In the last two months, I’ve started half a dozen blogs and then gotten distracted. That’s what time has been like lately. I’m not complaining because I love almost everything I am getting to do right now, but I am tired. And today I’m only able to write because my body brought me to a grinding halt over the weekend.
After a full and fun Saturday with Dave, a dear friend, and my family, I went to bed with a tickle in my throat, and I woke up on Sunday morning with a sore throat and congestion. So rather than go for an early bike ride, go to church, work with Dave on the lawn, and then do some work, I slept until 9:30 and moved slowly about the house, if I moved at all, the rest of the day.
I still got some things done. I loaded the dishwasher, took out the trash, changed my sheets, washed my bedding, vacuumed and did laundry. I cleaned a little bit of the clutter, too. But mostly I sat and slept with the cats. Bread and Butter knew that I didn’t feel well. Wherever I sat, they sat. They are good that way.
It was nice actually. I didn’t like not feeling well. I didn’t like missing a fun weekend workout and church. I didn’t like finding snot in my hair. (Yeah, I don’t even being to know how that happened. Did I blow my nose and miss? Anyway, the combination wet and crunchy grit got me out of bed and into the shower, so even that was not all bad.) Even with all the yuck, I appreciated the forced time at home. I liked that my realistic options were basically to sleep, read, watch television or do some light cleaning around the house.
Today, I’m better but not great. I’m taking a slow morning at home as I try to decide whether to try to make my afternoon meetings. I have a lot going on this week, so I can’t afford to be out of commission right now. Or maybe I can. Things would go forward without me, but shouldn’t I be available to help? I feel like I should. Or maybe how I feel is the universe’s way of telling me that I need to step back for the best.
Before this yuck derailed me, I had been thinking a lot about my work and what I should be doing with myself. I’ve been having this conversation with myself for the better part of twenty years, but it feels different somehow. Halfway into my life, the stakes feel both greater and less than they’ve ever been. How I spend the years I have left matters more at my age and the possibility that I could screw it all up matters less somehow. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do, but something is about to change.
As I have questioned my ability to participate fully in my life this week, I wondered if this derailment is a way of showing me that anyone can do the things I’m doing. Anyone can do the work I’m doing. Anyone can fill the roles I’m filling. I haven’t found that one thing that only I can do – the thing that I was designed to do. And that’s really what I want for myself in this back half. I want to know that I’m contributing, not just doing. The question is: what should I be contributing?
I don’t know yet. But this time to sit and sleep is helping me ask that question in a more present way. The days have been so busy. Rather than just thinking about it while I’m driving (assuming I’m not on some call), I’m thinking about it constantly. And that’s a good thing.
I’m hopeful that I can soon finish the thought.