I woke early this morning, before the light, and before the birds who like to chirp from the piney boughs outside my bedroom window. Thin streaks of dawn were just coloring the sky when Bean’s ipod alarm, set to “foghorn” and turned up to eleven, went off somewhere downstairs. Of course no one woke, and I had to drag myself out of bed and find the damn thing, bellowing ridiculously from the edge of the dining room table.
I crawled back in bed, curled around my favorite pillow and stared out at the lightening sky. I’m in a strange state of stasis. After so many years of flux and flow (it felt like mostly flux, but looking back, there was a lot of flow, too— I wonder if all things are like that?) it’s very strange to have relative peace. Things are… quiet, mostly. I’m annoyed that my grad program has been pushed back, but I still have a spot, and it’s not terribly a big deal. I have employment that is enjoyable and meaningful, my kids are all healthy and reasonably happy… I kind of don’t know what to do with myself.
Is that weird?
There are undercurrents of things happening, but mostly those currents are not my story to tell— at least not yet. The chaos of moving, adjustment and settling are all done, and I think, just maybe, this is what regular life feels like. It’s been so long, I had forgotten. There are no raging brush-fires for me to put out every time I turn around, no papers due, no meetings with professors or advisors, no packing or planning, no looking for a place to live, no robbing Peter to pay Paul, no rolling the dice on which bill not to pay this month.
For the first time since before I had Jeffrey more than eleven years ago, I received a paycheck for work I provided, money I earned. Through my own employment, not with student loans, or a husband’s earnings, or the kindness of others, I was able to pay my rent, each of my bills, and look at pride with the tiny amount left in my bank account. There wasn’t much- but it wasn’t overdrawn. Miracles folks… they come in many ways.
You know what I’m doing with what’s left of my first paycheck? First, I donated part of it to a friend’s daughter’s Foreign Exchange Student Program so she can spend a year in India. The rest? To The Feminist Mormon Housewives Tracy McKay Scholarship Fund. I’ve never been so proud in my life to begin the process of giving back.
As for what I’m going to do with myself from here on out? Well… the future, my friends, is wide open. Today, I’m going to work from home, and then run carpool for Abby’s first play-date with a sweet little girl from her first grade class. I’m going to do a little brush-up studying, probably a quick stop to at the gym, and then I’ll figure out what to make for dinner. Hello, regular life, it’s nice to meet you again.