When you can’t decide what you want time to do
My first job out of college was big on promotions and titles and levels. Each time I’d get a new title, I’d get a fancy new box of business cards and throw out the last box. Most of the people who stayed never went through an entire box before changing either positions or locations. Each time I’d get to the next spot, I’d relish the comparative ease of the last spot because the new spots not only came with a new box of cards, they always came with more responsibility, more stress, but not necessarily more guaranteed money.
It was an interesting phenomenon though. It helps me now when I’m thinking some current spot or situation is difficult and I happen to be sulking about it. It reminds me from experience the next spot will likely be harder, with more challenges in addition to rewards. Caring for one child versus two, two children to three. Caring for a toddler versus a newborn. The old adage that someone always has it worse than you, can also be said in the reverse. Someone also always has it better than you. It’s what tempers that fleeting jealousy of someone else, when you hang out in a children’s hospital for any length of time.
Yesterday, we went for a walk after church. And Jamison who is so fierce and so brave, asked to hold daddy’s hand through the long grass. This image slays me. At times like these, I want time to stand still, but I also want time to hurry up so we can meet our newest addition.
I’m excited for new adventures and experiences with the boys as they grow, but I want now to last just a little bit longer, so I can suck the marrow out of every last day that is now.
I had a friend who had a countdown to everything when we were in school. Countdown to spring break, to Christmas, to a fun event. Admittedly, I currently have a paper chain hanging in my dinning room, one link for every day until baby #3 finally joins us. But, what if the countdowns count out today? What if the countdowns gloss over right now?
My next box of business cards is due to arrive in June. They’ll be printed on either blue or pink paper, embossed with an Edwardian Script letter K. They’ll say mama of 3, wife, daughter and friend. I’m wise enough to know now that this position will be more challenging than my current one. And this makes me wholly grateful for each paper link on my paper chain today and wholly charmed by the possibility of tomorrow.
I don’t want for another box of cards after this set. That in and of itself makes me breathe a bit easier, focus a little closer on what time is gifting me today, in case it is not afforded to me at some point down the road.
Time doesn’t stop for me, but I stop in awe of it. In awe of thunderstorms and tiny hands grasping pinky fingers. In awe of how we can be 2 minutes late to school every morning, in awe of the days when church with littles felt like it would never be survivable, but suddenly is. In awe of messes and noises that make me crazy today, but someday will make me ache bitterly with their absence. I don’t carpe diem with the anxiety that every day is perfect, but with the reminder that the paper chain the boys and I made 2 months ago is now halfway complete.
I know nothing more to do, than swim more intentional strides in a pool of unknown distance. And I never leave home without my two floaties called family and faith when I’m flummoxed with forgetfulness.
So, my toast to us this April Monday is this (and oh how I wish I could raise a glass of something strong and delicious to commemorate this toast with you): For bravery and fierceness to lead you towards whatever your next box of business cards says and for strong hands and floaties to be available at every turn.