The world is too quiet when I’m the one locking up. Some sense of maternal duty I never asked for moves my hands to check thermostats, unplug coffee machines, and tuck an entire building of offices in for the night. The parking lot is isolated except for my car huddled like an island in the fog, but even in this vacuum of sound and light is the ever-present rush—to pick up the girls from the babysitter’s and carry them sleeping to their own pillows, to redistribute the mounting mess of our house, to hang the laundry already gone stiff, to herd myself into bed far too late and sleep poised on the edge of the next overfull day.

Recharge time is a luxury out of my price range these days, and so I stop counting coffees. Health is not a priority. Relationships are not priorities. Art isn’t, peace isn’t. There is no room for these things in 10-hour work days, no space for them in the file folders crammed with lesson plans. The only portrait of the future visible from here is a whiteboard, but I don’t have time to quantify the stark sense of loss that brings.

This is no way to live, but it feels like the only way for now… so I put the office building to bed, do the same with my family, and conjure back that fog-enveloped quiet to bring sleep if not rest.

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  1. Dear Bethany. I so strongly identify with these feelings as they have been mine for the last 4-5 months. At last I am home, a quiet life overtaking me after non-stop bustle. I wish you strength, courage, and hope as you soldier on through this phase, and I wish you time, peace, and quietness just as soon as it sees fit to arrive. XO

  2. i’m fine with the not counting coffees…
    but no time to breathe, relax, make art….
    this weekend will be so busy i’ll hardly have time to make coffee. sheeesh.

    i hope you find a quiet moment someday soon.

  3. I can feel this in my bones. Sending you love, peace & wishes for time spent on YOU. xo

  4. Oh, my dear, sweet Bethany, I wish I had words of comfort for you. I know that this transitional life is so, so hard. And I am so sorry you have to go through it. It is hard for me not to be your neighbor….then at least I could help with SOMETHING. I know that there is nowhere to go but through, but I hope that this phase is short and that life gets back on track very soon. xoxo Sending you a big HUG! xoxo

  5. Krista – No kidding about the non-stop bustle… Haven’t you traveled the world four or five times since August? 🙂 Thank you so much for the encouragement, dear, and I wish the same for you as well!

    Beka – “i’m fine with the not counting coffees…” ::love:: You make me smile!

    Nino – Thank you so much, lovely lady. The way you write about family life and your own personal health is up on the inspiration board in my head.

    Megsie – Oh my goodness, how I wish we were neighbors! Your comments and thought-hugs do me so much good anyway; thank you “di cuore”–from the heart.

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