Writing the Balance


With the onslaught of the school year, and the shifting schedules of 5 people, I’ve been mindful of time. How I use it, how I can use it better, ways to waste and ways to add value to those little minutes that slip away like water in an open palm.

The photos of kids on their first days of school call out the passage of time more than the grey hairs at my temple or the usual landmarks like graduations or driver’s licenses. These once tiny people are taller than their parents, as opinionated as ever but now standing with an erectness of spine and equipped with the sophistication of language that allows them to make a case for their opinions.

While this time that belongs to the young carries them aloft on waves of experience and joy and pain and expectations and dreams and desires, I am afraid I stand on the shore already, having ditched the life raft of bouyant plans. Rather,  I fear I’m patching together a  Huck Finn platform of whims and hopes. I’m afraid time is a tidal wave taking me under.

I have not made the time for the things I needed to do or wanted to to do. I think that my children, standing on the edge of adulthood, can still be influenced by any kind of wisdom I have cobbled together. I think that they are still little ones who need my advice, instruction and guidance. I worry that I have lost time, that I have failed to make of them all that I could, that I did a disservice, that I failed to teach them some important lesson I have long forgotten.

And for myself, I worry that I am running out of time to follow through. With them. With my husband, with my friends. That the busy-ness of life takes me from these important relationships and I am not investing as deeply. I struggle to make time for writing, and fear it is my long lost dream, that the any semblance of good ideas long eroded under the waves.

I want to build import into my days. I want more than carpool and groceries, laundry and spreadsheets. I want beauty and glory. I even want pain if it means growth or independence (for me or my children). I want to carve into the waves with a ferocity my own wake of intention, not to fight with time but to join the instream and ride upon the very tops of the waters.

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