27 December 2007


This is how I spent most of Christmas day this year.

Once I completed my final exams December 11th, I hit the ground running with just two weeks to "do" Christmas. At a few minutes after midnight Christmas morning, I finished! Sadly, I spent so much time "doing," however, that by 10:00 a.m., I was done.

Fever, chills, aches, pain, cold, cough... you name it, I had it.

Yes, it's flu season, and this is the risk you run when you consistently opt against a flu shot (of course I'm starting to royally regret this decision). But I think (I know) this was more than the flu.

The truth is, I hit the ground running long before December 11th; I haven't stopped running since some time in the early 80s. It's who I have become, it's how I've learned to cope - to control, to find order in disorder: I run. I do. I go. I make lists, I check them once, twice, thrice.... I write them, then re-write them. I delight in completing them (perfectly), and then of course, it's time for another list. There is ALWAYS something to do, ALWAYS something left to be done, ALWAYS something else to put on my list.

This year, leveled me (literally). I can't keep up with my lists. I can't live up to my standard. I can't keep going like I'm going. No one can. There are not enough hours in the day (or the year) and there isn't enough grace to go around (or perhaps it's the other way around). But Lord knows, I'll keep trying. I'll keep pushing, fighting, going and doing until I'm done... doing until I'm debilitated - unable to pee let alone able to enjoy the most special of days with people I love.

I was forced to acknowledge this Christmas what I've probably known for a while: I'm missing the music. It's a humbling truth to face especially realizing that I don't know how to live otherwise. Invariably, I spend so much time, effort and energy obsessing, checking, re-checking, perfecting... orchestrating every detail, that I rarely experience the symphony. Precious moments are passing me by. I'm missing the music.

God, in his wisdom and mercy, placed a brick wall (a hard one) in front of me on Christmas morning . I crashed and crumbled in front of my fireplace, and for 20 hours, at the expense of Christmas spent with my husband, kids, siblings, step-siblings, Dad and Stepmom, I stopped running and could do little else but to listen.

In the stillness, solitude and excruciating pain of Christmas day, I smelled, saw, tasted, felt and heard a bit of what I've been missing. The bar is high, indeed, but the stakes are much higher.

And the orchestra plays on.