Sometimes a parent’s best friend is her anti-gravity chair. Mine’s my go-to chill spot, especially recently. One sunny day in particular, when I woke up feeling rundown and ready for bed again as soon as my feet hit the floor, I paused – after kissing the kids and medicating the cat and letting out the dog and doing three days-worth of dishes and folding a load and taking out the recycling – and collapsed into my chair by the back steps. Reclining, my head still spinning with my to-do list, my grocery list, my worries and wonders, I decided to simply stop. Bold as brass, I know.
The pace I’ve been keeping, that most of us do, is too much. It’s too much! And it’s catching up with me. The proverbial ‘brick wall’ stares me down whenever I push too hard and too fast. And then it pushes back, a gentle warning, a “you’d better stop, or I’ll stop for you.” I laugh out loud, and notice my nose, stuffy and practically skinned on the bricks of this wall from my recent imbalance. The absurdity isn’t lost on me. We’re silly, we humans. And so I pause. Reclining further still, I close my eyes and breathe.
I feel the breeze flow through my toes, and breathe.
Flex my feet and warm my soles, and breathe.
Breathe in stillness, breathe out busy.
Breathe in peace, breathe out everything else. Yes.
I treasure these moments, not stolen so much as necessary. As important and vital as any others on my to-do list. And so I relish them, a mere five minutes in all. The sun, the sounds, the bees buzzing nearby, and the last of summer’s crickets before they sign off, too. Not ready to sign off myself, I take another deep breath – before pushing myself back up, fresh energy my buoy. Grateful for this perspective, the freedom of this way, I glance back at that wall as it fades in the distance, stand up and get on with my day.
Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.