Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Happened to Yesterday?

What happened to last year for that matter? I have a birthday tomorrow. But wait, didn't I just have one of those? A big one -- just, well let's see, three hundred and sixty some days ago? My, how time flies. And what do I have to show for it?

But that's of no concern to me right now. I'm trying to remember what I've accomplished this week. The list of household chores is long and includes cleaning out and switching two closets, organizing the shoe/hats/gloves cubby (because that kind of weather will be upon us before you know it), and tidying up the shelves above the washer/dryer. I love well arranged closet space. And I love that Tom opens the closet to get at the dog food and says, "Wow, this is so organized. You're amazing."

I say, "Aw shucks, it was nothing."

Nothing? Who am I kidding? Do I think he can't see the bags of trash waiting to go out, the carton of hardly-ever-used stuff waiting to be carried up to the attic, the clutter on every flat surface -- things I wasn't sure where to put, and oh yeah, the absence of delicious aromas signaling dinner's a-cookin'? That would be because dinner is not cooking, nothing's thawed, I don't have a plan, just plain didn't think about dinner. I wasn't hungry...then...but now... I am. Starving in fact.

But hey, Tom thinks I'm amazing. So I assess the situation, and say, "Give me half an hour. I'll get the rest of this clutter busted and fix us something to eat. Then, even I will think I'm amazing.

He mowed lawn, I tidied things up, threw together supper, we ate, took the dogs for a walk, and called it a day.

We were all plumb tuckered.
But that wasn't yesterday. It was the day before. Yesterday I paid bills. There's a challenging task. Everything we enjoy and take for granted has to be paid for: electricity, phone, internet, gasoline, groceries, pool chemicals, clothes, and all the must-have niceties. The check book records all we treasure, and as I pay bills I can't help but assess our values: our giving, our spending, our saving.
Then I wrote some belated cards for birthdays and anniversaries. Why didn't I write and send them earlier? I've known for an entire year that these special days were coming up for these special people. Well, no use agonizing now. Just get them in the mail and pray that even a belated card touches the addressee and brings a smile. 
After than I sorted through and chose sympathy cards to write and send. My heart broke for each grieving person I had to send a card to. Had to. Couldn't not send a card with a few words -- words thought about, prayed over, and written in my own unattractive hand. If only I had beautiful penmanship, perhaps that would make the job easier and give wing to words of compassion and comfort. But no matter the flourish with which it's written...I'm sorry for your loss will be blurred by tears.
It took the whole day. It took longer than all the chores I accomplished the day before. And it was exhausting: mentally arduous, emotionally draining, and physically? well you wouldn't think fatiguing, but trust me, it was. No wonder I don't sit down to pay bills and write cards in a timely fashion. I mean really...who has time and heart enough for that? Who can do unto others as they'd like done for themselves? And then not make a big deal of it.  
Apparently not me. But that was yesterday. That was what happened to yesterday. 


Jackie Harrison said...

Betsy, You are an amazing writer!! I love reading and hearing you read your work!!

Betsy Henning said...

Jackie! Thank you so much. (And I see you figured out how to post a comment. Way to go :) )

Sarah Rose said...

Such a thoughtful piece. It makes me wonder what I will write on my next birthday eve? I'm so thankful for your birthday and that you are my friend!