Lately, if I pick up anything 'devotional' in nature, it's my copy of Frederick Buechner's Listening to Your Life. Years ago, my adored Other Father made me a copy of from one of the readings (April 7th, actually). Dear Frederick and I seem to speak the same language, when it comes to faith things, which is a welcome feeling these days. The other day I was catching up on the end of May and this is what I found, about boredom. Buechner talks about how we can be bored through anything, even great things or moments:
"To be bored is to turn down cold whatever life happens to be offering you at the moment. It is to cast a jaundiced eye at life in general including most of all your own life. You feel nothing is worth getting excited about because you are yourself not worth getting excited about.
To be bored is a way of making the least of things you often have a sneaking suspicion you need the most."
This spoke to me because I had just written at length in my journal the day before about my 'boring life' and how I was embracing it. I admit to you, I love my boring life. Sometimes I think I'm still in recovery from the days when I worked two jobs, had a handful of time consuming church activities, and whatever else popped up into my schedule. I was busy. Now I am not, and it's very hard when people ask me, "Well, what do you do all day?" or "Are you going back to work anytime soon?" I love it when they ask me that, as if Thomas is going to raise himself and make his own peanut butter sandwiches. (One day he will! Make his own sandwiches, that is.) I really think that an unbusy, pretty uncomplicated life is so alien to most people these days. It almost feels like you're not allowed the luxury of a non-hurried existence. And believe me, I understand it's a luxury. It could even be a movement, like the slow food movement.
There are times were I feel like I have to defend what my life is. I understand that this way is my choice, and also, it's just a season of my life. And I have made up my mind to enjoy it. Because I'm home with my son, it's tempting to make some grand goal. To have a perfectly clean house at all times (Beaux would die from happiness) or every meal made from scratch. To write that novel or memoir. I don't even spend my days rushing Thomas to every class or storytime or playgroup. For one thing, he doesn't like it, and neither do I. We have a little routine that is our week, and I feel it's what we can manage. I work hard to let go of the feelings that I have to quantify my existence right now, that I have to prove to anyone that what I'm doing - who I am being - is worthy and not a waste of time and talent. Something in me whispers about fallow times, that the earth of my heart is awaiting the rainy season. Seeds are being planted, perhaps, that I can't even sense. Sometimes I feel that so much of what I defined myself as, is being stripped away, and I am at my core, solidly, the mother that I always dreamed of being. Not perfect. Not giving everything away to a child. But of all titles I've ever longed to have, 'mama' is the one I've wanted most of all.
There are also times where I wish I had some burning desire. I wish I had a book that was begging to be written, or some other creative endeavour. I just finished Julie Andrews' memoir and her descriptions of theaters and singing made me miss it all, just a little. Maybe a lot. Right now, it seems my major goal is read a lot of library books. And that's a pretty good goal.
This time is so short, when I sit and think of the big picture. Already, I can't believe he'll start preschool in the fall. He is all skinny arms and legs, and so friendly to the world. He draws Os and scribbles in my books and knows how to work my iPhone and I want to breathe him in, when he's being charming, and even when he's an incomprehensible, annoying two year old, my love for him tempers my frayed nerves. This time where I am much of his world, in fact, perhaps, the sun of his universe, it will only last a little longer. I think it's important that I'm solidly in my firmament, that I am here when he opens his eyes, that I am the one to kiss him goodnight. That I am the center he returns to, for a thousand hugs and kisses, over and over again.
It is enough, for me, now.