The never ending list of things that I can't quite get done. The curtains I promised a friend weeks ago that I would finish. The scrapbook in the closet, sitting in mute reproach. The stack of books that I am dying to read. The layer of dust on the mantle that is just screaming to be wiped away.
"Each thing I do I rush through so I can do something else. In such a way do the days pass -a blend of stock car racing and the never ending building of a Gothic cathedral. Through the windows of my speeding car, I see all that I love falling away: books unread, jokes untold, landscapes unvisited."
Sometimes I find no real joy in the things that I do accomplish, because the list is still there. I'm rushing to finish one thing just to start something else.
Strangely enough, life seems to slow down when he's gone in spite of all the rushing. At the end of the day, I take those few minutes of quiet solitude when the kids are finally asleep and the dishes done, to just sit for a moment or two. I admire the fall decorations on the mantle. I chuckle at the sight of our cat sleeping in contorted positions by the hearth. I breath a sigh of relief that one more day is over and that I have a brief respite from the chaos.
Then it's over and I make lunches for tomorrow, straighten the house before bed, and put one more X on the calendar to indicate that we are one day closer to his return. I live for that big red X. It reminds me of the one person who loves me no matter what. It reminds me of how cherished I am and how much I love him in return. It reminds me of the reason why I have two beautiful children sleeping down the hall, innocently oblivious to my stress and turmoil.
He'll be home tomorrow, and we will be complete.