At Least The Dishes Are Clean
As I dropped her off this morning I noticed a feeling I often have during these moments while driving away from the bright glare of the hospital entranceway and back into predawn gloom. It is a feeling of panic, of being lost in the woods, and it brings to mind a question:
What do I do now?
Well, of course, I have a bazillion things I could do now. If ever in any doubt I need only check my bulging “To Do” list, filled with all sorts of unsavory tasks that I or someone else has decided that I should do. Many of them are so unpalatable that I shrink away from the thought of looking at the list. But there is so much time in front of me as I drive away from the hospital. I feel pressure to do something important so that when I return at the end of her long shift I can tell her all that I have accomplished, of the progress that I have made while she is working so hard to support our lives together.
So when I get home, I check the list. And there are so many things there that I truly do not want to do. But buried like treasure are things that I do want to do. Things that involve creating something of value for myself and others. Tasks that will further my goals and move me in a direction that I want to take my life. Tasks that need focus and dedication. Tasks that frighten me. Yes, these are the tasks I decide that I will do today.
But then I keep looking at that list, and I don’t begin to do any of the items I just told myself I wanted to do. I flip open a web browser and furtively look around. I decide I need to check my email to see if anything else needs to be added to the list, then switch back to the list to see if magically some of those things I don’t want to do might have just vanished. Discouraged that they have not, I turn back to my browser, hoping it has brought me something interesting, something to make me forget about all those things I have said that I am committed to doing. Perhaps it will bring me some new way to better organize the myriad details of my life, a way that is sure to straighten me out and get me doing the things I told myself I should be doing.
I need a break from the screen so I get up and I find things to do. I put things away. There are always things to be put away, an endless stream of things that have wandered far from their place of belonging. Someone must herd them. I am a herder. I tend to my flock.
Then there are the dirty dishes. Somehow they have learned to fornicate, and they love it, multiplying their numbers. Exponential growth is occurring. They must be cleansed, their sinful activities put to a stop. I baptize them with soap and water. Soon again, they return to their evil ways and must be cleansed again.
So tired now from the cleansing and herding, I decide I need some time to take care of me. I could go for a run, or maybe just a few minutes online….
Hours later, I emerge from an online stupor. It’s five-thirty, time to start thinking about making food for us. Off to the kitchen, where the dishes are fornicating once again. Damn them.
Seven forty-five and it’s back to the hospital to pick up her. The winter darkness enveloped the world two hours ago and the hospital entrance glares too brightly once again. As I pull up to the sliding glass doors I remember all those things that I wanted to do today, the things that would have made a difference and all I can feel is regret at what could have been. But hey, at least the dishes are clean.
Based on a journal entry from 1.9.14