Of the two sets of quiet that bookend each day, I write best in the hours before dawn’s early light. Today, however, my brows furrow intensely as I grasp for words that seem super glued inside my head. My usual morning chai can’t even dislodge them.
It’s then that my early riser ambles down the stairs. She comes over to hug me before stretching her long limbs over my curled up legs on the sofa. She is content to snuggle near me. In that moment when my words come slow, the feeling isn’t necessarily mutual. I really want to make progress on my article, so I try to plow on just a bit more. But soon my mind throws its hands up in the air, and I set the laptop aside to give her my attention. We talk for a bit as I finish my chai, and she wants to know what is this morning’s Olympic gold medal count. I pull the laptop back over, and we discover the United States and Russia are tied for first with 18 golds while Netherlands sits in second with 17 golds.
She sees a picture of a gold medal winner with a rounded section of his prize between his teeth.
“Why do some winners bite their medal?” she asks.
“I’m not really sure,” I answer, shrugging my shoulders. “Maybe it’s just tradition? Maybe they saw others do it first so they think it’s the thing to do.”
“Maybe they don’t even know why they do it,” she replies sleepily while reclining back on the sofa.
It’s then a few of those words for my article break free. I lean back, reposition her legs over my own before placing my laptop on both.
I sometimes want the parts of my life to stay in their boxes, my family time to sit right here, my writing time to sit over there. But this often makes for frustrating living. Those worlds slide into each other throughout the day, like when I slice vegetables while discussing middle school issues with my son or when I prepare breakfast while quizzing my daughter on spelling words. Even intentionally focusing on one thing – or person – is a good way to tug free sticky ideas related to something else.
I can more easily accept this about the parts of my life than the people in it. I’m embarrassed to admit how often I’ve wanted to place folks into neat and tidy boxes, too.
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