My friend Ariana posted these words on her Facebook page a few days ago. In the middle of my runaway life, that first line – “The meaning of life is just to be alive” – resonated with such a relief. I’ve been so rushed and wound up, overcome by tightening deadlines, overscheduled with meetings and appointments, intimidated by to-dos. Time shrinks without warning, pushing me into the next day before I’ve had a chance to be fully in the one I woke up in.
There is not much I can do about the spread thin state of my life at this moment. The to-dos are real. Events are happening. Plans must be made and details tended to. The notion that being alive is enough is liberating, but how can I “just” be alive when there’s so much to do? I am not the letting go type. The best I can do is honor what life is for me right now.
And so, I will honor the mornings I don’t want to eat and the ones when I do. Then I will have bagel and eggs, a double coffee with three teaspoons of sugar.
I will honor the few extra pounds I’ve put on since I don’t know when. I will have to work them off with a measure of intention. The days of willing them away are gone.
I will honor my black sweaters and leggings and tank tops, my charcoal grey t-shirts. I am embracing my fondness for black with the occasional pop of purple or teal or orange. It doesn’t mean I’m sad or grieving or goth. It’s my backdrop.
I will honor my three-year-old as she soars through the grocery aisles meowing, arms outstretched in imagined kitty flight. I’ll meow her back to me and she’ll come, probably carrying a box of Froot Loops. I won’t frown at her wish or worry that people are judging me and my motherhood.
I will honor my almost teen as she seesaws between sweet as pie and sour grapes. I will honor her bitterness, her eye rolls and her clenched hands with “I love you.”
I will honor my 10-year-old and her excruciating need for exactness. I will honor her curiosity and raw honesty, but also teach her when words are better left unsaid.
I will honor my husband’s kindness and hard work, his enthusiasm for music, his strong arms and bear hugs. I will honor this holy marriage, with its tear-jerking dirges and swell-your-heart gospels.
I will honor my parents’ desire for more time with us, for questions asked, for phone calls made, for care and concern.
I will honor my friends, the ones who hold me close, with calls and lunch dates, cocktails, open arms, listening ears.
Finally, finally, I will honor the frenzy I find myself in, the swirl of what’s to come, this life in the messy middle.