Reading last Monday’s post, where everything was long naps and sunshine, it’s hard to remember the way things were going back in early May, when I told you I was standing on the cusp of several big changes, feeling unsure and afraid, willing my legs to take a step but standing motionless instead.
I don’t really want to talk about those days now, or about how anxious I tended to be in them, but I will, for one reason: what they gave me.
See, what I’m not telling you when I talk about a great weekend, or today when I say, I made homemade cinnamon bread and ate thick slices Sunday morning while I stood in the grass and watched the sunshine, is that those changes—the very ones I’d feared and avoided and tried not to make back in May—while they turned out to be a lot of what I’d dreaded, yes: painful, scary, lonely; they also turned out to be a lot of what I hadn’t expected: led by strength not my own, filled with grace I’d been given—the kinds of things that make blue skies and good conversation and a slice of homemade bread that much sweeter.
Can I tell you something? I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything, but, I’m good at beginning.
Name a hobby: Knitting? Taking a photo every day for a year? Running regularly? I will jump in with both feet—I have, I should say—and I’ll tell you about it, filled with energy.
This would all sound pretty exciting if I didn’t have to tell you the second thing, a little something that goes hand-in-hand with this enthusiasm—brace yourself; it’s a little tragic. The equal truth is I am a terrible finisher. Truly awful. Those hobbies above? I knitted two scarves and got bored. I took 88 photos and stopped. And thank goodness I finally talked Alicia out of the 5K I talked her into, because, gosh, I haven’t run in weeks.
It’s bad, I know. Not the kind of character quality that great souls are made of. It gives me more admiration for people like marathon runners or, even, people who are married—there’s that commitment and follow-through that says you are serious and steadfast and faithful.
I want to be like that, and I’m taking small (ok, teeny-tiny!) steps to improve. Starting with this banana bread.
It’s not very interesting to hear that someone’s content or that she’s counting her blessings, but that’s really all I’ve got for you today, all frustrations and disappointment eclipsed by other, fuller emotions, so I’m sorry. What can I say? At least there’s a recipe at the end.
This weekend, I went antiquing in Gurnee (where I bought seven white plates, a gift and a vintage camera, all for under $35!) and had dinner at Cracker Barrel, after which I fell asleep in the car, just like I did when I was eight. I stayed up late watching television, I went to church, I phoned an old friend from freshman year who still makes me laugh like crazy, and the skies were always blue, and the sun bright, and people I loved nearby.
One of my best friends went on a first date this weekend, too, after we spent the morning shopping, and she looked so nice, I was so proud of her for giving it a shot, and even though she and the guy had an only OK time, the whole thing reminded me how much I love her and am glad to know her. I tried on a jacket at H & M and a random stranger came over to tell me it was supercute, I had to buy it, so I did, and I wish very much I could take him with me every time I go shopping. And there were bike rides and fresh tomatoes from the garden and DVDs of Life that my friend Becky gave me for my birthday, and I just think, you know, in the seasons of life, there are some times that are especially good, and this is one of them.