Today, as I thought of how to begin, much like Bilbo when tasked with completing the story of his travels, one quote rang in my ears. Even lost and alone at the tower of Cirith Ungol, Samwise Gamgee still found his courage at the very darkest of times. I think we could all take a lesson from Samwise the Brave.
In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe ‘tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.
Though here at journey’s end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the stars farewell.
Do you ever wish you could stop time? How relaxing would it be to simply pause everything? You could finally catch up on all the work deadlines and personal projects. In my case, I could read my bookshelf and finish the sweater I’ve been knitting for months. I could learn a few new recipes and practice them before returning to the daily rhythm. I could complete the paint by numbers that’s been gathering dust in the corner and I could get moving on a story I’ve been trying to write since I was a Junior in high school. I could at last tidy up my apartment to my satisfaction and handle all the outstanding paperwork that constantly drags down my To Do list.
Alas, time waits for no one. Were I a witch, I might have been able to secure a time turner but I never received my Hogwarts letter and could hardly be entrusted with such an important artifact. I don’t really want to turn back time. There isn’t a single thing I’d change if I could do it all over again. Even my mistakes put me on the path to where I am now. But it would be nice to put it all on hold for a while. It’s like a crazy day at work when the phone rings off the hook and people keep popping their heads into your office, demanding your attention. Everything seems to need doing right this second and you can’t quite catch your breath long enough to focus on even a single task. Sometimes all you want to do is close your door, unplug the phone and get to work.
Well, today is a new day. There’s no time turner or magical pause button. Just you, doing the very best you can. Don’t forget that even on a groggy, busy Monday morning, you are enough.
Today after hanging up my usual call with my mom I perched on the edge of my sofa, phone still held loosely in one hand, with every intention of getting up to wash the dishes and tidy my apartment before calling it an early night. However, I didn’t get up. I stayed there, just as I was, for a solid ten minutes in total silence. I didn’t thumb through my phone for my Pandora Radio. I didn’t scroll through Facebook or Youtube. I didn’t flip open one of the books on my coffee table. I didn’t even start talking to myself as I’m prone to do when my apartment falls silent.
I simply sat, staring absently at the opposite wall, listening to the garbled female voices of my neighbors across the hall as they shared the latest juicy gossip. I have no idea what they were talking about but it sure sounded important. The noise of car doors slamming in the parking lot seeped through my closed windows. The world beyond my comfy little box was muffled and for the briefest of moments I actually considered crossing the hall to knock on my neighbors’ door and ask if they might have room for one more in their emphatic conversation.
This strange, quiet reflection led me to one resounding conclusion. I desperately need to have plans this weekend. I don’t mean the usual errands. I need to go be with people. I need to interact with the world beyond conference calls and grocery store check-out lines. Therefore, I am hereby reinstating date night and highly recommend it for anyone feeling similarly isolated. Go out and be in the world even if you have no one to go with and you’re just ordering for one. You’ll thank yourself later.