I like to find connections. I like to see a thread clothes-pinning one thing and then another down the washline, like bread crumbs down a trail leading to somewhere I don't see just yet. I say "yes" a lot just to see where the "yes" might lead thinking that if the offer appeared then maybe there's something behid the offer that needs exploring. So these days I like paying attention to who's saying what and if there's any connections anywhere.
Yesterday here's the run down of what happened that had me thinking about it for the rest of the day:
1. My husband and I had a disagreement about dreams of home improvement. We have this half wall that's turned into a joke because we always talk about removing it, but who are we kidding? It's not going anywhere. The conversation started with home improvement but ended with a bigger issue. The fundamental question came down to: are you OK with things staying the same? In tears, I confessed, "I just don't want to feel like all we're doing is treading water." And then Jon went to work.
2. I finished this documentary I had started the night before about Misty Copeland the first black female principal ballet dancer of a major American Ballet Company. She's the bomb. Her story is great, the documentary isn't as great as she is.
3. Feeling brave because of Misty, I wrote two crazy emails: 1. asking to open for Glen Hansard and 2. pleading my case to American Songwriter Magazine for why my album is worth of a review. Because why not?
4. I go to work and there I meet one guy who tells me a mutual friend has taken a salaried job and left farming. You don't hear that one every day around here. It was a surprising bit of news. And I think, "He's not treading water. He's making a huge change because that's what you have to do sometimes."
5. The cafe lunch rush is slow and I stand behind the bar thinking about me and my husband and how we need to spend more time together. I think about the Misty Copeland documentary and how my husband has never been to the ballet and I think, "we should go to the ballet together." So I look up the Lied Center on my phone to see if they have any ballet on their schedule and MISTY COPELAND IS PERFORMING THE FIREBIRD IN LINCOLN IN FEBRUARY! That's crazy.
6. Eventually another table walks in the door and I know them because they are church workers from another congregation having a staff meeting over lunch and, as this pastor comes up to the bar to pay the check, I ask him how he's doing and he tells me he's taking a restorative sabbatical starting in September. He then proceeds to tell me that includes a trip to Italy, an intense marriage retreat for three weeks, and a faith retreat on his own among other things. And I think, "He sees that treading water won't be enough to keep him going in his ministry forever. That's awesome."
And I can't stop thinking about this string of events which happened mostly in my mind and I wonder, "What's the message? What am I supposed to learn from this?"
Here's the good news: I don't have to know the answer. And there's no right or wrong on this one. I can forget the whole thing and be just fine. However.....there's this laundry line I see and one by one there are clothepins leading to what might be the best pair of jeans I've ever had in my life if I keep my eyes open and see what is possible for the future. And so presently I ponder. I wonder.
I'm inclined to think that the message is a subtle one. It's to remind me there are slight shifts and changes happening in our lives all the time- not necessarily to us, but to our neighbors and while at a glance it may look like things stay the same, they never really do. People around us are falling in and out of love and then back into love again. They are writing and re-writing their resumes and going on interviews on their lunch breaks without us ever knowing. They're taking classes online, they're working a second job. They are making counselling appointments and breaking counselling appointments and wrestling with their relationships with their children who are ever changing and entering new stages.
We can't see any of that and so we don't think of it. We think we're all just humming along, but underneath, if we know our own struggles, then it would be wise to remember our neighbors aren't any different. They're watching the tide just like us. They're thinking about making their move just like we are.
It can be hard to get those wheels in motion. It can be hard to start turning the boat around, but it's possible and it's happening all over the place even if we can't see it. Make your move. Little or big, visible or invisible, make the move. You never know. The best jeans you've ever had in your whole life might be at the end of it all.