Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Memo from Right Now

Did you maybe at one time feel that this job would be easy? That you would sort of have it figured out and it would just make itself happen? And then you could just bask in the adoration of students? I think I admit that I sort of did, at one time. I have also thought that everything would be easier if I got my body in shape, or everything would be easier once I made new friends in a new country. Routines get established and you learn what has to be done. But the work doesn't go away. The need to assess where the kid is at and ask the next question is a relentless, recurring task. The need to wrestle the bicycle into the lift and get it outside and sit on it and pedal for an hour or so doesn't ever go away. The need to reciprocate invitations and tell people what you appreciate about them will never be sated.

I like to do things well and be done with them and brush my hands on my pants and move on. But some things will never be done. I forget that, and I get in a feverish little funk. I get aggravated by the maintenance requirements of living my life.

I know better. I know to pause in moments and notice the riot of things happening right now. I know not to drag kids over the finish line but to look at their face with curiosity and tenderness and ask what they think and shut up and look and listen. I know to notice my legs working while they pedal and notice the sun warming my shoulders and take a big cool humid lungful of springtime air. I know that thinking up something to do on Saturday and picking up a phone is a critical strike against loneliness. I know all these things are gifts that make every single day okay to just be in.