Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In The Mornings

In the mornings. This is the time of day that I feel so refreshed, so rejuvenated. I am quite certain that I can accomplish anything.

In the calm of my car, during my 45 minute commute to work, this is the time that I contemplate the future. It must be the sweet morning air, or the privilege of watching the sun rise over a land so beautiful that it takes my breath away (yes, Minnesota is good for some things). Maybe it’s the uplifting stories I hear over National Public Radio (you know, once I get past all the stories about war and car bombings and politics). Whatever it is, I get this electrical sense of confidence and excitement, elation and glee for what could be.

My chest feels like a balloon pumped full of possibilities. I’m going to be a writer. And why is it I always told myself I can’t teach? I could totally teach. One of these days, I’m going to move to the country and live in a home filled with sunny, warm colors and beautiful old antiques. Or maybe I’ll move my family to the beach somewhere. Won’t it be incredible to watch my children frolic on the beach every day? Also, I’m going to start a business and rule the world. Whatever happened to that children’s story I started writing? I really need to finish that.

I am so blindsided by my visions for the future, I can’t think past anything else.

Sure, sometimes these things turn into reality. Like, there was that thing that I couldn’t get out of my head about going back to school for a Master’s degree. Not all my morning dreams fade with the day.

But what happens to the other dreams? Where does my elation go?

I think it starts from the minute I exit the cool dawning of a new day and enter my stale cubicle walls. I lament the piles of everyday, ordinary work to be done and that balloon in my chest begins to deflate as if someone were pulling at either end of the opening and it was making that shrieking “no, no please don’t deflate me!” kind of noise.

I move about my day as if on auto-pilot. I forget about my early morning dreams and focus on the now. I take care of my job and sometimes I take care of all of that other, external stuff that needs to be taken care of: the setting of doctor’s appointments, the calling of the insurance agents, the paying of the bills, the…the…the…!

And then I leave my office, and that crisp new morning air is gone, replaced by a thick afternoon fog of frustration and traffic and headaches. And my 45 minute commute that this morning was full of potential and hope is now the most dreaded part of my day as I fight my way through the throngs of others, who may have been just as hopeful as I this morning, and are now equally as deflated.

Then I get home. And that balloon, now almost completely gone, is replaced by something equally as wonderful but wholly different: love. Because now, all that occupies that space where the balloon lived this morning is the desire to be with my children. My sweet, beautiful boys who are so amazing and full of wonder that I can’t take my eyes from them. I kiss their heads and give them more hugs than they can bear. I play trains with them, and dinosaur’s too. I whisper in their ears how very much I love them. I try my best to make up for not being with them all day. I try my best to make sure they know just exactly how much they are loved.

In the quiet of the evening, after the boys have gone to bed and I might actually have time to contemplate and plan my future, take action that might fulfill those dreams; my attention is diverted by the haze of exhaustion. The desire to spend just a minute with my husband. The need to accomplish that bit of homework. I am tired, and the balloon is deflated, and…, and…, and. The day is done.

I finish my work for today. I drag myself into bed and get lost in the chapters of a good book. I drift off to sleep having accomplished absolutely nothing and positively everything.

But I remind myself: Tomorrow is the dawning of a brand new day.