Last month, for the first time in three years, I boarded a plane for work. For the first time ever, I landed in Las Vegas. It was never my dream to play three-dollar Black Jack or pose with celebrity wax figures, but when opportunity knocks, you have to answer.
He said he wanted to show me a few things.
Tomorrow marks seven months at my new job - can I still call it a new job? - and I am grateful. I work with smart people. I have incredible flexibility. There's still a lot I have to learn, and the growth is usually uncomfortable, but it took me a long time to get here. I am good.
Last week, I registered Kara for kindergarten.
Being newbies at the formal school system thing, Luke and I weren't sure if you were supposed to bring your kid to registration, so I went to kindergarten round-up after work, alone. I turned in a bus form, vaccinations list and demographic sheets to the main office. I stopped by stations for the PTO and the nurse and food services and snapped a picture of a sample lunch tray with my smartphone. Oh, and I collected a zillion coloring sheets because guess what, dummy, you are supposed to bring your kid, it was like a pint-sized World's Fair up in there.
I blinked back tears as the secretary answered my questions about the school tour and teacher assessment and do the kids need to know how to use a computer? Will she be tested right away? I must have looked like a complete yuppie dufus, taking notes like I was on a job interview, but don't you see, they are taking away my baby. The same little girl who wants to live next door to me and work where I work and wear fancy clothes and have mommy-daughter dates when she grows up.
Back at my car, I sat in the driver's seat fully prepared for an ugly cry of Angela Chase proportions, only my initial weepiness caused my left contact lens to FALL OUT OF MY EYE. The reinserting of the lens put a damper on my plans, so I just drove home.
To prevent robbing Kara of preshus childhood memories, Luke took her to the round-up the following day with the boys in tow. She wasn't terribly impressed, but she does like her Girl Scouts pencil.
My reading progress has been respectable. I devoured three Anne Lamott books over the winter and picked up The Year of Living Biblically, which is moving more slowly. The book I turn to most these days is the Bible. This is fascinating to me because I never wanted to have a relationship with it until very recently, for which I credit the amazing pastor at my church. At the beginning of the year I decided to tackle the New Testament beginning with Matthew, but during Lent I started going back to the Sunday gospel readings, which brought me to John, and now I've got a bookmark in Acts. I'm finding wisdom and relevance and a new interest in my relationship with Jesus.
I look at my faith life now and I'm in awe. Ten years ago, I couldn't have predicted that I would look forward to going to church, keep the Bible within arm's reach on my nightstand or pray in my car. I'm not a model Christian by any means, but I finally feel like I'm going in the right direction. That I'm wanting the right things and that God is moving from the fringes of my life to the center.
My book progress isn't as evolved, but it is there. I have a notebook for writing pages, and there are entries, but forming the habit has been hard. I'm not beating myself up about this, but I don't want to sit in limbo forever, either.
This article from Anne Lamott on making the time to write is a great kick in the pants.
"Time is not free—that’s why it’s so precious and worth fighting for."
Simplicity is still my aim for the year. I resigned from my alma mater's volunteer board for this very reason. I still don't get work email on my cell phone. Luke and I are holding on major asthetic changes to the house and a new car.
The hardest part is fighting my natural tendencies. I like to be involved and go after new challenges. It's hard to step back when I want to raise my hand. But I don't regret any of it.
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.