It is now 8:05 and I have been up for exactly two hours of a Saturday morning that was specifically bequested to me by my Sweet Boy to sleep in for as long as I want until work. I should be sitting dutifully in on his EMT refresher class this morning, more to spy on him and make sure he's not (or is?) telling stories about me and so I can correct his mistakes. But he generously insisted that I stay in bed and rest as long as possible (I am suspicious about his motives for this). Or at least until he realized he left his keys to get into the church where he is teaching and his jug of poison-tea here at the house. It was a great chance for me to figure out why the dude in the PT Cruiser in front of me was going 20 mph. OH! Turns out even if the tires stop turning the vehicle still moves on a sheet of ice. Crazy. Who knew? I got home from that little sledding trip just in time to ruin a 15 year old's Entire Life by making her turn off the TV that apparently needs to be on every minute of the weekend. Didn't she get the memo about what Saturdays are for?
In spite of all of my complaining, and my being crabby yesterday because I didn't eat the right stuff all day, and in spite of the fact that I seem to be feeling worse and worse all the time, I still have to say I am pretty damn lucky to have the life I have and the petty little white people problems that I have. The fact that my biggest concern is losing a couple of hours of sleep, or paying for extra gas to run forgotten things around town, is pretty amazing considering that there are people out there on this Saturday morning that are facing concerns like: How do I deal with this potentially terminal illness? How do I pay the electric bill to keep the heat on? And even worse things. Some people are riding in the ambulance to the hospital right now, scared that they might not come back out. Some people are trying to process knowing that they have only months to live, and how to do it right. Some people are broken from the weight of the trials and tests that their loved ones put them through. Some people have kids that are wasting their bodies on drugs instead of wasting milk on the table. I can't even imagine some of the horrific things that people all over this town, county, state, country, world are facing this glorious Saturday morning. Yes, I have petty first world problems, and it is almost shameful that I could consider getting stressed about having to make waffles for breakfast. What a silly, silly world I live in. And how thankful I am. We get so lost in our own ridiculous problems, without thinking about the person a few blocks away who is facing the biggest challenge of their life. How much better would I feel if I forgot my pain for a few minutes and tried to alleviate the suffering and stress of someone else for a day. How can I do this? This is the compelling goal that I am trying to replace my shopping urges with. I feel confined in my limitation. I can't run up to Northport to hug my deflated friend, or bounce over to Olympia to spend a long girl day with my buddy who is feeling isolated. I can't provide the remedy or pain relief for a new friend that is impossibly ill. What can I do? I can reach out with some laughs and distractions and just remind them that I am here, and hope they know how desperately I want to be there for them, with them. I feel like it's just not enough. Maybe I need to do a greeting card campaign. Or gift cards. Shopping makes me feel better, so maybe if I send them all gift cards they will be momentarily relieved. Oh, such a shallow, suburban girl I am. This will be my brainstorming topic for awhile. I can't take them dinner, or babysit their kids, or deliver them a six pack of beer. But I will think of something. You just wait. Maybe they need Saturday shirts, with detailed instructions about sleeping in and ignoring forgetful teenagers, nagging pain and any obligations that can be procrastinated without eternal consequences. Yes, maybe I will do that once I am shopping again.
In the meantime, I am going to work on explaining to my children how the frustrations they have with their Very Difficult lives, like not getting to watch TV, or doing chores, or having to wear dresses to school, or not having parents to spectate at all of their events, are pretty small problems in the scheme of things. I know how easy it is to get lost in my own problems, so I can't fault them with the very human tendency, but I can work with them to get all of us to the point that we can move past ourselves and take care of the world around us. This, in my Very Well Informed Opinion, is the great commission. We as humans can only be here to try to make the world more bearable for each other. To leave a smile on the face of anyone we come into contact with, and take a smile away with us.
For now, I am going to put my Saturday shirt on and figure out how to translate it into Business Casual, and help Aspen finish making waffles.
|Saturday Shirts - and their Originator|