We pass in traffic and I see you.
We briefly bump shopping trolleys to complain about the weather and work and routine (which I hate too), and I see you. I see me.
Then we continue to ankle bump those ridiculously slow people who block your path to the salad, the salad that you need NOW so that you get to that next place where you need to be at. You pretend it was an accident but you know it was not and you secretly hope that they learned the bloody lesson and as you grand prix your trolley around them you whisper “keep left, pass right, demmit”.
We pass at school drop off and I hear the stress in your voice, the urgency to get to where you need to be. The tone of financial stress. The worry of relationships. The fuzzy buzz that only depression can make.
I see you, I feel you. Like a proper crazy person, I might even hug you.
Enter cancer… (the best year of sleep I’ve never dreamed I could ever have since kids). Silver lining and all that.
I dance in my car to whatever beat is playing. I play it loud, windows down, encouraging my kids to join in, we car dance. The guys building across the road smile at me, I’m sure they call me “hlanya” (Zulu for crazy person), that crazy white chick who dances in her car. And as I dance, I send up a message of sorts. A gratefulness to cancer. Because it has woken me up to my limited existence. To the value of every day. To the limits of time, and to the value of people. Some days it is scary, like the “Unbearable Lightness of being” (please read this book by Haruki Murikami if you have not as yet). This beauty, so short lived seems almost too much to bear. But we have to. We must drink it in. Roll in it. Be present.
I get it, I really do. I used to climb that slippery corporate ladder. I used to be on the phone whilst chatting to international offices, whilst bathing my three kids, whilst getting supper ready. All whilst shouting at my kids, because “Mommy needs to!!!……” Whatever.
No adult or child should arrive at work or school rushed and stressed. If we do this we ask for dis-ease. Whether it be cancer or high cortisol levels or unpleasant feelings. Nobody should ever feel like they need to be in two places at the same time. Regret and Guilt and Remission; these words should be banned, and will be one day when Bailey is president (of the world). Nobody should ever have to tell themselves that they “are too busy to call their parents”. Too busy to build a fort out of a couch, too busy to listen to a very long, very detailed explanation of Kevin the cube and back bling (I understand fokol about Fortnite, just putting it out there).
Surely, we should all be allowed to fully live and enjoy every moment. The other day I told Bailey that I don’t like her tone. She said “what tone??!!” I said: “Exactly that tone!”
She said: “But I’m not even singing!”
Let the tone be. Let the rush go. Put your phone aside. Slurp up every second. I’m not saying don’t be ambitious or don’t be strict with your kids, or that it’s OK to be late for meetings. I’m not saying let yourself go (says the person who, on most days, look homeless with wild hair in active-gear-not-active). I’m saying ‘allow yourself to be happy’. I’m saying: ‘enjoy it while you get there.’
I dedicate this post to Josh and our friend with the husky voice and happy laugh, because you teach us and you remind us x x x
I have to go as my three year old and I are building a fort. Log off now dear reader, call your mom or dad and tell them you love them, build that fort, look at the stars. Do, right now, whatever it is that feeds your soul.
PS. the whole living in the moment thing has been over-used and repeated and repeated and repeated like government corruption. Nobody pays attention anymore. But imagine yourself standing face to face staring at your own mortality, realising what you could lose and what you have.…
This is why I car dance….