Around here, there are very few June nights we don’t spend at a ball diamond somewhere. But recently, one came. And when our spinning cycle of work, baseball, sleep, then-do-it-again actually dropped us to earth for a second, we grabbed that time like it was the last precious moments of our lives. I cleaned out a cabinet, read a little, wrote a little, dusted something. And Michael fixed bicycle tires, determined to mine one of those important bigger projects from beneath the pile of little, recurring things that kept getting our attention instead.
That night all three boys rode around the bicycle path near our house. Twice. A few nights later, they rode and we walked. It wasn’t even a free night that time. We all got home from various places right at the last half-hour of daylight. We stumbled into the house that feels a little more like a bus stop these days. And when the children said, “We’re going for a bike ride and Papa’s going to walk with us,” I couldn’t think of anything in my house I desperately needed to do. The countertops were basically clear, the floors fine. The laundry wasn’t spilling out. I’ve been making slow but steady progress toward less clutter, and in that moment I knew for sure it was accomplishing exactly what I meant for it to. It created less wheel-spinning, less repetition of the same frustrating tasks (i.e., But first I have to pick up the throw pillows for the ONE-MILLIONTH TIME and rearrange the piles of unread magazines.) It’s taking Stuff out of the space of our lives, so we can put Doing there instead.
If you came to visit right now, you wouldn’t even notice. I’m pretty far from the goal. But I say Yes so much quicker now to Playtime, Storytime, Librarytime, and Can We Go Shopping With My Birthday Money? I like to go more often and let go and keep going. I like the going more, because there’s so much less holding me down.
Photo by Sara Grgurich at Sincerely, Sara