golden hours

September 18, 2010

It's been nine days since I posted - the longest I've gone in the year that I've had this blog. Sometimes, life takes over, and squeezes the things out that you'd like to focus on, replacing them with all the things you have to focus on. Between those things, sleep and quick runs to grab mexican food between classes, I've never been so busy, or so overwhelmed. In some ways, I've never been happier. I think there's a surety in feeling like one is counting for something - this week I started writing features for the Daily Breeze, ran a fundraiser in my home for Align Ministries, started on creating a business plan for the same and I took a 3 day seminar on Light Painting. But, in other ways, I've never felt more empty. Somehow, everything got finished. Somehow, seven days came and went and tomorrow is Sunday, again. But it went so quickly, and I'd like to have more than somehow. I don't like that. That's not living right.

I brought a framed quote with me to put beside my desk this semester. Jor and I talked about it, the first week of school. She said, "I like that." Followed closely by a, "You're not very good at it, by the way."

I said, "I know."

It reads, "You must be warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip" - J.M. Barrie, rectorial address, May 3, 1922.

It was my goal, this semester, to be more balanced. The framed quote was supposed to remind me of that. It's served as a goad, this week, especially since I'm looking out on another, similar looking, seven days - and I can't keep living Sunday to Sunday. Not like this. There weren't any golden hours this week. No moments standing in my kitchen drinking coffee. No long phone conversations with my mother. No writing for myself. Not even once.

I decided, sometime between shaving my legs and rinsing the shampoo out of my hair yesterday, that this is wrong for me. Too many part time jobs, too many credits - too much, period.

Last night, my mother told me to stop measuring myself by accomplishments. I hung up the phone and wondered, exactly, what to measure myself by if it isn't that. I hadn't turned in my Spanish homework that morning, because I didn't get it done. I got a B on my class final. But I had planned a fundraiser singlehandedly, finished an advanced photo class in a weekend and...she stopped me there, and said, "I don't know who you're trying to prove something to, but I hope it's not me."

I cried.

My fundraiser started an hour later. I looked around the room and realized how much my roommates had done while I was in class. My brother's paintings, marked down by hundreds so that they had a chance of selling at my event, were hanging on the left side of my dining room. Coffee I didn't pick up was on the counter. I was walking on clean floors I hadn't mopped. And, outside, Jor was working on sweeping a porch I hadn't even noticed was dirty.

Four hours later, and $300 I didn't earn was sitting, waiting to be sent to Uganda.

I spent the night in Fullerton, laughing, and then I got back in my bed after my morning class.

I didn't get up again for about five hours.

I got close to nothing done, today.

It was the best day I've had all week.

(photo via weheartit).