Let me tell you about before this picture:

Sleepless nights with sick children, which made for a cancelled flight; praying; new flights obtained; so much packing; cleaning the house so we come home to a clean house; waking pre-dawn to get to the airport; a delay; while we waited for our plane, our son choked on a bagel and then barfed in my hands, which I was grateful for because he was breathing; rental car issues; so much talking from our kids while we try to figure out logistics, which is its own especially loud ring of hell; an exploded sunblock in a luggage that covered most of what I brought for myself; a toothbrush that fell in the toilet just as I was about to brush my teeth the first night....

All of that and more is what came before this shot that happened organically. Stuff like that (and more!) is what is always before whatever great snapshot you see almost anywhere — at least if you go back long enough in the timeline.

The mess is life. I forget that too often; do you? The mess is not a glitch, but a feature. It can’t be fixed so as never to occur again; it’ll always be there somehow. We clean and we clean, and we should; and we work and we work, and we should because we get to moments like this where it all feels right and good and unmessy. For awhile.

They linked arms of their own accord and stayed that way for long enough that I could snap this shot — a 2019 miracle in the first three days of the year. We were linked behind them. And because we were asleep when the new year came in, I’ll take this as our new year beginning. We get to decide when we want to start anew. We’re the bosses of ourselves.

The good stuff is what powers us through the mess of life in a year — the sleepless nights when a kid is wheezing for air or when one has a headache in her eye for too long, which means that no mother is going back to sleep soundly because that would be impossible.

There’s a moment coming for you if you’re not in the brilliant or even just the ok now. There’s always a next. It may only be a second, though. Nothing lasts forever. But seconds count. They make up a whole new year. Can’t blink, though. And you’ll have to look up from your phone to see it. Usually have to get off the couch to experience it, too.

Thank you for reading here. I’ve got plans for this new year and would be thankful if you’d stick around. Let’s stay linked however we can this year. It’s the best way to get through the mess of life.



Anne FlavinComment