Monday, January 28, 2013

Clarity in the Morning

photo copyright Chris Murray Photography
Go buy at least five of his prints. Now. 
In the morning, everything is clear even though the sun has yet to rise and the house is cold. In the morning, I know that I can eat better, find time to exercise, write something good, and be a good father and husband. In the morning, anything is possible.

By afternoon a malaise sets in. I've been going strong for hours and need to press pause, have things go quiet. Work has piled higher, two new things to do each one I've finished. I recall the clarity I had in the morning. Maybe a cup of coffee and a scone will make things better.

Late afternoon, I leave work and head for home. The girls are in the kitchen doing homework. My wife is there at the computer or in another room pressing her own pause button. There are dishes in the sink, lunch boxes to empty, laundry to be done, and what are we going to make for dinner? I grab a sugary snack or two just to cope.

We drive the girls to dance, chorus, or their friends' houses. My wife has PTO or something that evening. We make dinner, sit together and eat. What took forty-five minutes to prepare disappears in ten or fifteen. The kids go shower or play, my wife and I clean the kitchen, she heads for her meeting, and I have another snack or a drink. I'm worn out now.

By eight, the kids are in bed reading before sleep and I come downstairs, put laundry in the dryer, and sit on the couch in front of the television. I turn on the tablet and pay almost no attention to the television show or commercials. I stay up until my wife gets home,then we watch a show together, and it's ten o'clock.

I should go to bed, but I get a snack and sit on the couch. Eventually, we take ourselves upstairs. I put the dog in one daughter's room and kiss that daughter while she sleeps. I visit the other daughter and pull her blankets back around her before kissing her too. I pick out my clothes for the morning, brush my teeth, use the bathroom, and climb into bed beside my wife.

Maybe I take out my phone and check email or read my book. Eventually, later than I wanted to, I turn out the light and fall asleep making plans for tomorrow, hoping to hold on to the clarity for a little longer each day.

I wrote all this early this morning and am revising it now after eight in the evening having gone through the day's tasks, kept busy, but feeling happy and seeing clearly still. I can't guarantee that I'll do as well yesterday, but this little tale of woe may be just enough to help me focus.

Yet another reason to write on.