Today was the first day since mid-March that I have five hours to myself, in my own home. For someone who needs quiet to be replenished and who cares for others in every other aspect of her life, this is a big deal.
I still have a sermon to write and a funeral to get ready for, so a big chunk of my time will be spent working on those. And I know not everyone has this opportunity and that each family has its own rhythm. But for right now, I am going to simply enjoy this moment and not overthink it.
That’s the rub though, isn’t it? Giving ourselves permission to enjoy what we have, in the moment we have it, to not have to rationalize it or compare it to what other people have or don’t have. To not not let a “should” get in the way, such as, “I should do the laundry…I should go to the store…I shouldn’t be enjoying this as much as I am.”
It’s almost like we think that if we don’t feel bad about having some time to ourselves, time to do whatever we want without having to care for someone else, we should feel guilty for something, so we find something to feel guilty for, which distracts us from the moment and eventually becomes a method of self-sabotage.
That’s why for right now, I’m trying to not think of the things I should be doing; they’ll get done. I’m trying to not think too hard about how to describe how I’m feeling or what I want to say to God; “thank you” is enough. And I’m trying to not compare my situation to anyone else’s, because that too, is a way to zap the joy of a particular moment, fast.
What I’m reminded of right now is how much I need this time. Over the last several months, when it has been in such short supply, I’ve made do, like a whole lot of other parents. I’ve tried to make the best of things and have found small moments of respite to get me through. But I’ve needed more. I’ve needed time to sit. To truly relax. And honestly, to not be needed.
Finally, after a long, long period of pouring out, a little something is going back in. And right now, that feels really, really good.