It’s morning again – this time it’s the Thursday variety: I have no early appointments and I was up in the night so I’ll stay under the covers for a bit and try to wake up. I am always more than grateful to my dear husband for the habitual cup of tea, kindly delivered to my bedside table before that incorrigible morning person heads off for another 12 hours of being Prof to his colleagues and patients: however, when its delivered before 7am I sometimes don’t manage to drink it while it’s hot.
But there is no second sleep this morning and the tea wakes me up enough to throw off the covers, throw on my soft white robe and head for the bathroom – and immediately downstairs to the kettle again! I have one of those energy smart meters from British Gas in the hall for measuring how much electricity you are using and it goes up from pence to £1 an hour whenever the kettle is switched on! That’s a real reminder to be economical and stop boiling it, walking away and not using it, boiling it again… etc, etc, 8 times a day. Then of course there’s the numerous times my drinks go cold and I have to use the microwave to refresh them! That’s the first unbidden morning thought, followed by ‘ooooh look, a beautiful blue sky – that really helps!’
While the second teabag brews I automatically start my morning rounds, padding into each room tidying up, putting things away, opening curtains and closing doors, bringing peaceful order to the environment, stowing the clean dishes Martin has taken out of the dishwasher but still after 11 years apparently doesn’t know their individual allocated places… Then back upstairs again, away from the school traffic and childrens’ voices outside the front window (it’s 8.30am by now) to put away yesterday’s clothes, dry the wet towels and bathmats… fiddle, fiddle. Better eat something now cos I’m hungry today – back downstairs, repeat, repeat, until all just right.
It is not so easy to tidy up my head. I’m not like people who don’t mind living in a mess: it always gives me pleasure when things are in their right places, aiding the sense of ease and rest – well at least it avoids extra stress! I know it is a bit OCD and not the most important thing – I had to learn to shut Rebecca’s bedroom door and we won’t mention Martin’s study: I know the peace I need is internal. I am fortunate not to have to dress in a hurry and go out to a job at 9am – I make my own routine each day: I have plenty of time to call my own, but still I never cover all the outstanding tasks. It is quite hard to set your own agenda and stick to it without anyone else to make you 😉
A list of ideas for Thursday 4th begins to form – jot it down, we need more pink grapefruit – and there are things left over from yesterday to do. I must call the chimney sweep and cut the grass, put a cheque in the bank and (always, always) check on Sam today. Other people come into my mind – must text, must pray – and pretty soon the clear blue morning is feeling strained with anxiety, responsibility and doubt.
I’ve never felt I’m very good at ‘doing life’ – especially when left to my own devices. I have clear ideas of what I want to achieve but actually putting them into practise requires more than knowing it would be a really good thing to do. Today I am debating whether to jump on my bike and head to the gym (haven’t been for 2 weeks) or sit and write some of the flood of ideas that are springing up since I decided to post every day. Turning on the computer first thing is never the best idea – I need some quiet time first. Gosh, it’s hard to stop and be still when life presses in on every side and I’m afraid I am somehow doing it wrong!
Where does this guilt come from? Surely it’s OK just to BE – to do what I want to do today? Some things are pre-determined – like a visit to the counsellor at 12midday, with whom I’ll undoubtedly have this same circular discussion once again! Maybe I’ll go to the gym after that – it’s in the right direction and I love my bike in this weather… well, maybe. Can I allow myself a treat? How can I be kind to myself, just sit in the sunshine and paint my nails, then – unable to do anything anyway until they dry – close my eyes and centre in on Love?
I’m sure everyone has a challenge with mornings. ‘As for me it is good to be near God’ (Psalm 73v28) but that requires intentional devotion, being still: it’s Mary before Martha yet again. We have to eat, to wash, to dress, to set our faces for the day – to decide what we are doing, to respond to others’ requests, to keep our commitments. I have to run this house, watch over my family, plan engagements and trips, keep records, go shopping for Martin’s razor blades and paracetamol. It’s not boring, I love all this variety, my overflowing, multi-coloured life. But it is all too easy to be dictated to by outside stimuli instead of drinking from the well within (See face(book)down!)
I’m very glad to say, that with all these thoughts going round my head today, I made the choice to sit. The peace came up, the joy at such a lovely new day, gladness that my family are doing well at the moment and I can plan my own workday around doing things I like. There’ll never be another Thursday 4th October 2012 and I’d like to do it well. If I let the Spirit lead it is amazing how all that is ordained gets done at the right time – and it’s the same for all of us if we can only be led by peace – the umpire that blows the whistle and calls time-out from anxious thoughts: ‘Come sit with Love and know that all is well’
And then I get to write about it – jump in the boat and catch the flow of life that satisfies my soul! 🙂