Monday, September 7, 2015

The Theory of Busy

An odd quiet has settled over this house of ours these days.  The kid who graduated college and got married has been gone for years.  The kid who graduated college and lived at home for two years has moved into his own apartment.  The kid who is in her last year of college spent all summer away, came home for two weeks and then moved into her campus house.

The too small house when all five of us were in it is now home to two.  It is neat most of the time, it takes days to accumulate enough trash to take to the garbage can, there are usually three loads of laundry once a week and a full dishwasher to run every couple of days.

It has taken some getting used to.

The weeknights crammed with homework, Scouts and all manner of practices are now dinner, news, a little t.v. and reading and then to bed.  While it is not true that it happened in the blink of an eye, it is true that the years while sometimes slow and mundane went by in a rush from high school on.

In this new lifestyle I have struggled with the weekends.  For a very long time those started at the crack of dawn with cross-country meets followed by grocery shopping and maintaining the house and yard.  Now there is less urgency to getting things done by Sunday night.  Shopping for two doesn't take much time or planning and it really is okay with both of us if there are weeds in the yard.

I have taken to wandering the house not quite sure what I'm supposed to do since none of it requires my immediate attention.  There is always our bedroom - the room with clothes piled everywhere but where they are supposed to be. It is a never ending mess which I can only seem to get a handle on once a week, and so on a Saturday afternoon I went up to give it a good cleaning again.

As is my habit when I'm going to be in there for awhile, I turned on the t.v. and found The Theory of Everything playing on HBO.  I grabbed some pillows, propped them on the messy bed and was immediately drawn in.  Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawkings was brilliant.  Felicity Jones as his wife was gut wrenching.  I never moved except to get a box of Kleenex.  Tragedy and hope, tragedy and hope.

Since then I've thought about that movie over and over.  How does one hold onto hope when everything is taken away, especially at such a young age?  How does a spouse take on caring for every need of her husband when all the odds are stacked against her?

How?  How?  How?

I never bought into the business of "busy".  I never let my kids do multiple outside activities because I knew when I had to drive all over and we couldn't be home doing nothing I was a miserable mom. A miserable martyr of a mom and I never liked myself when I got like that.   

My intentional attempt to keep us from going down the rabbit hole of busy when the kids were young has been dialed back so much that I am afforded the luxury of a movie in the middle of the day. A thought I couldn't have imagined a few years ago. From the window of the room off the bedroom, however, I can see and hear the kids of the younger parents in this neighborhood ride bikes, build forts and make boats to float in the gutters after it has rained.

Just like when they were my own I am charmed.....and grateful that I was never too busy to remember it all. 

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