Sunday nights will be the first to go. Then Monday mornings and Tuesday afternoons. That split second when you wake up before your alarm goes off leaving you no time at all to savor sleep. The space between making the Metro train and being way too early for the next one. Whipped cream that spills over the lip of your hot chocolate mug. The shush of the bus breaking in front of your stop. The icy shock of Memorial Day pool water. The moment after you find out someone you love died.
These are the things we’ll ditch on the side of the road someday, if ever we have the chance to pack our bags and leave behind all the anxiety and upset and uncomfortableness. All the fear and fatigue and failure.
We’ll ditch unopened emails with rejection letters. And we won’t have to sit next to our phones wondering if our smile was bright and our eyes were shining and we’ll get a second date, or a first kiss. We’ll stop pressing the lock button over and over, waiting for the response.
Whatever happens, happens.
We’ll kiss goodbye the goodbye kiss, the porch dawdling, the door closing.
A random act of kindness will fill us for days. A door held. Change in our parking meters. Extra fries in our fast food bags. A thank-you note in the mail.
Letters will begin with, “Before I say anything else, I’m glad you’re in my life.” And whatever else follows cannot be so bad. Whatever else follows cannot be such a letdown.
If we were brave souls, things would be different. We’d tell our loved ones that we really freaking love them, that the world gets loud and they keep the chaos from engulfing us whole. We’d tell them that daily. We’d whisper it and yell it and twirl around in the pasta aisle at Wegmans and say, “Yes, let’s make spaghetti and meatballs. Let’s make garlic bread with fresh garlic. Let’s grate our own cheese. Let’s stop worrying about the pounds on the scale and the weight on our hips and just be. Just freaking be.”
If we were brave souls, we’d stop having conversations in our heads and start having them out loud. We’d stop dreading Sunday nights because Monday mornings would start beautiful, glorious, fulfilling workweeks.
We’d change lives. We’d bake lasagna and deliver it to the homeless shelter downtown. We’d give a dollar to every man on the street.
We’d stop dreaming of better days and just live them. Not the kind of days the Hiltons or the Kardashians had, but the kind we find when our arms are tired and our feet ache and our hearts are full because we gave everything, every single thing, to that day and the people in it.
I want to be exhausted. I want life to wear me out. I want every inch of every day to feel like a gift, to wrap it up for someone else and hand them what they need.
When that happens, we won’t need to ditch anything. Every single moment will feel like stretching toward the horizon, arms to the sky, feet firm in the soil.
We’ll learn and learn and learn. We’ll grow and grow and grow. I want that for you.
I want you to have more. More time, more hope, more love. More moments in your life that feel like gifts, hard as they may be. I want you to learn from each one, to hold your breath and count to ten when you’re angry. Give yourself time to realize this moment? It’s making you better.