What’s a better sound than coffee brewing mixed with silence? That’s what I’ve got going on here this morning. It’s six am and it’s just me and you Monkees in a dark, quiet house and nothing has happened yet, so it still feels like anything is possible.
I’m amazing right now. Truly. You might be jealous if you knew what a patient, loving mother I am before my small people stumble out of their bedrooms and immediately start falling down and demanding band aids and then saying “mom.mom.Mom.MOm.MOM.MOM. MOM. MOM. MOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!” and then when I finally look in their general direction staring back at me blankly as if I have really put them on the spot and then when I say “PLEASE – FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY – FOCUS!” saying “maybe I wouldn’t forget what I was going to say if you would answer me the first time, MOM” and then scowling at each other and wishing each other dead for no apparent reason and then staring into the pantry for one half of one hour while complaining that there’s nothing good for breakfast (they say this with an appalled, surprised tone –as if there has ever- for one day in their lives – been “anything good for breakfast” in this house) and then “looking for their shoes” which actually means aimlessly wandering the house howling “Ican’tfindmyshoesIcan’tfindmyshoesIcan’tfindmyshoooooooooooooooes OH, look- A BALL! A BALL that has been sitting in this corner of the family room for four years and I’ve never glanced at twice – but now. NOW. NOW that we have four more minutes till it’s time to get in the van – I must play with! I LOVE THIS BALL!” while I repeat to them that “I can’t FIND MY SHOES” is something very different than “MY SHOES ARE NOT IN THE PLACE WHERE MY EYES ARE POINTED RIGHT NOW AT THIS VERY MOMENT AND I REFUSE TO BEND OVER OR EVEN SHIFT MY EYES IN ANY OTHER DIRECTION AT ALL AND THAT IS REALLY MY PROBLEM HERE – NOT THAT SOMETHING IS LOST BUT THAT MY EYE BALLS HAVE LIMITED DISCIPLINE AND/OR SHIFTING CAPACITY AND THAT ALSO I AM LIKE A KITTEN WHO IS DISTRACTED BY COLORFUL THINGS.”
I swear- at 6:59 it’s like one of those lovely early morning coffee commercials in my home, and then at 7:00 am (time to get up for school, angels!)- it’s Armageddon. Actually, let us change that to Ammagedon. And so throughout this routine- all morning- I repeat to myself my favorite line from We Bought A Zoo – “Glennon, all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. And I promise you- something great will come of it. Their teachers will take them away.”
Something like that.
I’ve missed you – in the very real and true way you miss a good friend. I missed you in a “how did I do this life thing before I had them?” way. About the fast- I’ll tell it to you straight- I secretly hoped that this fast would be the time that I Finally Figured Out Myself and Discovered The Secret of Life. Like, by retreating – I’d learn why I’m such a spaz, and I’d find a way to cut it out. I’d train myself to just stop crashing through life and coast a bit. And then I’d come back here and tell you what I learned and we’d all be so happy that we figured out what makes life so hard and messy and exhausting. And we could fix it. We could all change our We Can Do Hard Things signs to We Can Fix Hard Things And So Now We’re Done With All That Crap And We’re Relaxing Out Back signs. So, during my fast I did things that some of my wisest friends do, hoping I’d learn whatever it is that they know that I don’t seem to know. I did yoga four times a week. I meditated. I spent quality time with people I like. I went to church. I continued marriage therapy and started individual therapy (poor, poor therapist lady). I ate healthy and slept well and worked hard and read a million good books and showed up for scary things and thought good thoughts and on and on.
Okay, you guys. Instead of figuring out All of the Things, I figured out None of the Things. After 40 days- I am still the same. Life is still the same. I don’t get it. I don’t know why it didn’t work. In my most honest moments – I wonder if the problem might be that I cheated every once in a while. But if I didn’t learn All The Things because of a little harmless fast-cheating, I find that annoying. I mean, God knows me and so certainly God knew when we were planning this fast thing together that I’d cheat- because that’s just the kind of person I am. Everybody who knows me knew I’d cheat. I’M A MONKEE, NOT A MONK. Big difference. And so, in my humble opinion, God should have worked AROUND my less-than-fully-developed-sense-of-integrity. God should have found a way to teach me All The Things in spite of me. With all due respect, God, if you can’t do that- I’m not sure I can help you. I can’t pull ALL the weight around here, God. Work with a sister. Help ME, Help YOU.
Monkees – DID YOU MISS ALL OF OUR CAPS AND GROSSLY OVERUSED AND ABUSED ITALICS AND BOLDNESS?????
As always, I still have hope. In general- I believe that I know NOTHING. But then I sit down and write and some things come out and I’m like – HUH. From where did THAT little wisdom nugget come? It’s like I have no idea what I know until I start writing. Who was it that said “I write to know what I think?” I like that. It’s better than my “I write because I have nothing else to do since I accidently locked myself out of Facebook again and I’m too embarrassed to ask Sister to text me my password for the third time this week.”
So maybe that’s what’s going on here. Maybe I learned some things but I just don’t know it yet. Maybe if I just show up- if I just sit down each morning again and start typing - we will all find out that I did learn some things from the fast after all and then we can all apologize to God for being so overly critical and accusatory and rude. Seriously, you guys, try to show some respect. God is very busy. Also, I am told that God works in mysterious ways which I would say is just a really, seriously, humungous and egregious understatement and also just a little too general to really help me understand anything at all. It’s not an explanation – it’s a nonplanation. It’s like- instead of going through all the trouble to say that thing- people should really just shrug their shoulders. Same/Same.
OKAY. Tomorrow I shall begin telling you everything I was thinking about during the fast. For now- how are you? Tell me. Not how you Fake are but how you Really are.
Love and yay and we’re back and let’s do this year together.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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