“Every day includes much more non-being than being. This is always so. One walks, eats, sees things, deals with what has to be done; the broken vacuum cleaner; ordering dinner; washing; cooking dinner. When it is a bad day the proportion of non-being is much larger.”– Virginia Woolf
I push the cat away from my computer. I pull out a stack of books and set them in front of Baby L, or even better I get her into a deep milk-induced nap. Then I work. Or at least try to. I check email, check Facebook, glance as my phone. I clean a little, get the laundry in the dryer and listen to the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of it turning. I check the news and think of Mr. L somewhere in downtown D.C. I return to my work, hoping to find that next lead, a job. I’m a freelance writer which means the search is always and forever. So often I feel like I have not accomplished anything. Like my days are a mix of small things barely completed. More non-being than being.
Thanksgiving makes me stop and recognize all the wonder in my life. In living, really. Perhaps instead of trying to do so much, but always feeling like I am only scratching the surface, I should seek my sense of accomplishment in being more mindful. To rock Baby L for a few minutes longer and commit to memory how her baby face looks at this point in time. To softly talk with Mr. L as he gets up in the dark of the morning and turns off the alarm for the final time. To leave the desk, the work, the pursuit and doubt of being a writer, to pay attention for a minute to the way the leaves flicker on the almost-bare trees. To pick up the cat and stand in the patch light coming through the window so he can feel the warmth and I can feel the soft calmness of his purr. To give true attention to the things I love. To live gratitude.
If I can give to the important ones, if I can pause to be, then I have achieved more that day than on the busiest work days. Try to create a good life in the most simple ways. This world is fleeting, life is fast, life is hard, and life is a mystery of things. These ordinary days are the happiest of my life. It is time to start noticing that.