Elusive peace

Park in Kumamoto
Park in Kumamoto

I have continued my busy life at a pace that seems sometimes unsustainable. I have caught myself looking back into the past, at times when I thought I was busy, and wishing for only that level of activity. I do need to schedule in some peace.

My Great Uncle Loren died a little over a week ago. I took Saturday to drive to Springfield to be with Great Aunt Nealie for a few hours. It was all I could spare (4 hours of driving plus 4 hours of visiting = day used up), and I hope it did some good. Sunday afternoon I spent with Arno, because we hadn’t seen each other for a week, and it’s so important to keep a relationship strong by being physically in each other’s presence when it can be arranged. (We’ve taken to calling the 60 miles that separate us the “6000 miles,” because sometimes that’s what it feels like.) Monday was a federal holiday, so I went out to see Grandma Trulove in the town of Sandy. Thankfully, she’s only an hour away in good traffic. I have a standing date to spend federal holidays with Grandma. At 92 years old, she’s earned my time.

Tara’s been working her athlete’s butt off every night, getting ready for a Choreographer’s Showcase this weekend, plus getting ready for the big Spring performance, Coppelia, that began rehearsals and meetings this week. All week long, I was working extra hours (don’t tell anyone: I work for the government and it’s not allowed), trying to get my bean count up. Numbers, numbers, numbers. It’s all our lives revolve around there. Then after work, I made the commitment to stay awake till my kid got home from ballet practice, make sure she got a healthy dinner into her, then gently push her toward homework (by this time it’s 9 pm, which is typically her bedtime, but I am forced to make an exception this week) before stumbling into my own preparations for sleep.

The funeral was this Saturday, only Arno had stayed the night and (as a result of the tremendous pressures at his own job because they have been working toward an important deadline) around 3 am got the worst migraine headache I have ever witnessed in a person – vomiting for hours. Wow. Awful. So I missed the funeral to take care of him. He took a nap at one point and I was able to begin page design on my Japan photobook. I am going to use the photo above for the cover. I sent my girlie out the door at 9:30am, and she didn’t get home till 9pm. What a trooper. The good news is, I had time to make a dessert to contribute to the ballet studio open house, and attend the Choreographer’s Showcase  last night.

But I still have things to do with Aunt Nealie (lots of VA paperwork I can help her submit), and I still have family members in Springfield I’d like to meet up with. So, I will take today and go down to Spring field a day late, and do what I can. I hope to get home in time to make a healthy dinner for my daughter, check in to see how much studying for finals she managed to do on her one day’s rest from school and ballet, and find 5 minutes of peace to get myself mentally prepared for Monday morning.

Maybe it sounds just like any other Soccer Mom lifestyle, but I want more. I don’t want to be always trapped in things I must do because I’m responsible. When do I finish writing my book? When do I finish editing the photobook and submit the software to the publisher? When do I pull out my oil paints and remember how to lay paint on canvas? I find unexpected bursts of time here and there, when I can do something to feed my peace-hungry soul: I take care of my sick man, I listen and encourage Miss T to rave about what a great group of girls she dances with. Tara and I even blow off dishes and homework sometimes and watch half a movie (it’s all we have time for).

I haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution yet. Maybe this is what I need to focus on: make time for peace.

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