it’s funny, our parallel and overlapping worlds. as you prepare for sleep to stitch the thin places (knowing that those are the very spaces where the light is revealed), i sit here sipping earl grey vanilla tea and preparing to stay awake.
night shift comes as a funny gift. it is a surreal feeling to be awake when the world has gone to sleep. and rather than dread it, i have come to anticipate it, almost eagerly.
i anticipate the hours of uninterrupted time. time with no obligations beyond an hourly check to make sure everyone is breathing, trying carefully not to wake any sleeping souls in the process. i have my books laid out to read. my sticky note ‘to do’ list of emails and birthday cards to write. i have seven hours before me.
when i arrived at work, i found this paper that says “100 things to do before i die.” i quickly informed my co-worker that we need to complete this list before morning (an ominous suggestion, he pointed out).
100 things to do before i die.
a 40 before 40 list.
somehow this has emerged as a theme of my past weeks.
i am not someone without regrets. but i am learning that regrets are not a static reality. regrets are both a frame of mind and an active choice. somehow learning this has shifted my thinking drastically.
we were driving back from quebec and i was lamenting that i had stopped learning french, one of the big regrets of my life so far. after listening quietly, my friend reminded me that when a regret enters your mind you can let it go either by doing something to change it in the present or reframing the way you think about it. and, he pointed out that it is never too late to learn a language.
suddenly, i was forced to shift from my regretful pity party to an active engagement with life in the present: life as it actually is.
and i realized i had a choice. i could either choose to pursue learning french, starting right now. or, i could notice that my current choices were not moving me towards french. this perspective reframed me as an active player who was choosing a different path rather than a passive victim of fate’s twists and turns.
this re-frame was so simple. but it gave me such a profound choice. what do i want? right now?
what do i want?
what am i choosing?
what am i saying “yes” to, every day, through my conscious and unconscious actions?
but the thing is, i also believe that life is not completely within my control. i have actively chosen to live a life that allows for something beyond myself to shape my decisions and my path. i have followed the silver strands and been lead to thin places. i am sitting here writing to you today, in english rather than french, because my life did not unfold as i thought it should go.
and so, i am still struggling with this tension. still trying to hold my choices firmly but lightly, knowing that there are a host of unseen forces influencing my path.
and i am trying to trust the Luminous Web.
and i am trying to trust myself.
and, now i am trying to keep my eyes open. only 6 more hours “and miles to go before i sleep” (Robert Frost).