I’m going to go ahead and say it again: no one’s life is perfect. Even the happiest people want to cry themselves through some days, nights, weeks, months. Even those lives of bloggers or celebrities or friends that you love to envy are not perfect. But, by grace, each life is perfectly imperfect.
Maybe your mom is sick. Maybe your kid isn’t sleeping. Maybe your spouse is suffering. Maybe you dislike your job. Maybe you crave freedom. Maybe you are creatively frustrated. It could be many small things, or one major thing. It might be a million things you could name, or something big you can’t escape. Depression. Poverty. Disease.
The 21st century, by nature, is extremely stressful for a human being. It is an era that will bring us to our limit so that we may evolve beyond the material world, accepting that the simple life is a better life. There’s so much going on (soccer! school plays! networking events! spinning class!), so much that we know about yet cannot control (world hunger! war! drought! genocide!), so many opportunities to socialize (facebook! meet-ups! twitter! birthday parties!), so many things to buy (clothes! athletic gear! candles!), so many expectations to work (70 hours per week! accessible by email 2/7! two weeks vacation!), and very little time for stillness. Or a walk in the woods. Or a home cooked meal. Or a lazy night around the fire. Or an entire day unplugged.
God, please help us learn how to slow down, how to accept that waiting for a pedestrian won’t make us late and yelling at other drivers won’t get us to our destination any faster, so that the earth can be a place where love instead of fear prevails, a world in which we savor the journey rather than anticipate the destination. Because the ultimate destination is death and if we’re just waiting for death, we’re not living life.
I wonder, does blogging encourage one to live deeply in the moment by documenting momentous events and thoughts and pictures, or does it rob us from the present moment and transport us into another realm altogether, namely the Blogosphere? I believe that the latter only transpires if one does not have enough time to do it all: enjoy the moment as well as photograph it, contemplate it, write about it. It depends on your priorities.
I love blogging, but I’m learning to be realistic and gentle with myself, rather than defaulting to the false notion that doing more is better. There’s a reason this blog is called “lucille in the sky.” Not only because the Beatles and their music are nestled comfortably inside of my heart, but because my head tends to float in the clouds. I am a Gemini, a mutable air sign ruled by Mercury. I change my mind a lot. I have many interests and grand ideas. I started a business with nothing, not even experience, only an idea and a supportive spouse. I wrote a novel because I have to write, because my soul has stories to tell, because my mind craves to create prose, like a sunflower craves the sunlight. Meanwhile, my impatient egotistical self wants to achieve and sell and succeed.
Why, though? What are my true motivations? I don’t write for money, I write to share. I didn’t start an organic tea business to get rich, I started it to spread the magic of herbal medicinal tea. None of these ideas or words mean a thing if they don’t fit within the context of my family and friends, within the walls of my foundation. If I’m having a hard week, if I have lost faith or hope, my husband is there to rub my back and my best friends are there to whisper comforting words and my mother is there to be with my children and my children are there to make me smile. This is where life starts and begins: with our loved ones.
I’m trying to let go of my expectations for this life. I’m working to reconcile my inner knowing with my outer desires. I’m learning to wade out of those bad days so that I may emerge into brighter days. I’m accepting that as long as I create something unique and beautiful each day, something that came from my heart, whether it’s a poem or a chapter or a painting or a colorful salad or a candid conversation or a small child’s infectious laughter, then that day was perfect and productive and worthy. I’m allocating time to relaxation. I’m garnering faith that my existence is perfectly imperfect.
I am determined to savor this journey, sleep deprivation and endless lists and dirty laundry and unpublished manuscripts and unexpected kisses and childlike innocence and unconditional love and all. It’s all a dream anyways.