Life is hectic. I don’t think I’m revealing any great, shocking, and heretofore unknown truth with this statement. My guess is that we all feel that way a good deal of the time. Modern-day society is pretty relentless. There’s a never-ending push to do more … be more … accomplish more. Often, it seems like we’re all shouting at each other — yelling as loudly and for as long as we possibly can. And yet, I don’t think we really hear each other at all.
There’s something gut-wrenchingly dehumanizing and claustrophobic about the whole thing. Everyone wants a piece of you. They demand more and more, until it feels like the whole world looms over you, pushing in like some angry, brooding beast. There’s hardly room to turn around or breathe. Life is relentless. No matter how fast or far you run, it’s always there, snapping at your heels.
My life is no exception. I spend my days running from one thing to the next. Always on the go. Always in a hurry. Always somewhat anxious about getting it all done according to whatever random schedule happens to hold sway over me at that moment. And I feel overwhelmed most of the time. As if I am much too small and alone to have any hope of accomplishing what’s expected of me, and terrified of letting down the people I care about the most. What if they realize I’m a slacker? What if they realize I can’t handle everything life tosses at me? Or, worst of all, what if they realize I’m only human? What a horror! For a long time, I thought things would get better; that my life would slow down a bit — eventually. But “eventually” never seems to happen. Instead, things just keep on speeding up and whirling along around me, a maelstrom with me at the center.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take it any more — that the only way of preserving my sanity was to scream into my pillow at night, or, possibly, take up heavy drinking — Monday happened. And it was an unexpected day. My kiddo had the day off from school, and we had planned a few fun activities to fill in our free time. It’s odd, isn’t it, how “fun” often becomes synonymous with “hectic”.
But, instead of the sunny weather we had looked forward to, the universe graced us with a drippy, gray day. It was chilly and wet, and it rained all day — not real rain, but that drizzly kind of mist that seems to hang in the air around you. It was too chilly and gray and wet for either of us to feel like being out and about, even for a day packed with hectic fun.
So, we put our plans on hold and stayed home to bake, instead. I’ve never considered myself particularly domestic or adept at kitchen tasks. But puttering around in my kitchen, one dog curled up on her bed in the corner and the other camping out over the vent where he could capture the heater’s warm air, felt magical. It was ordinary and mundane: measuring ingredients, mixing the batter, and washing up amid the warmth from the oven and the sweet smell of Blondies as they baked. And yet, it felt just right, somehow. Warm and beautiful and pure. I listened to the rain pattering against my patio doors, the soft sighs of sleeping dogs, and almost felt as if I could feel my house’s heartbeat — slow and strong and content. Warmth and peace wrapped around me, and I thought to myself, “Yes. This is right. This is peace and happiness and love.”