Life has felt off lately. It’s not that I’m having trouble adjusting to work but rather that I’m having trouble fitting Everything Else around the shaded blocks on my calendar. Recharge time has auditioned against grocery shopping and lost (hey, we’ve still gotta eat), and I’m always surprised by how quickly my perspective begins to flounder when my schedule fills up. I just get so focused on the task directly in front of my nose that I don’t notice which way I’m walking. Then comes an unhurried morning like this, the opportunity to rendezvous with myself, and I realize I have no idea where I’ve ended up.

I could be anywhere—a plateau overlooking wide horizons, a sinkhole hidden somewhere, a thicket of brambles, a strange new world—and the not-knowing spins my head off its axis. At the risk of outing myself as a control freak, I only feel like I can relax into my life when I’m sitting securely atop it, when I can survey it and take inventory and toggle wrongs into rights with a flick of my wrist. Getting lost inside my own head space seems like the ultimate failure.

I’ve been thinking about gratitude this morning as well. I know people who swear by gratitude journals, by counting blessings, by thank you notes turned into holy liturgy, and it certainly couldn’t hurt my pessimistic nature to stretch its neck to the other side of the fence once in a while. I’m not on top of everything—or possibly even anything—right now, but I’ll take inventory nonetheless…

…Of my wildflower daughter with the honey-kissed hair and freckled nose and my other daughter with the hair like a curtain of sunbeams and the laugh crinkles, both wearing tutus and singing variations on a theme of  “Ring Around the Rosies” in the other room…

…Of this job that asks of me my training but not my life and gives back more than it takes…

…Of the daisy constellations in the spring-green universe of our backyard…

…Of the weekend ahead penciled in for adventure and relaxation and games of hide and seek through lakeside trees…

…Of the gift of choice… and the greater gifts that I wouldn’t have known to choose…

And tallying up the bounty surrounding me, I still may not know exactly where I am, but I discover that I’m glad to be here.

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  1. I’m glad too. So glad! What a lovely post!

  2. ahhh my sweet bethany…this IS a lovely post. i’ve been thinking about you so much and was so happy to see newly born words from you. i’m right there with you re: shaded blocks on calendar. just keep taking time for you, okay? linger just a moment longer over that cappuccino…squeeze those babies just a little tighter, close your eyes and breathe life in…

    love and miss you.

  3. This, too, sounds all too familiar right now. So. Much. To. Do. I take a bit of time to read the words put to the page, and smile. I am so glad you like your new job! And, I know exactly how you feel… xo

  4. i heart that inventory.
    daisy constellations? we have yet to really grow more than the startings of green grass and a few kinds of perennials by the side of the house.
    i read this one quote one time–
    gratitude is the root of joy. hmm.

  5. Liz – Thank you!

    Rain – Lingering and breathing = two things I haven’t done enough of lately. Thanks for the reminder, dear.

    Megsie – Actually, I think of you a lot when I’m swamped by work, knowing that you have little kids and a new[ish] job situation to balance. It’s not easy, but I do need to make writing time and the subsequent smiling more of a priority.

    Beka – You should come visit Italy in the springtime; the world here starts erupting in color, and it’s simply impossible to think that anywhere in the world could still be winterizing.
    “Gratitude is the root of joy” — The idea doesn’t always work when I want it to, but I could certainly stand to flex my rusty optimism muscles a little more!

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