My diary is a tumultuous place. Full of weeks of blank pages that suddenly become months of flurried activity and then settle again into blankness. My relationship with this dichotomy of diary states changes quickly. Some days I cannot wait until the activity starts. I am hungry to be out in the world, seeing people, talking, gathering ideas and stories and moments of gold in my head. Then just as quickly the pendulum swings the other way and I crave the silence, the pages with nothing but a date at the top and washed out blue lines below.
Sometimes this relationship descends into stress, anxiety, and restlessness. I am stressed because I want to enjoy every minute of those adventures, but I can’t seem to get my head into the minutes that I am living in, rather they are racing ahead to whatever is next.
How can I make the next moment more memorable? What do I need to do to make the next moment perfect? How can I be wittier, smarter, nicer, when I meet people? How will I see this moment when I am back at home reliving it in my mind?
The quiet days raise just as many questions. Why am I at home? Am I becoming boring? Am I wasting these moments by just staying right here where I am and not seeking adventure and exploration? Will I ever get out to see the world again?
Why can’t I just stop, right here, and take in the minutes. Gather them closely and live every one. Live the busy times, live the quiet ones. Take in the glitter of my friend’s conversation and the brilliant minds that surround me; remember the stories that I am standing in the middle of, and fall joyfully into the crevices of the time that is flowing around me. Gather the minutes of laughter, and shared joy and pain. Gather the minutes of good food, good wine, and even better company.
Settle back into the warm-cushioned comfort of those weekends where there are no demands. Stop worrying about wasted hours and bask like a cat in the sun. Celebrate the time that I have to just be in the world, as I am, and let myself get lost in the spaces between sunbeams. Gather the minutes that nourish my soul from the inside out, replenishing, renewing and fortifying me for the busier minutes ahead.
The next couple of months herald exciting events at every turn, as Chris puts it: our dance card for this year is full. We have so many things to look forward to, and some studying to challenge ourselves with as well.
I can’t focus on the weeks, months, year ahead too much without feeling anxiety or impatience. I don’t want to live my life with one foot in the minute, and one foot racing ahead already casting shadows on what is to come. Instead, my focus is to gather each minute as it comes without premature judgement or false anticipation. I am going to gather the minutes close and just exist in the wonder each day brings. I am going to open my heart, mind, and arms wide to the minutes of every day and gather them close with gratitude.