Sometimes I wonder. About me, that is. The activity that fills my days is quite different from the days of young children, careers and marathon running. The days when a quiet house meant opportunity to get one more job done - scrub a floor, clean out a closet, pay some bills. The days before sickness. When running 13 miles before 10:00am on a Saturday meant that we had time to bike four miles into town for scones at the local bakery before undertaking the new landscaping.
I have always loved being busy. Never once wished my life to be anything different. Filling drawers with fresh laundry, surprising children with cleaned bedrooms and cooking homemade meals was to me, some of life's greatest privileges. Blessings, indeed. It's a new kind of busy now. One that I am still learning about. One that I, at times, find uneasy in the making. So I wonder. As my busyness takes on new form - out of necessity, moving away from the physical towards more of the intellectual or spiritual - I find myself in a place of reckoning.
Social media plays a significant role in my days. It has not always been so. Three years ago, I could be found standing atop my "anti-Facebook" soapbox, eager to explain the virtues in not getting caught up in all of that. It most definitely wasn't for adults. But as illness took me away from family, friends and work, email and Facebook became my connection to the outside world. And I was hooked.
But as there is with everything, too much of anything can quietly and ever so surreptitiously mess with even the most balanced life. Slowly shadowing truth and exaggerating narratives in our minds. Building our own realities.
Click...I wonder what the kids are up to?
Click...I wonder if anyone "liked" my status this morning?
Click...I wonder if I have any comments on my blog?
Click...I wonder what my favorite Lupus sites are saying?
Click...I wonder if I got any Hotmail since yesterday?
Click...I wonder why the kids aren't on?
Click...I wonder if I have any new followers?
Click...I wonder if I have any new comments on my blog now?
Click...I wonder if I have any emails on my gmail account?
Click...I wonder if the kids are on yet?
Click...check my personal Facebook...Click...check my Facebook page...Click...work on my newest blog entry...Click...I wonder...as little red numbers affix themselves to icons above and stats below -
This past week we had the memorial service for my father-in-law, Ralph. As I wrote in Forever Blessed, he was a family man and a true gentleman. The pastor who officiated the service spoke of him as a man of dignity. That, he was. In his last days we all had opportunity to sit with him and talk about life in general - a gift I will cherish always. My father, who is some eighteen years younger than Ralph, had great respect and admiration for my father-in-law. Days after Ralph's passing, my father stopped by to visit with me about his last conversation with Ralph. A conversation that took place after weeks of hospitalization and physical therapies, after his decision to check himself into the hospice. You see, my father-in-law never once stopped taking care of his family. Even in the end, making decisions so others would not have to. In speaking to my father in regards to those last days, my father-in-law said something to my father that forever changed him. In those last moments together, my father-in-law looked at my father and said these words. "I just decided, what sense does it make?"
As my father was forever changed that day, so too am I changed in the telling of the story. Every day I hear my father-in-law's words as I click through the moments of my life.
You must understand, this is not a question that somehow separates the good and bad, the meaningful and meaningless in our lives. My father-in-law would have never meant it that way. In fact, his humor and eagerness for fun, taught me that sometimes the best sense comes when there is no sense at all! A trait he passed down to the wonderful man that I married. A trait that brings welcomed levity to a sometimes wearied home, as illness will often do. Rhetorical in nature, this question comes at the end of a life well lived. This question comes, and is easily answered, after years of hard work, determination, integrity, honesty and love.
As I click through my week, I ask myself, "What sense does it make?" It is a balance I don't take lightly. Hoping that by living my life with sincerity, by being present in the moments I am blessed to live, and by loving much, the answer comes easily.
So I wonder...