This is my favorite; summer. With it’s late light, long shadows and it’s open schedules. The openness of time gives me an opportunity to discard toys and clothes in alarmingly tall and teetering towers. I am so invigorated by this exorcism of stuff, I turn to my commitments. The exercise is supposed to be helpful or ruthless or revealing. It is also depressing and deflating. I write one piece of my life on each Post-it. There they are, those little color squares stuck to the sliding closet door. Life-sucking on the left, life-giving on the right, and most hovering in that ambivalent middle zone. The goal is to hack. Create room for more squares on the right. I hold the Want-To-Do-It square in my hand because it doesn’t fit yet. I fold the pink square into a tinier pink square and put it in my back pocket where it’s already been living metaphorically for years. I’ve been circling around something, unsure of where to start, meanwhile encouraging my husband to go do his thing and not seeing the resentment secretly and silently leak in. I’m not okay with life being lived in that “whatever” zone. I unfold the tiny square and put it on the fridge.
I am told the only way to do something is to do it. This is disappointing news for those of us who are only consistent at being inconsistent and whose jaw dropping event of the day is how fast we can go BOJO (bra off jammies on), attack dessert hour (I go for time not number of, much like children graduating from per book to per hour on their local library summer reading rewards program), and earn a championship belt in Netflixing. Yes, Netflix birthed as a noun, but we all verb it. Nevermind I’ve been in a contortionist’s sleep on a toddler bed since 7:30pm. Nevermind I’ll be shaking Cheerios in six hours. I am now ready to seal my gluttony award with two episodes of Scandal, one Orange is the New Black, and approximately five episodes to one season of Friends. I’m telling you, Netflix is a verb. Here’s the sickness; I like it. And I’m okay with that since eating and laughing and laying on the couch are a completely genuine and appropriate response to a day full of being “on” for the intensity of the Tiny People Rule My Home years. Don’t convince me I’m numbing something; I’m exhausted. Don’t try to tell me to use that time in edifying, life-giving ways. I just Can. Not. I can’t even use the English language by then. I am full on Zombie Jenny, no fake blood or green skin needed.
The problem with doing that actual life-giving thing during daylight hours when Zombie Jenny’s gone underground and I have a fraction of a chance to feel human or interesting or have a thought requires daylight time. Feel free to throw your hands in the air and walk away at this point. Heaven knows I have.
Summer is all about daylight time. It’s her gift to us. Summer laughs light into extra daytime during her season. It’s a season when our family schedule load is light. The perfect space to soft-launch that Want-To-Do-It square, where I do the vulnerable of voicing my need for something and the whole family sacrifices for it; validating with my voice and their actions that it’s important enough to make my husband and children give for it. So we’re making space and figuring things out as a family because while it’s for me, it’s for everybody. Because as adorable at Zombie Jenny is at 11pm one quart into Cookie Butter ice cream, the one my husband and kids and I and you need is Alive Jenny.
Cheers to summer and light and lightness and being gifted time to use your gifts.
Cheers to Zombie You tonight with your glass of wine and peanut butter cups and your marathon of quick wit quipped Gilmores. I see you. I clink my glass and look forward to interacting with Alive Me and Alive You tomorrow as we draw near our heart’s desire in the daylight.
Until then, BOJO!