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A Stare Down with my Kitchen Table

November 29, 2012

There’s not enough room on this table for all of my stuff.

Research papers waiting to be read and annotated are stacked in misshapen piles with my pens and pencils rolling around between their pages. A coffee cup is dripping onto my checkbook and I can hear my cell phone vibrating somewhere beneath the baby’s spit-up rag. If I squint my eyes hard enough, I think I can see the edges of my grocery list protruding from the chaos; a list that was scribbled onto the back of a Macy’s flyer with a very-close-to-dying Sharpie marker. I neglected to find its cap the night before.

I have half a mind to take my arm and wipe the surface of my table clean with one broad, dramatic swoop. I want to do it like they do in the movies, except instead of making room for hot passionate sex, I just want to make room for my sandwich. I’d like to set my computer down on a visible surface, but that’s just not the way things are going these days. These are not the days of order and calm and the ability to compartmentalize. These are the days of baby bottles spilling onto my Master’s proposal and work emails that reach eighty-five over the course of two days because I don’t care enough to keep checking them.

I stare my kitchen table down.

I cock my head to the side, take a deep breath, and narrow my eyelids. Is the table intimidated yet? Is my life’s mess shaking at the sight of my bravado? Can I stare the chaos away?

It doesn’t move.

I don’t move.

It stares back at me.

I stare back at it.

In the far recesses of my mind, I think I hear it laughing at me. I think I hear my kitchen table mocking me.

As hard as I try not to, I smile. Against my will, the corners of my lips rise upward and I hear my resolve slip away with the sound of a laugh. If this is my life, I suppose it’s not that bad. If this is the place that represents what occupies my time and talent, then consider me a blessed woman. All the things I love are sitting on this table. All the things I’m passionate about, challenged by, and strengthened through are scattered here. Most days I’m not sure where one part of me begins and another one ends. I’m not sure who, or what, to give pieces of myself to. Most days, I chase the clock and pray there is grace on the other end of the deadlines. Most days, I’m just trying to do the contents of this table the justice they deserve.

And this is my life.

This is my love.

These are the contents of my heart spilled out in random and disconnecting order.

A job I just can’t seem to give up.

An education I continue to want to pursue.

A baby boy who captures and re-captures and completes my heart in ways there aren’t even words to describe.

A life lived in abundance.

I give my table another stare. I give my table another smile. I give my life another laugh because, really, what else can I do?

I’ll leave it all the way it is today. Maybe it will get swiped clean tomorrow. Maybe.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 30, 2012 2:37 am

    Perfection. Just exactly perfect, each word, image, thought, celebration, admission. Thank you.

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