Every time! Gravity works! How miraculous! He asked the audience to remember to cheer, not to become jaded by gravity’s dependability, to remember that not every planet is so fortunate. Of course the audience laughed at his antics, and laughed again when they cheered wildly over the first missed catch. But he didn’t miss often, so the joke stayed fresh. And it reduced our collective anxiety over his need to be perfect. A good life lesson. We drop balls. Relax. Gravity works.
So will all the stuff get sorted? Will I manage to get everything done? Nah. Not perfectly at least. Where there’s life, there’s stuff. I can reduce, reuse, recycle as much as possible, but more will accumulate. Celebrate life. I can juggle schedules like a master, but will all the errands be accomplished. Not likely. There will always be more errands so long as I’m healthy enough to run them. Do I really want them to cease? What wouldn’t Ron give to have the ability to tackle a “honey do” list right now? Celebrate health.
A prayer wells up within me, “Lord, grant me the wisdom to celebrate the underlying principles of your design. Help me to navigate the oppositional forces in place, even use them to my own advantage when I can. Help me to remember to celebrate your behind-the-scenes perfection revealed even by my human imperfection, by my very longing to perfect life. In fact, give me the spider’s tenacity to spin again no matter how many times I brush his plans aside.” Amen.