Not too long ago, I was feeling my age. Then I was temporarily out of commission. Now I’m at a crossroads of sorts. Something in me is changing. I have less patience for what I do not care to do. I have less patience for things that feel unproductive to me. And I have less patience with my own willingness at times to be less than whole-hearted in whatever I am doing. I feel like my moments matter, and I do not want to waste them.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t waste time. I do. But I own the time that I waste. I enjoy every minute that I nap or watch television or read something random, so there is value in the wasting, if that makes sense.
These last few months, I have felt a sense of urgency to find what I should be contributing to this world. For a while, I was completely obsessed with making a professional change of some kind, though I had no idea if that meant ditching my practice, changing my practice, changing my firm, changing my work schedule or something altogether different. I just felt like change was in order.
Then I felt the self-centered-ness of my relentless desire for change. I felt the weight of it.
Rather than continue to look for the next thing, I started asking God, “What do you want me to do today?” Not five years from now. Or one year from now. But just today? And I’ve been rather surprised by the answers.
- I want you to do nothing.
- I want you to focus on your health.
- I want you to find ways to be in community like you were fifteen years ago.
- I want you to trust me.
So I did. I quit obsessing about work and let work be what it is. And I started to focus my energy on appreciating moments and my health and people and just how small I am in this world.
Since that shift happened, I’ve felt better somehow. I’ve enrolled in a strength class. Dave and I are swimming some evenings. I started reading a lot again. I’m all caught up on General Hospital. My training for RAGBRAI is going strong. I’m writing more. And I’m spending time with my friends. Like tonight, I’ll be with one of my favorite people on the planet at some random ping pong place that I had no idea even existed.
I’m still working. I’m actually working a lot, but my life is not revolving around the work I have or the work I hope to have.
Dave has mentioned a few times that I’m smiling more. He’s complimented me more out of blue. Maybe it’s the few pounds I’ve lost since I started my strength classes and have paid more attention to what I’m eating, but I don’t think so. I think it’s bigger than that.
Even last night, I went to my parents’ house for a quick dinner, and when I walked in, my dad said, “You look good today.”
I was wearing the same black hiking pants that I have four of and practically live in. I had my hair up in a ponytail like I always do. I’d just spent a couple of hours outside, so I was even a little more disheveled than normal. But I looked good to him. Dad isn’t quick with those compliments. He calls it like he sees it, and sometimes what he sees isn’t good. So his words? They felt like affirmation that this shift – whatever it is exactly – is working.
I’m grateful. I choose to continue walking in this direction, though I don’t know where this road is leading me.