MAKE IT A GREAT DAY: Finding balances (and watching out for the big paw if you’re a cicada on the deck!)

I need to brush Chief and Erma. I need to sweep the lower floor. I need to organize and clean the upstairs bedroom. I need to clean the carpet. I need to mow (already). I need to put the dishes into the dishwasher. I need to clear out empty boxes from the basement to set out and note on Craig’s List there are free packing boxes. I need…

I am needing to simply enjoy my second cup of coffee for the morning and to stop worrying about what needs done for the moment.

Right now, as my London son pointed out about an hour ago, I need to sit and relax. I feel I do a lot of that already. I love to relax but for me, relaxation is not so easily scattered amongst my tasks. It never has been. In my mind, relaxing has been my reward for accomplishing tasks, and not as an accompaniment to the tasks.

My mother was that way until she got older. Now, in my mind, Mother “being older” meant a year before she passed in 2019. Actually, Mother’s “being older” was in her late fifties. I’m 56, nearing 57.

With her, the daily list of things to do was all or nothing. If, on her list, there was a room to be painted and it was already 6:00 PM, the room would be painted. It might conclude by 2:00 AM with getting the room back into semi-order, but it was definitely completed. There was no moving the task to the following day.

And she may have not eaten all day, skipping lunch and supper. She was not a breakfast person. Not am I.

My sister, Dena, and I definitely inherited this component from our mother. Our younger brother, Destin, did not. He was more like Tom Sawyer collecting folks and delegating. He worked, but he was more the foreman cheering on the workers.

Let me rephrase that, “he worked where he needed his full attention.” If it were a crossword puzzle in Mrs. Diana Garner’s Latin class at Elwood Community High School, he employed the fellow student on his left to do up/down while he worked those boxes for across. The fellow student on the right received the opposite instructions. Destin’s personal work involved getting his coworkers’ letters into the boxes on his page. Incredible.

I had an event Wednesday night that I thoroughly enjoyed but I needed all of Thursday for regaining energy. I’m now at that stage in life where pacing is important, possibly crucial.

Puberty in our teen years is not the completion of our changing bodies. It often seems like it is to us when we are in our youth but the changes continue. The learning continues. Just when we believe we’ve got it all figured out, the next wave of adult puberty envelops us. It’s back to the drawing board of learning.

While some physical changes are not in sync with the mental and emotional, it’s often a time for catch-up as the body rebalances itself, naturally or as commanded. I know I am lucky and greatly blessed to be mindful of my own body’s progression or in some cases, recession. For some folks, the aging or illness arenas are too great; they cash in their chips too early and simply wait it out.

I was guided by my parents to “be aware” of the world around me and of my self. When things were not in balance, they guided me to adjust things: rearrange, toss out what is no longer necessary, “add to” when needed without upsetting the balance. A few times throughout my adult life I’ve recognized that I needed to clear the entire spinning Lazy Susan platter and spin again. Sometimes, I just spun the revolving platter so hard that things simply flew off.

So, I was just now photographing a cicada walking across the deck. I find them fascinating and beautiful. This particular one was moving in my direction so I could zoom in on its wings.

It disappeared…

…beneath Chief’s big, heavy, fat paw.

I wondered if it survived as he stood without moving for at least thirty seconds, waiting for my arm to extend for some petting. I wanted to see the cicada’s results so I withheld petting.

When allowed to see the light of day, again, the tromped cicada shook its wings open, fluttered a bit, and continued walking across the deck.

That’s it. That’s what we need to do when we feel as though we’ve been tromped on: shake our wings, flutter, readjust, refocus, and move on.

And make it a great day.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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