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Season Change

Monday, August 29, 2016

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Tobin had a fever this weekend. I held him, flipping through the pages of Chrissy Teigan’s cookbook while he watched Kung Fu Panda on Netflix. I was only 10% listening to the cartoon, until the part of the episode where Mantis is taken captive and learns patience. The narrator said something to the effect of, “for the first time, the world outside was moving at a faster speed than Mantis was.” The line caused me to look up because over the past few years, I’ve done a shitty job of mostly everything BUT moving faster than my fears and feelings.

I’ve written before that honesty is more than the absence of a lie, that it’s not a passive state but an aggressive pursuit. Awareness. Honesty is aggressive because it requires downtime and thought. Personally, I enjoy the act of untangling life’s messiness through writing but I can also tend to do just about everything else in a day but make time for that reflection. Partly because it seems like a luxury I don’t have time for in the face of all the practical things that need to be done, partly because I’d rather numb out and am afraid of truth.

Honesty is aggressive because it means listening to the still small voice we would write off as cliche, but can’t. Brushing our teeth, on our commute, not always speaking in words. Often boiling down to, “You’re not being true.” Don’t we all lie to ourselves, subtly, more than we lie to anyone else? And doesn’t it take something of us not to let the voice dissipate into distraction, until the inevitable moment we regret not listening?

I’m wired to move, connect, achieve, and excel and I must have mental stimulation. I thrive off of fun; I get through the day-to-day by having non-day-to-day things on the calendar. Being busy is often criticized as this mass cultural issue we have, a badge of our collective self-importance, but it’s certainly not one-dimensionally negative: Being busy keeps me out of trouble, unless I’m busy getting into trouble. It adds richness of experience and connection to my life, and often is intertwined with the challenge of pushing towards goals (a.k.a., personal growth.) However, moving fast just doesn’t do a damn lot to help one deal with the soft and honest places.

As I write this, I’m laying in bed. I haven’t slept well for months; I caught Tobin’s cold times ten, and it’s the special kind of sick partly caused by a run-down soul. I suspect that I’ve let fear run my schedule again, instead of love. I suspect that slowing down and re-prioritizing go hand-in-hand, and I suspect that this next month, Lucy’s birthday month, is best honored with a devotion to simplicity and reconnection. It’s time for me to take a step back, practice patience with priorities in place, and let the world move faster for a season. I’m listening to the still voice, telling me that the miracle will happen there.

Photo | Molly Lo