Why I’m Not Changing the World

Subtitle: AND Why I’m not Changing Me, or Lightbulbs or — Often — Socks

The view from my bed this early morning, as I try to down enough coffee to “take on the day” (thanks, Dr. Laura!):

  • 19 socks without matches, laid out on a shelf in hopes that the matches will be apparent (they’re not)
  • 37 books I have bought and not read.  Maybe 15 of them I have started but put down.  They range from “World History for Dummies” to the “Brothers Karamazov” (in which I have gotten to page 120 twice but keep forgetting all the nicknames and then have to start over)
  • an unapealling view into my bedside table drawer in which I see: a bookmark that an old friend gave me to remind me that I am a gift God sent to her (she gave it to me before she decided not to be my friend at all), an unsharpened pencil, a medical evacuation plan membership card, a nail file with no “file” left, an hour glass, an empty bottle of eye drops, three pairs of reading glasses, another book mark that reminds me that “if I am too busy to do the things I know God wants me to do, then I am busier than God itended me to be!”, some index cards with Bible verses on them (including an apt reminder, from Jeremiah 17, that when we depend on flesh for strength “we will not see prosperity when it comes,” and a long-forgotten journal (2 years forgotten actually, judging by the last entry) that was the one that was going to “finally get me organized and really spur my creativity and change.”
  • A graduation gift that is too large to mail but nevertheless seemed right for a relative I don’t really know.  It reminds me that I have about 8 more graduation gifts to select and deliver.
  • A lamp without a shade because the shade inexplicably melted off
  • An unpacked duffel from a recent overseas trip, full of ticket stubs and napkins from cool cafes
  • Overflowing laundry and trash cans
  • Two holes in my bedspread
  • A cassette tape on “Letting Go” for parents of engaged children;  I can’t find a cassette player to play it on and the wedding approaches.
  • A missing shirt of mine mixed in with my husband’s laundry
  • My phone with a text message from the Washington Post, sent — it always feels like — with some urgency, to let me know that the pregnancy of “our” panda (actually I feel no proprietary interest in said panda) was a false alarm.
  • Most of a glass of water because I bring a large glass of water to my bedside table every night and don’t drink more than a sip or two;  I am the third generation in my father’s family to do this.
  • Most of a cup of coffee because it got cold while I hit snooze three times
  • The grass outside is full of weeds and needs cutting.  Everyone else on our street has a lawn service, and we want to take care of our own belongings (but don’t always).
  • My pajamas have a hole in them, and my toenails are so long that they hurt in some shoes.  I have two big gashes in one ankle from shaving too fast.
  • A neighbor’s house reminds me that she is lonely in this neighborhood (as often am I) and yet I am little help to her as I’m pretty well maxed out inside my own house.
  • An email from a dear friend saying she “almost called me for moral support” before doing a particularly difficult task.  I wrote back to say that I had “almost called her for moral support” and that we are both independent little cusses who don’t do what we should.

That’s what I can see from my bed (literally) this beautiful Friday morning.  And I’m not even fully sitting up.  When I do, I’ll see more.  When they talk about Feng Shui and the need to maintain an environment that calms and motivates us, I think that’s important.  AND I think I’m failing at it.

I’m not making excuses.  I’m just stating the reality of my days, life, physical environment, relationships and brain space.  Living in a dirty, broken pinball machine right now, and some days I’m the ball, occasionally the flipper thing (with apologies to Mary Chapin Carpenter for bastardizing her song).


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