I love this building.
I had a baby boy three times on that fifth floor, yes I did. Last week, I realized just how deep the happiness goes, when my friend had her fifth baby girl there, and I pretty much wanted to set up camp in her room and just live there with her until she and the baby went home. It’s so strange to watch the nurses and realize they are at their day job there, just like I’m at my day job when I organize spreadsheets or write newsletters. It’s strange because it doesn’t feel like a day job there. It feels like magic. Sort of a cocoon in which nothing matters but what you accomplished there. A new human! When I saw Christie at 2:00 pm, there were two people in the room. And when I saw her at 5:00, there was a brand new human sharing space with us. She breathed, she slept, she curled up in a little ball inside her blanket like life here is the most natural thing in the world. Which is crazy because only three hours earlier, she breathed water. (Water type stuff – whatever. It’s a miracle!)
When I put a new human into a room on this floor, I said of the accomplishment, “If I never do anything else in my life, I will have been great because of him.” It’s not automatically true, maybe. I mean, it might not be true if he were to only take from society from that point on and not give anything to it. But almost fifteen years later, I’m feeling pretty good about my chances.
It’s not up to John to establish that sense of accomplishment for me, though. That’s the thing about that floor. It holds my happiest, proudest moments. And John doesn’t have to do anything to make that true. No one has to do anything to make it true. It’s done. It’s part of me. It is one centering piece to my existence, like a yoga pose made from brick and mortar.
I don’t have any particular need to live by this fifth floor forever. I don’t think the happiness is actually tied to the building, just the memories. And around those, life should be strategically centered, for sure. It can get so noisy, so busy, and so out of sync. Whatever your fifth floor is, don’t forget in the chaos to take a deep breath, and go there.