What to Do the Day after Thanksgiving Weekend

Four loads of laundry heaped on the couch, one more spinning wet and another tumbling dry in the basement. The trash cans are full outside, full and brimming over, and the garbage truck doesn’t come till Wednesday.

The house is so quiet and far too orderly, and I’m lonely. When the clock said 5:15 am, they piled into the Chevy Tahoe and drove down the road, headlights gleaming while we blinked the porch lights fast and waved one more time.

And what do you do, what on earth do you do, the day after Thanksgiving weekend, fridge spilling over with leftovers, and all you can think while you reload the washer is how did I take this all for granted this year too?

Because if you’d really cherished every chaotic moment, you  wouldn’t have gotten irritated at the company clutter.

Eyes blur with water, and water pours into the washing machine, and I stand there in my slippers and think, I’ll take it all for granted next time, too, unless I learn how to not take today for granted. 

The baby cries and nothing soothes. He just keeps crying and I just wish that tooth would push straight through the swollen gum. I suddenly remember that I need to provide snack for forty plus people at Youth Club tonight. Laundry everywhere. I’m tired.

And what on earth do you do, the day after Thanksgiving weekend?

I stop in the midst of my hurried pace, and pick up the fussing child and I sit down. I rub his gum with my finger and stare into his wide, deep eyes and I tell him this: “We won’t have this moment ever again. So we’re going to take this moment, Leo, and we’re going to make it the best ‘right now’ it could possibly be.”

This is how you live the day after Thanksgiving weekend and every day after that. You choose to stop thrashing with your life and you start thriving in your life, overflowing fridges, heaping piles of laundry, fussing children, and all.

You stop and you still and you see.

Life doesn’t happen after you get your to-do list finished and your work all done. Live that way and you won’t thrive, you’ll survive.  Live that way and you’ll miss life.

Life doesn’t happen, life is.

I turn to Kyle, who is desperate for some creative intervention, and I tell him to go get some books. The clock just might be ticking the minutes away, and I just might have far too many things to do, but I will never hold right now in my hands again.