I awoke this morning to Paul Harvey on the radio, but I barely heard him for the thoughts running through my head, thoughts I have to write about.
Four years ago, my dear husband repeated time and again, “When we get through this cancer, let’s be sure we don’t fall back into that workaholic mode. Let’s be sure to have some fun, to play, to enjoy life. Life is much too short to work all the time with no play.” He said, “‘Business’ doesn’t care. ‘Business’ will take what they can from you as fast as they can, then toss you aside when you can no longer deliver. ‘Business’ has no loyalty to you.” I thought to myself that business deadlines are manmade; the greater deadlines are set by God.
After his death it was easy NOT to work. The hard part was getting up every morning. The hard part was going to bed at night. The hard part was going through the daily routine. I wanted to go with him. I wanted to stay in that spiritual realm that surrounded his death. My mind had practically shut down as he slipped quietly from this world to the next realm. I had felt the presence of God, and I didn’t want to come back to this world of discipline and responsibility.
His words stayed with me, and even though I went through the motions of trying to work, I kept hearing his words, “Enjoy life. Play. Laugh. Have some fun.” He knew me. He knew my tendencies toward seriousness and responsibility; he knew how tunnel vision takes me over until I’ve conquered that challenge at hand; he knew that I would throw myself into work in order to recover from his death. However, the grief process was a rockier road than either of us could have imagined. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t get beyond his words, the admonition to stop and smell the roses.
This morning, with a load of laundry in the washer, I write quickly in 15 minute increments as I mentally prepare myself for a Saturday morning of work at the office. I fight falling back into that level of seriousness, of working late into the night, working weekends, so focussed on work and responsibility to the detriment of laughter and playfulness and relationships. Where is the balance?